I currently study at the University of Auckland and I am really interested in Investment Banking once I graduate. I know there are a few banks in NZ but I’ve heard they all only hire one or two graduates a year. How can I make myself stand out and get to the interview stage? What are specific things that I can do during university (other than good grades) that will help me land a grad job at an investment bank? Also, what kind of GPA do I realistically need?
Hey @anonymous73 great question.
Ostensibly, grades are important. But are they the most important factor? No. Yes, you need a high GPA to even be considered for the IB positions available. But at the end of the day, they have a multiple of people applying for positions, all of which have great grades, leadership skills, and amazing internships. In order to stand out, you’ll need to be unique; stand out among your competitors with something that is not ordinary.
In the eyes of the employer, most of the candidates are going to look very similar: great resumes and a wealth of accolades. So how do you stand out?
You need to make yourself memorable. When given a chance to introduce yourself, throw in something about yourself that is very unique about your life. Something that will make people remember you at the end of the day. If you like to hike, talk about it. If you play an instrument, talk about it. If you play sports, talk about it. Cooking, singing, traveling, surfing… You name it.
It is important to keep in mind that recruiters like to see well-rounded people. You stand a much greater chance of being remembered if you are personable and tell the recruiter something interesting about yourself that doesn’t directly relate to banking. So at the end of the day, when they all get together and talk about the candidates, they can say, “Oh, Joe, the golfer, I really liked that guy.” If you’re shooting for them to remember you by being a president of some club, the response will most likely be “Joe who? What club?”
Another way to stand out is to make sure you thank people for their time. Sending punctual thank you e-mails is a priority in this case. You want to let people know that you appreciate their time and that you learned something new from them. If you really want to take thank you notes to the next level, go to the nearest bookstore, buy a bunch of nice cards, and hand write thank you notes for people who helped you a lot. I guarantee you that 99% of people don’t do it.
You might also find the forum useful: