According to Corey Alston, New investment bankers may find themselves wondering how to make their transition from college or grad school to Wall Street smoother and more effective.
Investment bankers are constantly pushing to stay on top of their game, as this competitive industry rewards only the most successful financiers with high salaries and sky-high bonuses.
For those who want to break into the field, learning how to start investing in banking can be daunting, so it’s helpful to hear from those who have been there and done that about what not to do and how you can avoid making the same mistakes they did. Investment banker Corey Alston shares his 5 tips for new investment bankers here.
Think Long Term
Corey Alston belies that one of the best ways to become a successful investment banker is to think long-term. At all times, keep your mind focused on what your goals are and make sure that every decision you make from day-to-day serves those longer-term objectives. Nothing will serve as a better foundation for success than thinking about where you want to be in five years’ time and then making sure that each day brings you one step closer to getting there. In other words, never lose sight of where you’re going and always put yourself in a position that allows you to get there.
After all, it’s only when you can look back at how far you’ve come that you’ll truly appreciate how far you have left to go. And don’t forget to set aside some time each week to work on improving yourself! While many people believe investing bankers are born with some sort of special gift or gene that makes them capable of becoming successful in such a competitive industry, it’s not true. The reality is simple: no matter who we are or where we come from, we can improve ourselves by setting goals and working hard towards achieving them.
Find Your Niche
Corey Alston says that the industry in which you operate may be a crowded place, but it’s important to find your niche in that environment. For example, an investment banker can’t just be good at math; there are plenty of those. It’s better to be known as a banker who specializes in startups or mergers and acquisitions rather than someone who is simply good at arithmetic. Once you’ve established your niche, make sure everyone knows about it! Whether you’re working with clients or recruiting new employees, every touch point should reinforce what makes you unique.
Network Like Crazy
Networking is one of those things that new bankers think they need to feel out before diving in, but there’s no reason to wait. As a newbie in an unfamiliar environment, you can’t afford to be shy. You’re going to have to get out there and make friends if you want any chance of success in investment banking. After all, connections are what will allow you to shine. If your mentor isn’t giving you much attention, seek advice from other analysts who are further along on their path than you are. They’ll know exactly what questions to ask and what traps to avoid.
Listen More Than You Speak
You will learn a lot more if you listen more than you speak. You can use that knowledge to position yourself as an expert in your field, which is always great when seeking a promotion, said Corey Alston, No matter where you are in your career, focus on being a great listener because it can be one of your greatest assets. By focusing on what others have to say especially those with more experience you will learn so much about how business works and why things happen. That knowledge is invaluable, so listen up.
Seek the Truth behind What You Hear
As an investment banker, your job is to help shape public perception of corporations and their products. That doesn’t mean you need to be a yes man all day long; in fact, sometimes it means exactly the opposite. When everyone around you seems to be rooting for a particular decision or project, it can be difficult not to get swept up in their enthusiasm; but if something doesn’t sit right with you seek out the truth behind what you hear. It could mean saving your firm millions of dollars or avoiding bad press.