From quora.com, here's the top answer from user Ramon Simms. Thoughts monkeys? Anything you'd add?
I spent some time in banking (the debt side) before I switched over to trading and here is what I took with me:
Attention to Detail
Bankers are meticulous about details. It's derived by the size and importance of the deals, the highly competitive nature of the industry and the public consequences/embarrassment of getting things wrong. Mistakes are not tolerated. You'll learn this fast or have problems from the start.
The Discipline of Working Hard
You want to know what it's like to build your own startup or small business? Pulling an 80-100hr work week in investment banking is like wearing training wheels (because of course you're never off when you run a startup or small business) but the capacity to handle it never leaves.
Politics exist in smaller organizations, but the maturity and "efficiency" of the the power system in i-banking will teach you life long lessons ahead of the curve in how power works and if you're shrewd enough, how to work power - not just at the bullpen level but up higher as well.
The Nuances of Selling
Banking is all about selling:
- selling your self/skills (+ b/sing)
- selling your boss (+face time)
- selling the client (+schmoozing)
- selling the product (+pitching)
It's not as direct if you're not in sales, but the opportunity is there to learn these skills well. If you don't, you'll hit a ceiling pretty quickly.
Probably the most tangible tool set you take away with you is your ability to analyze the numbers in a deal top down or bottom up and the wizardry to manipulate things in excel (look ma, no mouse!)
Composure Under Pressure
I tend to associate this more with my trading days, but you definitely learn this in banking too. There's always a deadline, always a fire drill, everything's important, everyone's pulling/pushing - and so you learn to deal with the pressure and the unexpected or you're out or you burn out.
To be clear, it's not that one can't possess these skills already or learn them in most other jobs but looking back, being in banking really seemed to hone these particular skills for me.