Career Journeys

Career Journeys - Investment Banking

Career Path: Investment Banking

Darden alumni bring unrivaled technical expertise and powers of persuasion to boutique investment firms and the world's largest banks alike. Readied by the principles covered by Darden's core curriculum and unrivaled recruiting relationships with every bank on Wall Street, the School's alumni in investment banking are prepared to solve — and anticipate — financial institutions' most complex challenges. 

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The Darden MBA Powers Stellar Career Outcomes in Investment Banking

Darden’s Class of 2020 began their post-MBA careers at the world’s top investment banks and notched record starting salaries.

The World's Leading Investment Banks Recognize the Value of the Darden MBA

Top Hiring Companies

of graduates entered careers in investment banking
median base salary
median signing bonus

Transformed in Charlottesville and Ready to Lead Across the Nation

Top Locations for Investment Banking Graduates

New York City
Boston, Massachusetts
Charlotte, North Carolina
Chicago, Illinois

Richmond, Virginia
San Francisco Bay Area
Washington, D.C.


Meet Your Investment Banking Career Team

Ellie Toth, Assistant Director for Employer Engagement and Recruiting

Ellie Toth

Assistant Director for Employer Engagement and Recruiting

Ed Yu, Senior Director of Investment Banking Careers

Ed Yu

Senior Director of Investment Banking Careers


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Explore Darden Coursework and Electives That Deliver Essential Investment Banking Skills

In your First Year, you’ll gain an invaluable foundation in fundamental business concepts as you build lasting connections with your learning team and section.

Here, we help you navigate what comes next. After the First Year core curriculum, Darden students begin to tailor their experience by selecting from over 100 electives. Students interested in a finance career may find particular benefit from the courses listed below or via the elective guide below.

Career Elective Guide.

Career Elective Guides

  • Financial Analysis

    A career in investment banking requires a high degree of technical expertise as well as the ability to resolve complicated financial challenges. You must provide your client with insightful conclusions based on a skillful identification of relevant issues and an analysis of their complex business challenges. Knowledge of financial accounting will enable you to communicate with your clients about complex financial issues.

    Recommended Courses that Focus on Understanding Client Needs
    Course Number Course Title
    7601 Financial Reporting
    8171 International Corporate Finance
    8190 Taxation and Management Decisions
    8410 Financial Statement Analysis
    8423 Corporate Financial Strategies
    8470 Corporate Financing
    8625 Mergers and Acquisitions
    Recommended Courses that Focus on the Role of Capital Markets

    Select from these courses depending on the needs of specific job positions or industries.

    Course Number Course Title
    7602 Global Financial Markets
    8290 Venture Capital Leadership
    8378 Applied Security Analysis
    8453 Entrepreneurial Finance and Private Equity
    8490 Financial Institutions and Markets
    8497 Impact & ESG Investing


  • Strategy

    Investment bankers are strategic advisors that help C-level executives realize their overall objectives. Bankers identify the business opportunities that can generate the most attractive valuations and implement strategic plans to capitalize on those prospects. You’ll apply intellectual curiosity and superior research skills, to address your clients’ challenges. You will also need to understand how firms plan and execute and will need those skills yourself.

    Strategy and Planning Focused Courses
    Course Number Course Title
    8310 Competitive Dynamics
    8465 Management Planning and Control Systems
    8621 Project Management
    8800 Operations Strategy


    Economics Courses

    Financial managers need a keen understanding of global markets, including the drivers of economic policy and economic conditions. Any courses offered by the GEM area will be useful — tailor your selection to your particular interests and/or the field you will be entering.

  • Leadership

    In order to garner trust with your clients, develop and build exceptional teams of analysts and junior bankers, and create lasting change inside an organization, you will need to draw on exceptional leadership skills — and your own unique style that will evolve over time.

    Course Number Course Title
    7619 Paths to Power
    8013 Strategic Corporate Governance
    8019 Defining Moments
    8155 Talent Management
    8274 Leadership When it Really Counts
    8412 People, Purpose, & the Power of Relationships
    8498 Creating and Advancing Big Ideas
    8706 Leadership, Diversity and Leveraging Difference



  • Presentation and Persuasion

    While “hard skills” such as problem-solving and analysis are critical, it’s equally important that you are able to effectively present your recommendations in a way that is clear, compelling and truly resonates with your client. Adapting your communication style and message to a variety of audiences, and leveraging powers of persuasion are key skills to develop for an investment banking career.

    Course Number Course Title
    7605 Strategic Communication
    8125 Storytelling with Data
    8320 Leadership Communication During Times of Disruption and Transformation
    8930 Negotiations



  • Creativity and Teamwork

    Investment bankers need to consistently demonstrate ability to generate thoughtful, creative approaches to client needs. Problems are complex and require innovation and extensive collaboration, both with colleagues and clients in order to determine the optimal solution. The “people” side of investment banking offers an excellent opportunity to build relationships, network and partner with a variety of individuals to achieve a shared vision and great results.

    Course Number Course Title
    7618 Effectual Entrepreneurship
    8429 Managing Conflict & Leveraging Consensus
    8619 Leading Teams


  • Asset Management, Sales and Trading Concentration

    While the elective curriculum focuses on a student's specific area of interest, concentrations offer additional guidance and structure to specializations. They also provide a stronger signal to recruiters of a student's focus. All students receive the same MBA degree, and concentrations are not noted on a student's transcript nor diploma, though they may be added to a student's resume. Upon graduation and successful completion of a concentration, the student receives a letter from Darden acknowledging that they have met the requirements for the concentration.


    Asset Management, Sales and Trading Concentration

    This concentration is designed to extend the valuation principles learned in the first year curriculum to solve complex problems faced by asset managers and sales and trading professionals. The courses expose students to a variety of different financial markets and give students a deeper understanding for how companies are valued, which are critical components for either managing a client’s funds or executing security trades. 

    Faculty contact: Marc Lipson


    Concentration Requirements

    A student will be recognized as having this concentration when they have completed 7.5 credit hours from the courses listed below.

    Note: Not all courses may be offered in a given year.


    Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
    7602 Global Financial Markets  1.5
    7603 Valuation in Financial Markets 1.5
    8059 Foundations and Applications of FinTech 1.5
    8172 Financial Crises and Civic Reaction 3
    8173 Global Capital Markets 15
    8410 Financial Statement Analysis 1.5
    8426 Derivative Securities: Options & Futures  1.5
    8444 Investments  1.5
    8445 Quantitative Portfolio Management 1.5
    8490 Financial Institutions and Markets   1.5
    8497 Impact & ESG Investing  1.5
    8623 Financial Trading 1.5
     8520IA  Darden Capital Management I (enrollment contingent upon enrollment in Part II) 1.5
    8520IAA Darden Capital Management Part II (enrollment contingent upon enrollment in Part I) 3
    8500MM Applied Security Analysis 1.5
    8759 The Economics of Money and Banking 1.5
  • Corporate Finance and Investment Banking Concentration

    Corporate Finance and Investment Banking

    This concentration is designed to extend the valuation and value creation principles learned in the First Year curriculum to the solving of complex problems faced by companies and investment banks. This concentration should be of interest to students with professional interests in corporate finance (including CFO type responsibilities, internal M&A groups, strategic planning, business development, and treasury and cash management), investment banking (capital raising, deal structuring, and M&A advisory), commercial banking and financial services, consulting in financial services, and a wide range of other management positions that require advanced understanding of finance.

    Faculty Contact: Marc Lipson


    Concentration Requirements

    A student will be recognized as having this concentration when they have completed 7.5 credit hours from the courses listed below.

    Note: Not all courses may be offered in a given year.


    Course Number Course Title Credit Hours
    7601 Financial Reporting   1.5
    7603 Valuation in Financial Markets   1.5
    8106 Acquisition of Closely-Held Enterprises  1.5
    8160 Taxation of Mergers and Acquisitions 1.5
    8171 International Corporate Finance 1.5
    8172 Financial Crises and Civic Reaction 3
    8190 Taxation and Management Decisions   1.5
    8410 Financial Statement Analysis   1.5
    8423 Corporate Financial Policies   1.5
    8426 Derivative Securities: Options & Futures  1.5
    8453 Entrepreneurial Finance & Private Equity   1.5
    8465 Management Planning and Control Systems 1.5
    8470 Corporate Financing  1.5
    8490 Financial Institutions and Markets  1.5
    8625 Mergers and Acquisitions   1.5
    8639 Corporate Financial Restructuring 1.5


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Outside of the Classroom, Investment Banking Opportunities Cultivate Personal and Professional Transformation

Darden’s best-in-class Career Center and wide array of student organizations and centers provide you the opportunity to learn about yourself and learn from others as you pursue your purpose.

  • Career Preparation

    Through Darden’s Career Center and Alumni Career Services, you’ll gain career guidance from the moment you enroll and for wherever your career takes you after graduation. Here’s what you can expect:

    • Darden-facilitated opportunities for networking, meeting alumni and industry leaders, and interviewing
    • Access to advanced analytics and data to craft recruiting marketing materials such as resume, LinkedIn and more
    • Training the Street
    • Week on Wall Street (on hiatus due to COVID-19 pandemic)
    • Resume and cover letter reviews
    • Company-sponsored lunch and learn events (for example: M&A deals, SPAC, etc.)
    • Industry- and employer-specific database for interview prep and salary research
    • Technical/case interview prep
    • Mock interviews
    • Employer case competitions
    • Negotiation skill-building
    • Executives-in-Residence Program
  • Career Clubs and Activities

    Darden Capital Management

    Darden Capital Management, sponsored by the Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management, consists of 24 second-year students chosen to manage five investment portfolios for the Darden School Foundation.

    Darden Executive Fund

    The Darden Executive Fund is an independent study providing Executive MBA students hands-on experience researching, pitching, and directly managing a portfolio of active investments in publicly traded assets.

    Finance Club

    The Finance Club is a student-run organization whose primary goal is to effectively support students who are pursuing careers in finance.

    FinTech Club

    Darden's FinTech Club educates students on technologies and innovations impacting financial services and supports members pursuing careers in the FinTech industry or in industries influenced by FinTech.

    Private Equity Club

    The mission of the Darden Private Equity Club is to build and develop a network of student and alumni professionals with a common interest in private equity investing, ranging from angel stage and venture capital to leveraged buyouts and turnaround situations.

  • Centers and Initiatives

    Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management

    The Richard A. Mayo Center for Asset Management advances the study and practice of asset management through research, education and career development by delivering world-class research, educational programs and activities, awards, and support for student clubs and Darden Capital Management.

  • Conferences and Events

    Academic and Practioner Symposium on Mutual Funds and ETFs

    Hosted by Darden and the Investment Company Institute, this year’s Academic and Practioner Symposium on Mutual Funds and ETFs was dedicated to exploring these areas in what promises to be a focused, high-quality program featuring leading scholars and practitioners at the intersection of these emerging topics.

    Darden Center for Global Initiatives Shanghai Investing Summit

    Darden and China Europe International Business School (CEIBS) hosted the tenth CEIBS Private Wealth Investment Forum in March 2019 in Shanghai. Through a partnership with CEIBS, the conference expanded the School’s annual Shanghai Investing Summit into its sixth consecutive year.

    Finance Club Conference and Events

    The Darden Finance Club hosts a variety of events and activities throughout the year to give all students interested in a career in finance access to industry panels, workshops, and networking opportunities.

    Mayo Center for Asset Management Virtual Seminar Series

    The Mayo Center’s Virtual Seminar Series provides a venue for the continued sharing of ideas and insights of practical relevance in the field of asset management.

    University of Virginia Investing Conference

    The University of Virginia Investing Conference is held annually at Darden and investigates the lessons of the past as well as the possibilities of the future.


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Get to Know Leaders in Investment Banking Who Will Help During a Darden Career and After Graduation 


Award-Winning Faculty 

Scholars, innovators, disruptors, entrepreneurs, dissenters, thinkers, and, above all, doers converge to create an unparalleled education experience. 

Consistently recognized as the best in the world, the Darden faculty teaches to the student's benefit while advancing the nature of business itself. 

Explore Darden Faculty >  


Select Investment Banking Alumni Leaders 

Darden’s alumni network is united in its commitment to shared professional and personal excellence. Here, you'll join a global network that’s over 19,000 people strong. 

Robbie Huffines (MBA '92)
Global Chairman, Investment Banking, J.P. Morgan 

David Kostel (MBA '97)
Global Head, Health Care Investment Banking, Credit Suisse

Liz Lynch (MBA '84)
Senior Managing Director, Evercore

Taylor Meyer (MBA '13)
Vice President, Goldman Sachs

Chris Ooten (MBA '98)
Managing Director, Jefferies

Gary Wolfe (MBA '92)
Managing Director, Co-Head of Leveraged Finance Group, Wells Fargo Securities


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There Are Even More Opportunities to Explore

Darden students can go from here, to anywhere. Graduates begin their post-graduation careers in a wide variety of the world’s most in-demand sectors. Explore even more career journeys.