Following college where one of my majors was in finance, I joined Morgan Stanley as an investment banking analyst in Los Angeles. I spent a year and a half at Morgan Stanley before hearing about another firm called Raine which provides both investment banking and growth equity services. I was able to get an introduction to the firm and interview during the tail end of my second year at Morgan Stanley. I accepted the job at Raine about five years ago.
In a typical day, I am helping my firm's clients (public & private companies) engage in strategic transactions with other companies. Put most simply, when a company buys another company or sells itself, there is typically an "advisor" or investment banker involved. Every "day" is different, but it typically involves managing process-related workstreams for my client. This can include reaching out to potential investors for the company (client), excel modeling an operating plan, helping the company build a management presentation, or negotiating a term sheet with a counterparty on behalf of the client.
Although every day is different, most days start at 8am where i'm fielding emails in the morning. The late morning/afternoon is typically filled with meetings to push forward the various processes that I'm working on. There is also usually 1 or 2 meetings with "new" clients or relationships each day which are not necessarily part of the project-related workstreams but are part of building out the firm's knowledge base and relationship set.
At any one time, I (and my colleagues) typically have 3 - 5 active projects and processes going on. Multi-tasking and process management is a must for a job like this.
Although a lot of work, the job is incredibly educational for a precocious young person who has just graduated from college. You will be expected to learn many analyses and finance standards in a short amount of time - which will become a toolkit you can go back to forever onward. Further, you will get access to executives at companies at an early age, and see first-hand what it takes to be a successful CEO/CFO/COO at some of the most interesting companies in the country.
Further, while the early years of this career are difficult, after building a solid base it is a rewarding career where you can generate leverage around you and make for shorter work weeks (compared to original 80+ hours) relative to the experience you're getting.
Travel Budget, Overtime meals
This career can be intense - especially in the more junior ranks (analyst ranks). Work weeks of 80 hours+ can be common in the early years of this career.
This career is also the epitome of "jack of all trades, master of none." You will develop a broad skillset across a number or products and industries. That said, you will not specialize in any one thing and you will not be wholly focused on long-term projects like you would working at a corporate. This can provide more of a "consulting-esque" experience where you don't have as much ownership and don't feel as bought-in as other careers.
I'm in my freshman year of college (undecided major). I'm curious if you have any advice on getting my foot in the door as an investment banking analyst with a reputable company? Are there certain majors that firms look for? Internships? What do you look for during the hiring process? I'd be willing to move anywhere if the opportunity is right.