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How old is too old to get a first job in an investment bank?

"I will graduate in economics aged 30 and I want a banking job"

I have just begun a degree in economics at one of the top universities in London. When I graduate, I will be aged 30.

Is this too old to start a career in an investment bank? 

I don't see why it should be. I'm only 27 at the moment and have spent the past few years working as an internal auditor in engineering companies. As time has gone on, however, I've realised that I want a career in investment banking and ultimately to move into private equity. 

I'm passionate about this. I've been successfully investing my own money for a few years, and I want to work on large transactions and structure deals. I've gone to university to pursue this dream, as I previously only had a BTEC Level 2 diploma in business. The fact that I've been accepted by one of the UK's most prestigious universities as a mature student is testimony to my enthusiasm.

Will banks hire me, though? Is 30 too old for a job on an analyst program? I'm know all about the hours in banking and am absolutely prepared to work long hours: until recently I came home from work and regularly stayed up late studying, reading and looking at my trades. I'm more than happy to work with and be managed by people who are younger than me.

Any feedback in the comments below would be appreciated. 

Josh Roberts is the pseudonym of a student in London

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AUTHORJosh Roberts Insider Comment
  • Ke
    Kevan Salisbury
    11 July 2021

    I started my masters in London at 27, started my career at 29. I got a graduate offer from the bulge bracket after my first internship. There is ageism, and they will occasionally be some people nervous about being younger than their subordinate. You'll have to be persistent and selective in your applications, and I'd advise you to do what you can to avoid obvious signs and of getting on. Your energy and a fresh-looking appearance goes a long way. No one will tell you that, but it's a fact. I sit here today as a mid-level investment analyst on the buy side, which is where I wanted to end up.

  • Br
    Brian Regan
    8 July 2021

    Bro I'm 30 and just going to get my associates in accounting and finance. It's never too late. Everyone story is different. Just push on and succeed for you.

  • KC
    KC
    6 July 2021

    Don't worry. I also completed my economics degree at 30, then started a contracting job in Corporate Investment Banking at one of the top 10 US banks. Within 8 months, the company hired me. Hopefully, you can get your foot in the door and prove your skills. Good luck :)

  • Pr
    Private credit UK
    5 July 2021

    Totally fine in my opinion. I worked for a guy at Morgan Stanley who had joined the graduate program when he was 28. Also, as the other comment mentions, lots of veterans join. I also worked with a former professional rugby player who started a graduate program at 35. I think he key is having interesting life experiences and maturity. I presume you have those. Good luck!

  • Tr
    Trader
    5 July 2021

    Matured students are fine… No different to veterans from military joining investment banks in my view. In fact I would consider them as potentially good hires as they typically come with other life experiences.

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