Why do people think it's difficult to break into banking?IB
I don't know why people think banking is so difficult to break into and that you should be thankful for having a job at any banking firm.
The interviews are by no means difficult. All you have to do is take a finance class to understand basic concepts and then read the vault guide on banking and ibanking oriented websites like WSO. If you are really worried about technical questions, you can read the scoopbooks on investment banking and you'll be doubly prepared for all the technical questions they usually throw at you. Plus there are a ton of guides out there to help you out. From personal experience, I think fit and having enthusiasm is way more important than being able to answer technical questions.
Landing an interview isn't that hard either. If you're still in college, it's not hard to land an internship interview at a BB as long as you have good grades, decent extracurriculars, and one or two work experiences. Your extracurricular and work experiences don't even need to be anywhere near prestigious, all they want to see is initiative. If you do get a SA internship than it's pretty much smooth sailing, even if you go back and recruit for other firms.
People often point to the state of the economy as a reason, but recruiting this fall was way better than in Fall 2008. Fall 2008 was bad, but this year a good number of BB, MM, and boutique firms were hiring pretty aggressively given improving market conditions and anticipation of an economic turnaround/upswing in activity. Sure they banks are hiring less than before but it really doesn't feel that much harder as in say a depression.
When people say I know of x grad from some good school who couldn't get a job, I'm actually very surprised because all the well qualified people at targets and non-targets that I know of have lined up good gigs. I remember talking to my Wharton friend and he says everyone there who wants a banking job can get one and didn't think it was a big deal getting top tier firms like MS/GS.