Networking, networking, networking – the single most important process for breaking into the investment banking industry. If you haven’t realized by now, investment banking is one of the most prestigious jobs for recent graduates and it is extremely competitive. The acceptance rate for jobs is approximately 2% of all applicants, and in many cases, it’s even lower than that.

The reality of the investment banking industry is that the level of competition produces very slim odds. However, it is important to not get discouraged by these odds, but rather take initiative and take on the challenge. The industry rewards those who are prepared and do their homework.

Networking is one of the most important components in finding any job, and for investment banking, its importance is raised exponentially. Yet, it is so simple. The hardest part is to stay dedicated enough and keep doing it every single day.

One important thing to keep in mind is that networking is a very time-consuming process. Think about it from this perspective – if you talk to 50 people for 30 minutes, that’s 25 hours on the phone or in meetings. If you manage to have an hour of high quality conversations per day, it will take you about four to five weeks to complete all of these calls, and this doesn’t even include reaching out to people to set something up.

This is probably a bare minimum of what you’ll need to do for banking. So, give yourself enough time to reach your goals and start right away!