This post about Cornell Johnson and investment banking is part of a series of interviews of top MBA programs called “MBA Career Goals and the B-Schools that Support Them.” Please subscribe to our blog to ensure that you receive all the interviews exploring the elements at each school that support career goals in finance, consulting, general management, entrepreneurship, marketing and more.
Here is the interview with the Career Management Center team at Cornell Johnson.
What kind of background and skills do you like to see in applicants expressing interest in a career in investment banking?
Investment banks are open to considering a wide variety of backgrounds, from Military to Engineering; this helps them expand their perspectives on the clients they serve. With that said, banks are much quicker about getting to yes on a candidate if they have some experience with financial modeling, valuation or accounting.
What aspects of your curriculum do you feel are best suited to students who want to eventually pursue a career in investment banking?
Johnson has perhaps the best pre-banking curriculums in the country. Our investment banking immersion, taught by a former Merrill Lynch Managing Director, is designed to put first-year students in real Associate-level scenarios and prepare them for summer internships. We also require future bankers to take Valuation, Accounting, Finance and additional modeling seminars.
Which school clubs and extra-curricular events are most relevant to people interested in investment banking?
Our Old Ezra Finance Club is the primary club concerned with investment banking. In their weekly meetings, OE focuses on the soft skills and tactical plans to secure an investment banking position.
Since “investment banking” is a very broad term, can you break down some of the some of the sub-categories in the field that your school excels in?
Investment banking is typically thought of as M&A and Corporate Finance advisory at most firms. Although, the banks often provide sales & trading services, private wealth management and asset management services as well. Johnson’s Capital Markets and Asset Management Immersion helps students focus on those careers.
Which investment banking firms recruit at Cornell Johnson? How many graduates of your 2010 class received offers from each of these firms?
Over the past few years, every major Wall Street firm hired Johnson students in investment banking, as well as a number of boutique, specialty and regional firms. In 2010, a down year for banking, roughly 20 students at Johnson accepted full time positions. This compares to approximately 40 in 2008 and 40 internships in 2011.
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