Corporate Banking to Investment Banking (How to transition?)


I have been fortunate enough to get a graduate offer for a European BB in Corporate Banking and am excited about it. However, my goal is to end up in Investment Banking (DCM or Lev Fin seem like the most natural transitions from CB).

The quick backstory for context:
-Did STEM undergrad degree at semi-target and got top marks
-Interned in the summer after my final year of the undergrad degree at a European BB in Corporate Banking and got the return offer
-Doing 1 year Masters at a top business school and hopefully on track to graduate with a distinction
-Will start the graduate scheme as soon as I finish studies and graduate (in 6 months).
-Graduate scheme is a 2-year rotational scheme.

I tried to apply to IBD analyst positions after my internship thinking that now being at a top business school and having a CB internship would at least get me a couple of interviews but was wrong (I understand my mistake now...).

Anyways the plan is to now start now in the BB CB position with an open mind, learn new skills and then try and transition into IBD. I want to do things right this time to give me a good chance.

So a plethora of queries. Any help is appreciated!

1.) How realistic is the move, say from CB to DCM or LevFin and is this is a reasonable goal? Is it done often?

2.) Timing:
Should I apply online for the formal graduate intake analyst positions again (but with more networking) or should I target all-year-round vacancies that open up randomly? How soon should I plan the move? I do not want to come across like I want to switch roles (a job-hopper) very soon into my new position. Also, I'm in a 2-year formal graduate program so not sure if I can move internally within this period. Is it wiser to try and transition after these 2 years?

3.) Where:
As above, should I try and transition earlier to another bank (BB?, MM?, Boutique?), or should I wait till my 2 years is up in the grad scheme and then transition internally.

4.)Networking: I've heard this is key, but unsure of specifics.
When should I start networking? Whom should I target to network with (current analysts?, associates?, MD?). What is the best platform to reach them? How do I utilise the network to actually obtain an interview?

5.) Rotations around various CB divisions as part of the grad scheme will provide me with skills... but what extra technical skills should I learn on top/ extra qualifications to boost my chances?

I understand there are a lot of question marks (I admit, I am a bit of a newbie...) but am keen to develop a clear strategy to make the move. I have done extensive googling but can not find too much on this topic other than "network network network".

Any help will be more than appreciated. Thanks a lot guys.

Comments (5)

Most Helpful
  • Associate 2 in IB - Ind
Mar 10, 2020 - 8:09am

Been done many times.

CB to DCM / Lev Fin is common (I would personally strive for Lev Fin). Start networking within the Lev Fin group of your bank when you start. Be proactive, but not too aggressive in that you have 'flight risk' written all over you. You want to be top of mind when the Lev Fin team looks for laterals. In terms of timing, either after a year or two is fine. You'll likely step back one year (I.e., finishing CB AN2 and becoming an IB AN2). Good luck

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