A lot of junior bankers (and myself at some point) didn’t see M&A (or another equivalent job) as very challenging in the end. It’s true that creating presentation, excel models etc… is sort of repetitive and an analyst can quickly lose track of the real purpose of his/her job.
I believe this is COMPLETELY wrong. People usually have these impressions when they lose track of the actual business and when the lack/ lose their entrepreneurial spirit.
Besides the fact that you make good money in Banking after some years, there are a couple of strong arguments to stay in Banking for as long as you can!
A very entrepreneurial job
Financial Advisory/ Investment banking is an extremely entrepreneurial job. You are always on the lookout for new clients/ deals situation. To get new clients, you need to go through intense marketing efforts. Why? Because 1) your clients will be extremely demanding and 2) the market is highly competitive. You need to be fast, accurate and proactive, otherwise you lose opportunities!
As a junior in a team, you will participate in theses marketing efforts. It’s very important to have a strong entrepreneurial and team spirit as even if your tasks seem repetitive, they are essential to the success of the team. Yes, most clients won’t open the pitch books you spend your nights on, but guess what, this happen in all the other industries! Marketing is essential, but frustrating. It’s neither the fault of your team, nor the industry, it’s business in general! As a junior in a team, you belong to a Revenue generative unit of the bank. Your job is to generate revenue!
You will meet high net worth individuals and business leaders
Investment Banking is a fascinating job because, the more you stay, the stronger your network will get. You are as strong as your network!
You will spend your days advising accomplished CEOs and business leaders, even become friends with them!
Of course as a junior, your contacts with clients will tend to be limited at first (it actually depends on the Bank you are working for). The more you stay, the more exposure you will get. Also, nothing prevent you from building your own network. Be proactive, don’t wait for your MD to introduce you to some people…
You will be in a business where you will think strategy and new opportunities
As an advisor, it’s very likely you will work on international matters or at least with large local companies. This is fascinating because they will feed you with information nobody can get (except them).
It’s also an amazing position as an advisor. You can be as creative you want. You don’t take much risk with the business. Ultimately, the client will take its own decision.
I believe that Investment Banking is a fascinating job. It’s obviously extremely demanding and time consuming, but worth it, if you have a decent entrepreneurial/ business spirit.