Undergraduate Blog / Career Development

Advice for those considering a career in Investment Banking

Earlier this month, I attended the Babson Investment Banking Conference which is an annual conference planned & organized by the student-run, Babson Investment Banking Association. Every session I attended included pieces of advice or words of wisdom to those aspiring to start their careers in this field. Hiter Harris, Co-founder of Harris Williams, was one of the key note speakers that I had the pleasure of hearing. Mr. Harris answered the question: “What advice would you give to students who are interested in investment banking?” I thought his answer was perfect advice for undergraduate students who are considering moving toward this career path.

  1. Build Your Toolbox: You use every skill when it comes to investment banking including quantitative, communication, and team work. You need to be able to get along with people in this job. You need to prove you are capable. Make sure that you know your strengths and understand your weaknesses. Reach out for help to become stronger in your weaker areas.
  2. Think about the environment that you want to be in. The size of the firm does matter. At some companies, you will work directly with management and clients. At other companies, you may never interact with your Managing Director.
  3. Find a place that has good mentors.

In addition, these are just a few of the things Hiter Harris commented on that he looks for when hiring people:

  • Need to be extremely bright
  • A good thinker
  • You need your toolbox (every skill!)
  • Understand the scrutiny of detail you are under
  • Sense of creativity
  • Sense of humor

There were so many valuable pieces of advice shared by the panelists and key note speakers at this conference.  I’d love for other attendee’s to share some of their favorites!