Building a network is crucial for success in investment banking. The power of networking is that it can give you valuable insights into the industry, job opportunities, and connections that can help your career. This article will explore the best ways to network with investment banking associates. These strategies can help you build and maintain meaningful relationships within the industry.
What is Networking in Investment Banking?
In investment banking, building relationships is essential. In investment banking, networking is the process of finding, contacting, and speaking to investment banking professionals to build strong relationships, gain industry knowledge, and possibly secure entry-level positions, job offers, or other benefits based on those connections. To receive the require referrals, candidates must invest much time in building relationships with bankers.
To get that dream full-time job or internship, networking is essential. Get an interview at any investment bank, you need to network. This is true if you are from a different school than the target school and are applying off-cycle. If you use your network to apply, you are more likely to get a look at the application and an interview in the first round.
Investment Banking Networking Strategies
We will examine how to improve your chances of a successful investment banking career.
1. Cold Emails
Cold emailing involves requesting assistance from someone you have never met or interacted with. You can request an internship via cold email if you are a college freshman, a new MBA student, a recent graduate, or a college graduate. You can directly ask about internships and jobs in your first email. The response rates will vary depending on your profile and the alum network of the school. A standard of 10%-25% is expect for cold emails. Boutique companies best use these without a formal hiring procedure.
2. Get Warm Introductions from Your Team
Referrals are more likely to lead to a conversation than cold calls or emails. Your team is a valuable resource for identifying networks and referring to investors and management teams. You may share a business school or prior work experience or even be in the same undergraduate alum network as your colleagues.
Your team can remember all the possible matches off-hand when you are talking about thousands of connections. Search each other’s LinkedIn contact list and ask people to check their contacts. This can help you get started, you may need more. We have found that asking the executive assistants of the team to be in charge or using a technology-based system can help ensure that the entire company network is available to ensure valuable connections aren’t missed.
3. Cold Calls
Cold calling is calling bankers in your target firm and promoting yourself. It is a very repeatable method which has a shallow success rate. It works best for recent graduates and undergraduates and rarely for larger companies. Better when you are short on time, as emails are ignore and need follow-up, it can save time. Calling can help you grow your career and get hired if done correctly and persistently.
4. Prioritize Quality Over Quantity
It is not a good idea to hand out business cards massively. This will make it difficult for you to manage and get the most from your network. Quantity networkers are unattractive to others. People want to know that you care about them and not just you are in the same room.
Genuinely nurturing relationships has many benefits. It can take time to get to know someone, it is essential to remember that people will never forget how you made them feel. You will stand out if genuinely interested in learning about the person.
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5. Keep Your Connections
Investment bankers often have an extensive list of contacts in their connections or LinkedIn accounts and stacks of business cards. They have yet to contact these people for some time. You may remember a contact who could put you in contact with someone you need have not talked to for years. How can you make contact and approach someone? You may be unable to tell you apart from BDRs cold-emailing or spamming decision-makers daily.
The foundation of any successful networking campaign is keeping your contacts organized. This will allow you to engage with the important ones regularly. By grouping and prioritizing contacts, you can turn an extensive list of information into something actionable.
Simple categories could include clients currently, prospects likely to be, investors of a specific category, influential contacts, friends who can connect, etc. You can use the simple tools of email, coffee, or phone calls to keep in touch. Use a system to make it easier. It can notify you contact them and tell you the date.
Many people begin their careers in finance by networking. You will increase your interview chances by making a positive impression on those who may hire you or recommend you to recruiters. Networking is about getting an interview and getting to know investment bankers better. Be proactive, ask directly for what you need, maintain a friendly and positive tone, and avoid mistakes to ensure your networking efforts are well-spent.