PhD chemistry to investment banking

NKN

New Member
Hello everyone
I am a PhD in chemistry from UIUC and have a nice job at Intel. But, I have been interested in investment banking for a l=very long time. It started with me investing in the stock market as a hobby which has become a very deep passion now. Hence the consideration to make the move.
I would love to know your opinions/advice on two questions:
1) Would it be possible for someone with my profile to get into investment banking?
2) What skills I should focus on to be able to pass the interviews?
Thanks!!
 
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mhy

Active Member
You mean IBD?

It will be an uphill climb. IBD typically recruits from top-tier undergrad programs and MBA programs for analyst/associate classes. The usual path is a summer internship followed by a FT offer in the group you summered with.

1) Yes but difficult. Your PhD won't help much, the skills needed in IBD largely don't overlap. You also are probably age 26-30 which is a disadvantage in IBD analyst recruiting.

Your best shot other than relying on networking or recruiters is to go to a top 10 MBA program, do a summer internship and join a group as an associate after graduation.

2) Basic financial accounting and valuation knowledge, general markets knowledge, brainteasers, and pressure tactics. Knowledge of recent big deals. IBD is about valuing companies, putting together slides and spreadsheets on last-minute notice, pitching to and schmoozing clients, and long hours. At senior levels it is a sales & relationship job, at the more junior levels it is a lot of Excel and PowerPoint.
 

NKN

New Member
Thank you mhy. I understand it is gonna be difficult. I am preparing for GMAT in case networkign and interview preparations aren't fruitful. I spoke to a few people in the firm and they said that I don't need to be an expert in maths or programming (which is what they ask in interviews). I am good at both but need to brush up, which is what I have been doing lately. I would see if this works. But thanks a lot for your time and for helpful advice.


You mean IBD?

It will be an uphill climb. IBD typically recruits from top-tier undergrad programs and MBA programs for analyst/associate classes. The usual path is a summer internship followed by a FT offer in the group you summered with.

1) Yes but difficult. Your PhD won't help much, the skills needed in IBD largely don't overlap. You also are probably age 26-30 which is a disadvantage in IBD analyst recruiting.

Your best shot other than relying on networking or recruiters is to go to a top 10 MBA program, do a summer internship and join a group as an associate after graduation.

2) Basic financial accounting and valuation knowledge, general markets knowledge, brainteasers, and pressure tactics. Knowledge of recent big deals. IBD is about valuing companies, putting together slides and spreadsheets on last-minute notice, pitching to and schmoozing clients, and long hours. At senior levels it is a sales & relationship job, at the more junior levels it is a lot of Excel and PowerPoint.
 

mhy

Active Member
You need zero programming and only basic level math for IBD.

Btw this is a quant forum so quite unrelated to IBD. Make sure you are not confusing different divisions within an investment bank!
 

NKN

New Member
Thanks for that information.

You need zero programming and only basic level math for IBD.

Btw this is a quant forum so quite unrelated to IBD. Make sure you are not confusing different divisions within an investment bank!
 

NKN

New Member
Thank you pingu! Is there anything that I should highlight in my pitch to the recruiter or alumni. There will be hundreds of people applying for these positions. I am gonna start applying after I give my GMAT, so it shows this isn't a spur of the moment decision. Every suggestion is gonna be helpful!

For IBD at your level, this is your ticket.
 

milosrex

New Member
1) It is possible, but you will definitely need to give yourself all in and possibly opt for a relevant program, as there are some skills you will need to learn and have in a certificate to reach your goal. As explained on the DealRoom blog mentioned, investment banks are like realtors who represent the properties and they make their commissions by helping businesses buy and sell and raise capital, which doesn't really match with your chemistry Ph.D. However, because you got to have a Ph.D. and are still interested in pursuing investment banking speaks words. You are ambitious and with effort, you'll make it.

2) You need to know how market functions, need to know how to prioritize, strategize, have knowledge in finance, markets knowledge and be introduced to all the little things that make something a good deal.
 

Ahududu

New Member
I don't understand the need of doing an MBA after PhD. It is a waste of your time and mostly $100k+ money. Don't do it!
 

Onegin

Active Member
C++ Student
Investing in the stock market and Investment Banking are two wildly different things. Your a chemist - would you just throw shit in a beaker and hope for the best? Before investing time in the GMAT, consider more research. Your skills would be valued at an investment firm using quantitative approach. They would likely be a detriment in an investment banking role. There's a reason they want 22 year olds - they are cheap and disposable. Sure, it's great training - like a residency for doctors. read foundations of financial markets and institutions by Fabozzi. used copies are $3.00 on amazon. You don't need the latest edition.
 

Daniel Duffy

C++ author, trainer
Investing in the stock market and Investment Banking are two wildly different things. Your a chemist - would you just throw shit in a beaker and hope for the best? Before investing time in the GMAT, consider more research. Your skills would be valued at an investment firm using quantitative approach. They would likely be a detriment in an investment banking role. There's a reason they want 22 year olds - they are cheap and disposable. Sure, it's great training - like a residency for doctors. read foundations of financial markets and institutions by Fabozzi. used copies are $3.00 on amazon. You don't need the latest edition.
But then you have to extract it! You are thinking of alchemy? :)Seriously, I reckon it can be very mathematical (group, ODE, PDE etc.)


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reaction%E2%80%93diffusion_system
 
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