Knowing where you fit within the iBanking cross-hairs is extremely important for your interview schedule. The investment banks will group candidates into predetermined buckets based on colleges. These buckets are called “Core” and “Non-Core,” and the interview cycles are completely difference. Knowing where you fall into this is very important.
Banks have a certain number of core schools they interview on-campus and allocate a certain number of slots for these schools. Whatever is left-over after core interviewing is made up of the non-core recruiting; this is usually a few months after core interviewing. Core schools differ by bank and will be listed via the bank career recruiting website – if that bank isn’t coming to your school then you’re in the “non-core” bucket.
Core students have the benefit of applying online via the school websites and having the banks visit during career showcase – big banks typically hire on 4-5 analysts per core school.
Non-core students have a much harder path, they must apply via the bank websites (before the deadline) and have some sort of internal referral to land a first round phone interview.
Exhibit taken from Investment Banking Interview Guide:
Top Core Schools:
There are schools not listed here that will fall into the Core category, every bank has their own definition of which schools fall into the core and non-core buckets.
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