Quiz: do you really want to be a banker?

Are you sure investment banking is the right path in finance for you? Try our quiz to find out more about your options
Investment banking
Introducing investment banking

Let's start by thinking back to your childhood days... what did you do with your pocket money?

  • a.) Saved it carefully, and only used it to buy things once you were sure they were worth it.
  • b.) Planned and wrote out a careful budget - and stuck to it.
  • c.) Reinvested it in cupcake or lemonade ingredients and did a roaring trade from your parents' front garden.
  • d.) Spent some on stickers or marbles to swap with your friends, lent some of it to your little sister (charging interest, of course), and saved some for a rainy day - it got complicated, but you stayed on top of things and always got a good deal.

What were your favourite lessons at school, and how would you like to use what you learnt in your job?

  • a.) Economics and politics - I'd love a job where I have to stay on top of global economic events.
  • b.) English and history - I'd love a job where reading and writing long documents plays a big part.
  • c.) Business studies - I'd love to run my own enterprise.
  • d.) Maths and physics - I'd love a job that involves working closely with numbers.

Which of the following would you most like to be part of your job in finance?

  • a.) Being able to make big decisions involving large amounts of money.
  • b.) Working on the fine details of complex transactions.
  • c.) Seeing how far my talents can take my ideas.
  • d.) Using my financial and business knowledge to achieve something for a client.

What kind of working days would your ideal job have?

  • a.) I'd like to have fairly regular working days.
  • b.) I don't mind putting in long hours to meet a sudden, urgent deadline.
  • c.) I set myself big goals and work hard to achieve them, but I want to do so on my own terms.
  • d.) Furiously fast-paced.

You're bound to get a buzz out of working in finance, but when you need some extra get up and go in the morning, what kind of coffee's in your cup?

  • a.) After a lot of in-depth research, I invested in an expensive machine and now have a permanent supply of high-quality coffee from my own kitchen.
  • b.) An Americano - a safe and reliable option that gets the job done.
  • c.) It's made from beans I roast and grind myself - this way I know I'll get my coffee my way. If you want to try a cup, I'm happy to sell you one...
  • d.) I'm always in a hurry, so a short and sharp espresso works for me.

Mostly a

Are you set up for asset management?

You clearly have a strong interest in finance, but have you considered asset management? You'll get to evaluate shares in companies and other assets against the backdrop of world economic trends and act on your views as you manage very large amounts of money for clients. The pace can be a bit more meditative than at a bank, but the work is just as challenging.

It's also possible to work with the asset management world within an investment bank - people in sales will advise asset managers on what to buy and sell, and traders will implement these transactions. And remember than many asset management firms are part of investment banks, so you don't have to go to an independent asset management firm to do this kind of work.

Mostly b

Maybe law is more for you?

Finance is your thing but, as you sound like you might be more of a words than numbers person, you might make a great finance lawyer. In this role you'll get to work on the highly complex underpinnings of finance deals, making sure they're documented correctly and work from a legal and business perspective. You'll also ensure that every regulatory box has been ticked.

Finance lawyers work very closely with their investment banking and corporate clients (and many work the same long hours), often at very short notice. And it's possible to work as a finance lawyer within an investment bank, either on secondment from your firm or permanently. Some finance lawyers even use their experience of working on finance deals to become investment bankers themselves.

Mostly c

Enter entrepreneurship?

You've certainly got a head for business, and it's clear you like to take the initiative. These qualities go down well at investment banks, who love it when people are inventive and ambitious as they're always developing new products and services for their clients. And working in some parts of an investment bank, particularly private client work and trading, can feel a bit like running your own business.

But you certainly won't get the same degree of independence within a bank as you would as the boss of your own start-up, which perhaps is what you really want to do. But remember that starting your career in investment banking can provide budding entrepreneurs with invaluable knowledge, experience and contacts.

Mostly d

Banking's your bag!

It's sounds like you're a born investment banker as you love the idea of the fast-paced days (and sometimes nights), numerical work, and very specialised knowledge that is a big part of many roles here. Working in the markets as a trader, or helping clients with big financing packages or M&A deals would be a ideal fit for you.

But there are many jobs on offer at a bank. How about a role structuring new financial products, managing the bank's exposure to risk, or dreaming up and creating new technological tools? There's plenty of choice, so make sure you research all your options and pick the one that fits best with your skills and ambitions.