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The Pursuit of My Dream Job

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Abstract: Every person has a goal in their life on what they want to be when they grow up, regardless of whether they actually pursue that or not. I have changed my mind several times. From being a teacher to a traveler. In my third year of undergrad, when I have had an essence of reality and hear what seniors talk about and a little sprinkling of a cousin’s influence, I have made my mind to be an investment banker. This was never the plan when choosing Economics as my major but know I think that this is it. As claimed by Investopedia, an investment banker undertakes numerous activities for a client, but the key task is to raise capital through issuing securities, whether debt or equity. Investment bankers should ideally have strong communication acumen and a large network to reach out to. Naturally, strong people skills will ace in the job. A principal responsibility for the investment banker is the analysis of financial data, to support the company’s capital generation. Assessment of transactions and financial activities, such as the performance of bonds and stocks, will help the investment banker properly price and value the securities they are working with. Investment bankers also present results to their clients, for the purposes of decision making and provide facts that give their investors better abilities to make choices. Investment bankers will educate the clients as much as they will convince them to land on a decision.

Literature review: Ever since I was admitted to school at the age of 4 and people asked me what I wanted to be, I had different answers at different times. My father wanted me to be an engineer while my mother wanted her daughter to be a doctor. Doctor was never a choice of mine because I always have been and still am not a disciple of studying, which I know is not something to be taken credit for. When I had gotten promoted to the 7th grade, I realized that my father was quite stern about his willingness to make me pursue a career in engineering. I could not say no to him but had to unwillingly set up my mind to do so. And I chose my subjects in O’Levels and A’Levels accordingly, despite wanting to have a pure business profile. As days passed by through studying things I never wanted to, I lost my patience and very calmly told my parents that I can no longer compel myself to follow their wish. Though my mother was very upset, my father was very supportive and let me go ahead with Economics for my under graduation. I was finally happy. This is my third year and so far things have gone amazingly regardless of the pressure that universities tend to have on students. But all these time, I was lost on what to pursue my career in. And to be honest, I was not putting sufficient effort into settling on something either. But I have always had this soft corner to preserve the environment. The interest emerged back in school when I was taught about global warming and its affects in the long run. This made me more concerned than my peers. I would switch off the lights and fans before leaving the room, not let my mother dry up clothes over the gas stove to save the gas and surely, I did get ridiculed at, as well. An even greater inspiration was a character from a television series I watched, where an environmental lawyer forgoes a really highly paid job to take a job that pays him less than half, just to save the environment. And that is when I decided to become an environmentalist. But things changed as reality struck me. After the class discussion, I soon came to senses that I can dream of a relatively lowly paid job now because my parents are paying for my necessities and luxuries. It would be very disheartening and troublesome when it will be my turn to bear my own expenses so I had to shift to thinking about a “real” job, invest banking, but I do want to be an environmentalist as well, as a job that I would do for my personal satisfaction. The idea of banking on my mind was planted by a cousin of mine. He works for HSBC bank and he told me all about it and it did grab my attention. In the following paragraph, will discuss my plans regarding how I want to establish myself an investment banker.

Method: My research question was what it takes to become a successful investment banker. The equation that I came up with is:

Investment banker = βo + β1(Mastermind School) + β2(Economics and Finance) + β3(Type of school) + β4(Financial Economics) + β5(Skills) + β6(Experience) + β7(On-the-job-training) + β8(Self-interest)

School: In my O and A Levels, I had studied Economics besides the Science and Mathematics courses.

Economics and Finance as under graduation majors: I chose Finance as my second major because it will help me understand the fundamentals of banking, whereas according to Journal of Economic Literature, Vol. 49, No. 2 (JUNE 2011), pp. 494-507, Economics will furnish me with more profound ideas of the money market, how the share trading system works, the components that control the demand and supplies of cash and how it influences the economy in general.

Post-graduation in Financial Economics: Due to increased competition, job searching has become an uphill task for many graduates. An under-graduation program teaches a variety of concepts but masters none. Consequently, to make it more favourable towards them and to have the best set of skills, graduates seek for a Masters in a field that their desired job requires, says Argosy University’s (USA) blog. So a master’s degree on Financial Economics will upgrade my comprehension on how investment choices truly function and help me take care of related issues and arrive at appropriate deductions.

Skills: Training for a post requires a number of skills. Investment banking jobs have a lot to do with numbers and calculations. Analyzing trends, quickly calculating numbers, calculating margins and percentages, understanding what implications the analysis has for company’s performance, budget allocation, etc. Being proficient in Microsoft Office is a must-have skill as stated by CFI. Presentation slides and documents are a common tool in today’s corporate world. Preparing them, catching small errors on them, analyzing financial statements of different companies, going through data to derive trends, writing reports and predicting future outcomes are also asked for. CFI also states it is necessary to be able to convincingly and clearly present the ideas and communicate them to the seniors or the clients. I have read reports which state that says applicants with impressive communication skills tend to flourish in this sector. As any profession would do, investment banking requires dedication, energy, ability to work under pressure, handle discussion and deliver the best results under stress, ability to learn fast and a lot of hard work. Creatively solving problems and difficult tasks efficiently, finding shortcuts to solutions, thinking inventively and discover regions of further development are asked by all jobs. Developing strong financial models is also quite significant.

Experience: Dokko, G., Wilk, S., & Rothbard, N. (2009). Unpacking Prior Experience: How Career History Affects Job Performance. Organization Science, 20(1), 51-68 implies that applicants with prior job experience are more appealing to employers since they often have the capability to handle challenging situations that they had done before. Experiences on different fields lets an individual what job he/she really wants to settle with. It is an opportunity to get the essence of a job field that a person has always wanted to have. Having past experiences notifies the employers that the applicant has knowledge about their task and knows the dos and don’ts already and gains a higher probability of receiving the job. Lastly, work experiences let us have a wide network and enables a person to shine in their work sector.

On-the-job-training: This is an important aspect because this is practical learning, something that a classroom cannot teach. It improves learning and when employees see that training on the job is making them more productive, they will inevitably be more motivated to give their best performances and have an active role in the working environment, which eventually will lead the employee towards work triumph and job satisfaction as part of an article I studied states. (Singh, M., & Pestonjee, D. (1990). Job Involvement, Sense of Participation and JobSatisfaction: A Study in Banking Industry. Indian Journal of Industrial Relations, 26(2), 159-165)

Opinion and Conclusion: I am still on the way to build myself suitably for the job that I prefer. It does scare me when seniors talk about the struggles and how difficult it could get to have the desired job in today’s competitive world, where there definitely is someone better than me but I am optimistic. Because in my perspective, a consistent and positive attitude despite many failures, hard work and appropriate effort can do wonders to a person’s life. Also, I am hopeful that someday I will be able to achieve what I desire now and of course, preserving the environment will always occupy an exceptional place in my heart and may I be blessed with the ability to do some for our wonderful planet.

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