I am very interested in investment banking, but I am not sure I have the gpa (my cumulative percentage for 4 yrs is 73%) to apply for the entry level position. Can anyone tell what qualifications does investment banking firms look and whether any extracurricular experience as an Investment analyst will compensate for the lack in academic requirement.
Are you studying in the UK? …an average of 73% is good - it’s a first class degree, if you are studying here…
A good academic record is essential for [[Investment Banking]] but top firms do accept applications from people with anything above a 2.1 degree. Also, as you pointed out, firms also look for evidence of extracurricular activites and these can be equally important to academic grades - especially if they relate to the job you are applying for.
Work experience, such as your own experience as an investment analyst, is highly regarded by Investment Banks (and indeed all graduate employers). Having relevant work experience means you understand better than people with no experience about the job you are applying for and probably the firm too, which makes you attractive to employers. Make it clear you have this experience on your applications - and remember to explain what you learnt and what you gained from it too. This is a very important part of your CV to elaborate on in your applications.
Other things IB’s like to see evidence of on CV’s are: sports/sports teams/captain of sports team, University societies, University union officers/presidents, music, young enterprise/entrepreneurship, travel, community work/charity work.
I graduated from University of Toronto (Canadian university), and here 73% puts one in good standing, which is quite below the academic requirements of IBs in North America, so would IBs in UK take it into consideration that i fail to meet North American academic requirements.
IBs in the UK will have their own minimum academic requirements (different to USA) and these are the only thing you need to worry about… although of course UK IBs will be aware of USA entry requirements.
UK IBs (and most UK graduate employers in fact) have systems for working out the relative value of foreign qualifications, based on the current UK system. If your Canadian 73% equated to a UK university grade of over a 2.1 (a grade average of over 60%) then they would probably accept your application. If not, it is less likely to be accepted.
It’s best you start making some emails/telephone calls to find out exactly where you stand - bear in mind too that not all IB’s here will have the same entry requirements and that their views to the value of Canadian qualifications relative to UK qualifications may differ.
…and remember too that current economic conditions mean there are fewer graduate positions in IB than there have been for some years.
I think with 73% by almost any grading system you are doing OK. You will need to be a good communicator and good with numbers. Then you’re probably in with a chance!