I'm writing this to give you guys some insight on the exact path you should take if you want to land a job at BB or top tier bank. I've made every mistake you could possibly make in a business career and in my late 20s I have nothing to show and am literally living in my car with $2,000 cash in my bank account. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKES I DID!!!
1.) Let's assume off the bat you didn't make it to a top tier school and if you did good for you you're well on your way to a job in IB. Your first step is to select a major in finance or economics but the latter is preferred.
2.) Join the student council at your school, this shows great initiative to become a leader and also creates some valuable connections. Also I would recommend joining a fraternity, not for the parties but rather for the connections. Look for a business fraternity to join that could help you network with other individuals in your field. Lastly, join a sports team/rowing team. etc. Playing sports is another great way to build leadership and team skills.
3.) Get a part time job. Nothing shows more initiative than getting your hands dirty and humbling yourself working as a waiter, server, bar tender, delivery driver, cashier whatever. You only need to work 15-20 hours a week which will help you start saving up some cash to pay for student loans or maybe even your monthly rent. Also you will build even more connections which could possibly open up some amazing opportunities.
Wow, so far that's a lot on your plate and may be wondering how to achieve all these things, well another tip would be to start going to bed earlier and waking up earlier say around 5am-6am.
4.) Exercise, getting to the gym is extremely important for both your physical and mental health, don't put this off! The best way I've learned was to go each morning. Not only does this wake you up but it gives you a lot of energy to start the day and is a really good habit.
5.) Study, study, study. This is a no-brainer, you absolutely need to get a GPA within the 3.8 - 4.0 range to land a job at a major bank. Networks are definitely going to help but a solid GPA is your security blanket and will make you stand out amongst the rest of people.
6.) To get the CFA or not to get the CFA? The CFA is a great resume booster even if you only pass one section of the test but here's the reality. Studying for the CFA sucks, it really sucks. On top of that it cost in upwards of $1,000. I tried taking the CFA in the last semester of my senior year and it was a total disaster not only on my GPA but I didn't even pass level one. So here's the plan, level one isn't really that hard it just takes a good amount of preparation and time management skills. My suggestion if you want to take it is to plan to take it immediately after your summer break or spring break. I'm not exactly sure what date the tests fall on, I took mine in June, so if you were going to take it in June start studying a year prior to that date and when spring break comes by in April spend those weeks doing quizzes and practice tests. Over the next two months continue to review for about 5-10 hours a week and when it comes test time make sure you hit the quizzes and practice tests again heavily before you sit for the exam. If you can manage your time well and fit studying into your schedule you should be able to pass.
7.) Try and internship in a relevant IB role. Most schools have internships programs and you have to be on your game to land a good job. Make sure to know when the A-round submissions are and make sure you are part of that round, the early bird gets the worm in this case.
8.) Stay away from drugs and alcohol. This may sound completely lame and I'm not saying don't go out every now and then and have fun but don't get hammered 3-4 times a week. It's a complete waste of time if you do it too often and could potentially completely ruin your life. So my advice is go out and party maybe once a week if you really need that relief but try not to become addicted to partying. Also I'd suggest staying away from any other drugs as well because they're just flat out not good for you and especially weed will make you lazy and have you overthinking everything.
9.) OK, my last bit of advice would be to do some extracurricular activity whether that be joining the debate team, playing an instrument in the schools band, spending time with the entrepreneurial community, joining a charity or just doing something that you like involved with the school. Once again you will create more connections and open up new doors to even more opportunities.
So that's it, hope this helps, if you do all these things you are nearly guaranteed to be very successful in your career after college. Also as a side note make sure to know the deadlines for IB applications and possibly seek help from a student advisor or job advisor that can help you plan these things out.
Best of luck,