How to Become a Banker

So you are wondering how to become a banker.

Becoming a banker is an attractive career choice for many graduates. A career as a banker can be exciting, lucrative and challenging.

What Do Financial Institutions Seek in Their Bankers?

Individuals looking for a career in banking, however, should plan their curriculum, education and degree around the needs of the banking industry.  Banking is a highly competitive field, and you should be prepared to work long and hard to succeed in the industry, particularly if you are considering investment banking as a career.

In addition to being a high achiever academically, bankers are often strong in the areas of leadership and problem solving skills, and often have strong management skills.

Steps on How to Become a Banker

If you are considering a career as a banker, there are certain steps you should first take.  Here is a guide on how to become a banker:

  • Do your homework.  Learn about the education you must have to succeed as a banker in your state.  Once you have this information, begin the search for an excellent college business program and set your sites on your post-secondary education and degree.  Many MBA programs specifically have banking foci to help prepare their students to become the movers and shakers of the financial world.

  • Thoroughly research schools.  Learn about their curriculum and admission policies, and ask about the success rates of their graduates. Most colleges and business schools keep these kinds of records, so it shouldn’t be difficult to obtain specific graduate information.  You want to choose a school that has a good reputation, one that prompts banks to recruit on campus.

  • Prepare to apply as early as possible to clinch your admission, and make sure you meet the requirements for admission.
  • Shadow a banker for an internship to fully understand the business. Be prepared to pick the banker’s brain and encourage him or her to tell you both the positive and negative aspects of working as a banker. If you are unable to land an internship, ask about volunteer opportunities. Although you may not end up working alongside a powerful, successful banker, you will take away a considerable amount of knowledge and insight by simply working and observing.

A successful internship or volunteer position will enable you to collect reference letters, which will help you when applying for your first job.  In addition, upon graduation, you may even be offered a full-time banking position at the organization in which you interned.

  • Work hard throughout your college career! A high grade point average will certainly go a long way in standing out from the crowd of other recent graduates.

  • Create a professional resume that highlights both your academic and professional experience. Include any applicable reference letters.

  • Search for banker positions through industry-specific employment resources, such as the American Bankers Association, as well as through bank and credit union websites. Many job opportunities for banker positions are posted directly on a company’s website, and you should search these sites regularly.

  • If you land an interview, make it a point to learn everything you can about the company. From financial information about the bank or credit union to its different divisions and how they serve the public, being prepared for your interview will show motivation and excellent work ethics.

  • Don’t expect to land a high-paying job right out of college. Instead, get your foot in the door and prove yourself. Promotions and exciting opportunities are bound to come your way if you work hard.

Many individuals question how to become a banker, yet shy away at the competitive requirements needed to succeed in the industry.  However, if you remain diligent academically and professionally, a lucrative banking career may be in your future.