How to Make the Change from Consulting to Investment Banking


Are you tired of crunching numbers in consulting and ready to take on the exciting world of investment banking? Ready to get your financial instincts working at full steam ahead? Well, you may want to hang tight just a bit longer.

Let’s take a deep dive together into the process of how to make the transition from consulting to investment banking with authority and confidence!


Making the change from consulting to investment banking can be a challenging yet rewarding journey. Investment banking requires more technical skills and more research-focused activities than consulting, but if successful, it can offer some exciting opportunities and career advancement. This guide will provide an overview of the process for making the switch from consulting to investment banking and some tips for making a successful transition.

When it comes to what you need to know before switching, it’s important to understand that no two firms have exactly the same approach or goals. You will need to do your own research on what investment banking firms are looking for in order to give yourself a competitive advantage during the job search process. Additionally, understanding your own strengths and areas of improvement is essential in developing a plan that allows you to move into this industry successfully. To make the change from consulting to investment banking, you should consider a few key points:

  • The differences between consulting and investment banking
  • Researching potential companies and how they recruit
  • Building relationships with industry professionals
  • Creating your network of peers and mentors
  • Leveraging existing experience effectively

The Pros and Cons of Consulting Versus Investment Banking

Considering a career change from consulting to investment banking? Making the switch requires weighing the pros and cons of consulting versus investment banking.

Pros of Consulting:

  1. Flexibility & Control: Consulting firms allow consultants a great deal of independence when it comes to scheduling, working hours and vacation days. Additionally, personal leisure time is also an important part of many jobs at top-tier consulting firms as these organizations place emphasis on fostering a positive work-life balance in their staff.
  2. Job Security: The demand for skilled consultants remains relatively high in most major markets, creating opportunities for long-term employment within the industry.
  3. Creative Problem Solving: Working in consulting presents endless opportunities to think outside the box and leverage outside-the-box solutions with clients who are equally motivated by innovative, creative solutions to common problems.

Pros of Investment Banking:

  1. Financial Stability: Investment bankers stand to gain financially but not always professionally; the nature of this job generally includes long hours and frequent travel as part of doing business – but those hours often pay off handsomely when profits begin rolling in soon after transactions take place and deals close successfully.
  2. Opportunities for Growth: Experienced financial professionals willing and able to demonstrate specialized expertise can quickly move up the corporate ladder since investment banks are always looking for quality personnel that can offer more than entry level skillsets and knowledge bases when dealing with clients on a variety of transactions’–from investments to mergers & acquisitions (M&A) operations to initial public offerings (IPOs).
  3. Accessible Deals & Resources: Many firms offer access or discounts on deals or related resources due solely to their professional relationships with certain clientele – this gives employees status or VIP exposure as well as develop deeper relationships built on trust by proving dedication over an extended period through successful assignments completed accurately or even resourcefully under tight deadlines.

Understanding the Investment Banking Industry

Understanding the investment banking industry and its fundamentals is one of the first steps you must take in transitioning from consulting to investment banking. Investment banking is about helping public and private corporations raise capital and managing their money, as well as providing financial advice on strategic and mergers & acquisitions transactions.

The investment banking market can be divided into two main sectors: sell-side (working for an institution that handles transactions) and buy-side (working for an institution that buys the products). Sell-side firms provide services such as underwriting new securities offerings, developing securities trading strategies, arranging mergers & acquisitions, offering privatization advice, and handling liquidity events. Buy-side firms perform detailed analysis of companies in order to select good investments in which they can invest or recommend to clients. Investment banks typically specialize in one of these segments or a combination of both.

Understanding industry trends, regulations, instruments used to raise capital such as stocks or bonds, financial models like net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR), valuation techniques such as discounted cash flow analysis (DCF), different types of investment banks roles pertaining to research analyst, research associate etc., are all important elements which will help you bridge the gap from consulting to investment banking.

Developing the Necessary Skills for Investment Banking

The move from consulting to investment banking requires a fundamental shift in skills. Investment banking is an industry based on technical sophistication and specialized market knowledge, demanding extensive research and analysis skills, as well as an in-depth understanding of financial markets, investment strategies and capital structures.

In order to pursue a career in investment banking, you need strong problem solving skills and the ability to think critically. Understanding numerical data is essential, so the successful candidate should have both a comprehensive knowledge of business terminology and concepts, as well as excellent math abilities. During interviews for investment banking roles, candidates should be prepared to answer detailed questions about their skillset regarding topics like corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions (M&A), economic theories, valuation methods and debt markets. They must be able to demonstrate a good understanding of these complex topics when discussing case studies or hypothetical scenarios in which they show how they would solve the issue at hand.

Strong communication skills are another important prerequisite for this competitive field with the ability to explain complicated financial models or deals effectively being essential. Candidates should also display an aptitude for taking initiative on projects independently or working within a team, which will require them to multi-task efficiently while responding quickly under pressure.

Finally, candidates interested in pursuing this type of role should make sure they stay up-to-date on current market developments through relevant industry publications or podcasts in order to present themselves with confidence during any interview situation.

Networking Strategies for Investment Banking

Networking is a powerful tool for anyone looking to break into the realm of investment banking. Developing relationships with current and former investment bankers is a critical step in gaining knowledge, experience, and contacts that may lead to a successful transition into the field. To maximize your networking efforts, here are some tips:

  • Identify who you’d like to talk to – Individuals with relevant experience can have useful advice and possibly other leads and job opportunities. Use your contacts to seek out professionals who currently or have previously held positions in investment banking or financial markets.
  • Select Your Network – Reach out to as many people as possible so you can learn as much as possible. Make sure they represent diverse industries, roles, regions, and backgrounds so that you gain an array of perspectives.
  • Prepare Before You Reach Out – Research each person before you reach out via email or phone call. This way, you will be more informed about the individual’s background (and proves how eager and motivated you are). Additionally, practice how to present yourself during introductions – get comfortable talking about your interests and why you’re interested in transitioning into investment banking.
  • Stay Connected – After investing time in meeting someone for advice or introductions within the industry keep them updated by email on how things develop for you (and when relevant provide value back). Additionally take the time check back in every few months/year just out of courtesy – this allows people know that it’s not a single use transaction with them.
  • Follow Up – It’s important to follow up after each meeting frame thank-you messages without being overly pushy (obvious links such as LinkedIn will help aid these connections). Offer something in return – allow someone that has opened up some doors for network connections know they’re not just getting an offer of services but rather seeking meaningful relationship across both parties offering valuable assistance even if it’s something small could be sweetener that strengthens bridge which has been strengthened.

Preparing for Interviews and Applications

Once you have identified the investment banks that fit your experience and desired career goals, it is time to prepare for interviews and applications. Depending on the firm, this could include one or more rounds of interviews, aptitude tests and completion of a written application. It is likely that you will have to provide proof of qualifications and background checks so it’s important to get all necessary documentation ready before starting the process.

The interview is usually the key part of any job search and may set the tone for your potential position. Be sure to come prepared with knowledge about the potential employer as well as yourself – answer questions honestly about previous experience and demonstrate why you are a stellar candidate for the position at hand. Once you’ve made your case soundly with clear responses, there can be no doubt in their minds that you are committed to making a successful transition into investment banking.

Also, consider what style of dress will make a good first impression – while consulting has its own standards in terms of attire, investment banking companies tend to adhere much more strictly to conventions regarding formal business attire. Since first impressions can be critical when interviewing with an employer, take extra care in ensuring you look smart and appear professional.

Tips for Making the Transition

As far as career paths go, switching from consulting to investment banking can be quite a drastic change. Going from a focus on short-term problem solving to long-term investments can sometimes be a confusing and overwhelming transition. But don’t worry – with a clear plan and the right attitude, you can make the switch easily and start a new career in no time.

Before making any big changes, it’s important to understand what type of roles or strategies will be essential for your new job. It’s also important to have an understanding of the industry so that you know what sort of opportunities are available for your desired role in banking. Researching the core values and culture of the particular investment entity is paramount in getting hired given that this will demonstrate your ability to succeed within their organization.

Preparing for your switch from consulting should include:

  • Touching up on your educational background if necessary;
  • Ensuring you have comprehensive knowledge about certain topics critical for success as an Investment Banker such as financial modeling, accounting, valuation methods and industry trends;
  • Maintaining up-to-date connections with people who may be influential in finding jobs;
  • Working on networking with peers who work in finance space since they may refer you to other recruiters;
  • Updating your resume to clearly reflect industry experience and accomplishments;
  • Practicing mock interviews so that you are comfortable explaining why you desire the change.

The transition from consulting to investment banking may take some adjustment, but ultimately it can lead to greater success due to its emphasis on long-term investments rather than short term solutions typically associated with consulting roles. With proper research, education refreshers and good networking skills, anyone could make this switch successfully!


The transition from consulting to investment banking is a difficult but rewarding one. To achieve success, it’s important for the individual to take some time to consider their career goals and approach, as well as develop an understanding of the different fields and how they overlap. It can also be helpful to get in touch with contacts who can offer insight and advice on how to make the move.

Developing a strong network of contacts in both consulting and investment banking will help you bridge the gap between roles. By networking with current and past colleagues and taking advantage of mentorship opportunities, you can gain a better understanding of what it takes to succeed in each field. Finally, by staying up-to-date on industry trends and building an impressive resume that highlights your experience, achievements, qualifications, and skills you’ll be prepared for success when making the change from consulting to investment banking.