With so many high-powered, high-profile, and most of all, high-paying jobs on Wall Street, it is tempting to think of finding a job and starting a career there. But starting a career on Wall Street is not an easy task. It takes hard work, constant effort, and a lot of talent just to get in the door, and from there one must work their way up the corporate ladder. But for those interested in starting a career on The Street, the following steps will guide you through the challenges you will face along the way. Start now, and you may end up a day trader, a stockbroker, or even the CEO of a major investment bank.
Step One: Learn the basics
There is a lot of background knowledge required for jobs on Wall Street, and people looking for jobs should know what they are getting into. Candidates should have a grasp of everything from basic math and statistics to accounting practices, economic theory, and complicated rules for firms and brokers. One way to get this knowledge is through university courses. These prepare a student for the world of economics, or for business school, which gives graduate students a more in-depth understanding of the world of finance and business. For those already out of school, even following economic news and current stories can give you a sense of the major trends occurring in finance today and the knowledge that will be useful on the job.
Step Two: Make connections
People say that it’s not about what you know, but who you know. But in fact, for most Wall Street jobs, it’s about both. Knowing the material and how to do the job is only one factor. People must also make connections and use those connections to move up and find jobs in the competitive marketplace. You can start by talking to people you already know who are involved in finance or banking. Get to know others who have already gotten jobs in finance, and then talk to them about their experiences. The more you learn from those around you, and the more connections you make, the easier it will be to edge your way into the Wall Street community.
Step Three: Internship
An internship is often the best way to get a full-time position at a firm or bank on Wall Street. Many university students or graduate students take summer positions at various offices where they learn the ropes of the trade as well as meet the key players and people. If they have performed well during their time as interns, many are asked back for a longer, paid position. It is often easier to find a full-time position once you have had the experience and gotten to know the company’s internal workings through summer or part-time internship.
Step Four: Interview:
In order to get a job, or even to get an initial internship or part-time position, a range of interviews and meetings is almost always required. For the more high-powered firms, these interviews can take up to three days and should be a forum for the candidate to display their firm understanding of the workings of the company, a long history of success in past ventures or studies, and a strong drive to succeed and work with the company in question. Interviews are often even more important than past achievement, so for inexperienced job seekers, showing interest and intelligence is often much better than claiming past experience.
Step Five: Keep Networking
Once you’ve gone through the interview process, gotten that first all-important internship, and then translated that opportunity into a job offer, your work to build your career is far from over. Jobs on Wall Street average about two years, so soon you’ll be looking for further work, either in a different department or in an entirely different company.
Never stop networking, as you never know where the next opportunity or offer is going to come from. Keep getting to know people and looking out for the next job possibility, and you too will be on your way to the top.Never stop networking