Job descriptions and industry overviews

Banker, investment, corporate finance

Provides advice to commercial clients and the government about various financial matters including fund and debt management, mergers, acquisitions and privatisation.

woman working on a tablet

Investment banking is frequently used as a catch-all term, but generally refers to banks that help public and private organisations to raise funds in the capital markets (the market for long-term funding, such as bonds and equity). Investment bankers provide a range of financial services to companies, institutions and governments such as strategic advice for mergers, acquisitions and other complex financial transactions. They also advise on and manage large sums of money, including unit funds and pension schemes. Unlike retail banks, they do not give loans or accept deposits from the public.

Work activities

  • Managing corporate, strategic and financial opportunities, including mergers and acquisitions, issuing bonds and shares, lending, privatisations and overseeing initial public offerings.
  • Identifying and negotiating acquisitions, divestments and strategic alliances for public and private companies.
  • Advising government and state organisations on the options for enhancing key strategic assets.
  • Initiating moneymaking ventures, managing investment portfolios and providing investment advice.

Work conditions

Travel: out of office meetings are common though absence from home at night is only occasional. Overseas travel is possible if working in an international bank.

Working hours: long working hours is common and often includes weekends.

Location: mainly in large cities.

Opportunities for self-employment: unlikely.

Typical employers

  • Investment banks.

Career development

There are good opportunities for motivated graduate trainees to progress rapidly to senior management positions.

Specific degree subjects required

Open to graduates of any discipline.

Other relevant degree subjects

  • Accounting
  • Business studies
  • Commerce
  • Economics
  • Finance
  • Law
  • Mathematics.

Postgraduate study

A pre-entry postgraduate qualification is not a requirement.


Most graduate development programmes have a formal induction period followed by on the job training rotating though various parts of the organisation and supported by structured training courses.

Tips for applications

Apply for an undergraduate summer internship in a finance related organisation.

Skills and qualities

  • Excellent numeracy skills combined with an inquiring, analytical mind.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Excellent teamwork and leadership skills.
  • Excellent time management and organisational skills.
  • Commercial awareness.
  • Attention to detail and the ability to work logically, consistently and accurately.

gradireland editorial advice

This describes editorially independent and impartial content, which has been written and edited by the gradireland content team. Any external contributors featuring in the article are in line with our non-advertorial policy, by which we mean that we do not promote one organisation over another.

undefined background image

We've got you

Get the latest jobs, internships, careers advice, courses and graduate events based on what's important to you. Start connecting directly with top employers today.