Those with finance degrees...

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills
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aares
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Those with finance degrees...

Post by aares »

What do you do for a living?

Im currently on my way towards a finance degree, and I have no idea what Im going to do afterward. I have a plan to move to New York to get a job after school, but I don't know if I will be successful in getting a good job there.
nwrolla
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Post by nwrolla »

Not trying to be a downer ( I am a finance student right now junior year ) But i would dual major in a secondary business degree I have a lot of friends who graduated last year and have had a hard time finding work in the finance field most are now returning for post bac accounting degrees. I do look forward to comments from other people because I have been wondering the same thing lately as spring term winds down.
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Daffy
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Post by Daffy »

Go work for a bank. The turnover ratio of credit underwriters at major banks is really high since the public has castrated them over the past 1-5 years. There's a serious glut of young talent to replace all the vets that have seen their careers destroyed by this cycle and have either quit, changed positions, or died due to the stress.
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HardKnocker
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Post by HardKnocker »

Here's a website that might help you out:

http://www.careers-in-finance.com/
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

Daffy wrote:Go work for a bank. The turnover ratio of credit underwriters at major banks is really high since the public has castrated them over the past 1-5 years. There's a serious glut of young talent to replace all the vets that have seen their careers destroyed by this cycle and have either quit, changed positions, or died due to the stress.
They are not hiring!
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Exige
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Post by Exige »

hrmmm I have been considering finanace over computer information systems. Finance seems so much more interesting to me but might not be a smart choice ahha
yobria
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Post by yobria »

Not much you can do with a finance degree anymore than, say, a history degree.

Degrees you can "do something with" include nursing, accounting (w/CPA), pre-med (with med school) etc.

Since you didn't get a "practical" degree, you're going to have to bounce around at a few jobs until you find something you're good at.

Nick
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Post by Hunter »

I am graduating in May with a BBA Accounting and MS in Finance and going to work for JP Morgan.

Given the tightness of the job market, the key is to network and build contacts. Also look at ways to differentiate yourself from other students though internships and extracurricular involvement.
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Post by arthurb999 »

Banks... and yes they are hiring.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

arthurb999 wrote:Banks... and yes they are hiring.
Name 'em and the job titles - especially the credit underwriters. I like when I see people speak in generalities, but are always short on specifics. Much like saying, Yes, females are available for dating, all you have to do is find them. :lol:
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alec
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Post by alec »

When I was in college, my dad told me to go to the career office and ask what companies come to campus to hire people with my major. After rolling my eyes and thinking "pffft.. what does he know" I finally went and it was pretty informative.

In addition to a brokerage/investment bank, you can do financial consulting [Accenture, BAE, etc.], some sort of budget analyst, etc.
"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" - Upton Sinclair
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HardKnocker
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Post by HardKnocker »

Redundant post.
Last edited by HardKnocker on Mon May 02, 2011 1:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
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HardKnocker
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Post by HardKnocker »

alec wrote:When I was in college, my dad told me to go to the career office and ask what companies come to campus to hire people with my major. After rolling my eyes and thinking "pffft.. what does he know" I finally went and it was pretty informative.

In addition to a brokerage/investment bank, you can do financial consulting [Accenture, BAE, etc.], some sort of budget analyst, etc.
Excellent advice!

A finance degree gives you a lot of possibilities.

Business is about making money. Sometimes it is helpful to think about making money.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
harrychan
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Post by harrychan »

3 words, "connections connections connections". Before you graduate, start building your connections. Attend business to business mixers, toastmasters, hit up meetups. Beef up your linkedin page. Don't be afraid to make a business card through vistaprints so that people will have your contact. Chat up people when you are at the doctor's office or Starbucks. You'd be surprised how people are willing to help a freshgrads and they may just have the opening that you will otherwise would have never found. It's also a great way to open up your horizon. They may be able to give you career advice you would have never imagined.

Some schools are excellent at keeping in touch with their alumni which really helps out current graduates but majority (especially public schools) are horrible at doing this. I offered to mentor some kids out of school at my alma mater and didn't get a response. Unacceptable.
This is not legal or certified financial advice but you know that already.
Cuzz35
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Post by Cuzz35 »

Their are alot of jobs related to finance out there. This biggest obstacle in my opinion is gaining enough experience to be accepted for a position. That being said, I would suggest taking advantage of internships or volunteer.

I graduated with a finance degree in dec 09. Been in sales since. Going back to school to get a BBA in Accounting. Going to get an internship.
Quanta2998
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Post by Quanta2998 »

Underwriting for a healthcare company - good job if you can find it.
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

HardKnocker wrote:
alec wrote:When I was in college, my dad told me to go to the career office and ask what companies come to campus to hire people with my major. After rolling my eyes and thinking "pffft.. what does he know" I finally went and it was pretty informative.

In addition to a brokerage/investment bank, you can do financial consulting [Accenture, BAE, etc.], some sort of budget analyst, etc.
Excellent advice!

A finance degree gives you a lot of possibilities.

Business is about making money. Sometimes it is helpful to think about making money.
All of the above plus ability to read/decipher and effectively translate an income statement, statement of cash flows and balance sheet into "plain English" will set you apart from the rest. - Trust me on that.
arthurb999
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Post by arthurb999 »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
arthurb999 wrote:Banks... and yes they are hiring.
Name 'em and the job titles - especially the credit underwriters. I like when I see people speak in generalities, but are always short on specifics. Much like saying, Yes, females are available for dating, all you have to do is find them. :lol:
I work for a bank and there are plenty of openings.. ranging from treasury analyst to assistant branch manager. Hell even A/P is hiring.

It's true on the female line too... maybe you're not looking in the right places. :D
Bruin
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Post by Bruin »

Controller.

I always thought people with finance degrees who went to NY or the East Coast went to work in investment banking.
jmbkb4
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Post by jmbkb4 »

isn't a finance degree like a psychology or philosophy one?
Triple digit golfer
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Re: Those with finance degrees...

Post by Triple digit golfer »

aares wrote:What do you do for a living?

Im currently on my way towards a finance degree, and I have no idea what Im going to do afterward. I have a plan to move to New York to get a job after school, but I don't know if I will be successful in getting a good job there.
I was able to get a job as a staff accountant out of college, even though I had a finance degree and not an accounting degree. Many accounting or analyst jobs require an "accounting or finance" degree.
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Post by Triple digit golfer »

yobria wrote:Not much you can do with a finance degree anymore than, say, a history degree.

Degrees you can "do something with" include nursing, accounting (w/CPA), pre-med (with med school) etc.

Since you didn't get a "practical" degree, you're going to have to bounce around at a few jobs until you find something you're good at.

Nick
Totally untrue. Go on careerbuilder. There are a ton of financial analyst, accounting analyst, staff accountant, etc. type jobs out there where a finance degree is all that's required.
tibbitts
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Re: Those with finance degrees...

Post by tibbitts »

aares wrote:What do you do for a living?

Im currently on my way towards a finance degree, and I have no idea what Im going to do afterward. I have a plan to move to New York to get a job after school, but I don't know if I will be successful in getting a good job there.
I don't have a finance degree, but you'll get better information if you post specifics, such as the school, type of degree (B, M?), GPA, minor, etc.

Paul
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Post by thepommel »

I graduated with a finance degree in several years ago. I picked it because I found the subject-matter interesting, but found job prospects to be dismal since I didn't want to move to NYC or Boston.

The school I went to has a great program and an established master's program in quantitative and computational finance that is recruited from by many high-finance employers. I failed to match the location and culture of prospective jobs with my characteristics.

I completed my masters in accounting a couple of years ago and then became a CPA. I work in the corporate headquarters of a major multinational corporation.

Best decision I ever made making the transition to accounting (officially). I notice that "finance types" that end up getting accounting roles at my company either are not happy or don't last long (frequently both).

Regards,
WhiskeyJ
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Post by WhiskeyJ »

I have an MBA with a focus in finance. I manage a retirement community and think it's the most rewarding job I could imagine.
TigerNest
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Post by TigerNest »

I do equity research.

The first job is the hardest to get, but you'll land on your feet. Work with your school's career department and ask your family and friends for suggestions. I worked in accounting, even though I had never taken an accounting class (people just assumed finance was "close enough"). Eventually that experience and my enrollment in the CFA program allowed me to transition into financial research.

At many companies, a positive attitude and a willingness to work are in short supply. Even if you start off in a rather mundane role, you'll move up quickly if you become the person that everyone turns to to get something done.

Until you do graduate, I cannot stress this enough: learn how to write well. It is essential for a career in finance. A good literature class will do more for your career than most of your finance classes. Nobody cares about CAPM nowadays, but if you don't know how to write well you're going to look ill-prepared.
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renditt
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Post by renditt »

Doing a lot of hiring in my firm (multinational bank) and if you are interested in accounting, I would strongly recommend getting a CPA.

In parallel, try go get an internship at one of the big banks. It's actually not as hard as it sounds: If you know anybody at a bank (and I mean anybody) send them your resume for an internship. We normally hire our interns in March/April, so probably already a bit late but still doable (if not now, do it next year).

Once you did an internship, they know you and it will be a lot easier to get a permanent job.
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Re: Those with finance degrees...

Post by ObliviousInvestor »

Triple digit golfer wrote:
aares wrote:What do you do for a living?

Im currently on my way towards a finance degree, and I have no idea what Im going to do afterward. I have a plan to move to New York to get a job after school, but I don't know if I will be successful in getting a good job there.
I was able to get a job as a staff accountant out of college, even though I had a finance degree and not an accounting degree. Many accounting or analyst jobs require an "accounting or finance" degree.
Just wanted to second this. I've seen several people successfully take the "staff accountant via finance degree" route. Then, after you have actual accounting experience, it's not terribly hard to find other jobs.
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TxAg
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Post by TxAg »

You could do something sales related. I never would've considered that route in college, but I fell into it. I really enjoy it now. I suppose it's different with every company, though.
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Post by swhitney »

I just graduated this past school year with a Business Management/Accounting degree. I can say without a shadow of a doubt that I wouldn't have a job right now if I didn't have one particular accounting professor practically force me to go to the career fairs for both the internship my junior year, and full-time my senior year.

Before his life-changing lecture, I would get all the countless career fair emails from the career center and immediately delete them. Up until my junior year I wasn't even really thinking about what was going to happen AFTER college. Every time I go back to my campus to take part in the "Meet the Firms" career fair (on the other side of it now thank goodness!) I thank my professor whole heartedly. I know that I would be in the same boat as all my jobless friends if it weren't for him.

I know I'm still young and fresh out of college, but these are my "words of wisdom" that I now give to all friends/family members that are in, or soon to be in, college:

Go to the career fair in your junior year for an internship and then senior year for full-time if your internship didn't offer you a position,
and join Toastmasters Club!

Toastmasters is a club for learning how to be a better public speaker. Not only is it great on resumes (every single interviewer I met with commented on it), but it helps you with your speaking confidence throughout your entire interview process.

Of course, getting good grades is obviously important too. The majority of the firms at my career fairs had a GPA floor of 3.3. You wouldn't even qualify for a first round interview if your GPA was below that. Once you get through to a first round interview, it's almost entirely based on how you present yourself (which is why Toastmasters is so important).

My major was a little different than a finance major, but I know there has to be career fairs for them as well. My school was constantly sending out emails advertising career fairs geared towards each and every major.

Edit: I forgot to add that all of the firms at my career fair were open to letting you apply for offices in locations other than where your school is. My school is up in the Bay Area of California and you could apply to be in the LA offices of the big 4 accounting firms. The firm where I ended up recruited people from Oregon as well. I don't know where you're located, but if larger firms come to your career fairs, odds are they have offices in New York and you would be able to apply for those locations. Keep in mind that more popular locations, (LA, SF, NYC) are always WAY more competitive to get into.

I also realize that this doesn't actually give you advice of WHAT your career should be, but it could help you start your career regardless.
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aares
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Post by aares »

Wow, thank you all for your replies! Much appreciated. A lot of good advice, but it makes me realize that I need to "get off my butt" and start doing something extra.

Im having trouble meeting people, and that is my personal problem. Im just not good at making connections, especially with people in NY where Id like to move after college.

I have to get on the ball right now.
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HardKnocker
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Post by HardKnocker »

aares wrote:Wow, thank you all for your replies! Much appreciated. A lot of good advice, but it makes me realize that I need to "get off my butt" and start doing something extra.

Im having trouble meeting people, and that is my personal problem. Im just not good at making connections, especially with people in NY where Id like to move after college.

I have to get on the ball right now.
The sky's the limit.
“Gold gets dug out of the ground, then we melt it down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around guarding it. It has no utility.”--Warren Buffett
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Post by Grt2bOutdoors »

aares wrote:Wow, thank you all for your replies! Much appreciated. A lot of good advice, but it makes me realize that I need to "get off my butt" and start doing something extra.

Im having trouble meeting people, and that is my personal problem. Im just not good at making connections, especially with people in NY where Id like to move after college.

I have to get on the ball right now.
If you have a CPA, there are AICPA sponsored courses that enable you to network. Of course, being employed at a Big 3 or Big 10 type firm will also allow you to network inside and outside the firm.

Do not be discouraged if you are unable to find your "dream" job out of school. Focus on landing a "stepping stone" and work your way up.
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Post by 67vwbug »

My sister-in-law graduated last Spring with a Bachelors in Finance. She went to work for Scottrade, passed her Series 7 exam and is now a broker with them.

Best of luck in your upcoming job search!
arthurb999
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Post by arthurb999 »

I will 2nd joining toastmasters... I wish I had joined 12 years ago instead of 2 years ago...
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Post by SecretAsianMan »

I graduated with a degree in economics and finance. Connections are incredibly important. I had an internship every summer and most semesters with banks, brokerages, office of the state comptroller general, etc. I ended up deciding on law school, however, and now have a job with a Biglaw firm in NYC. If you aren't graduating from an elite school, it will be difficult to get a good finance job in the city.

Good luck!

SAM
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Post by Colorado13 »

I graduated with a B.S. in finance (minors in econ and tech writing) and one of the smartest things I've done is that I worked for an employer who was willing to pay for me to complete my M.S. I worked full time and attended grad school on a part-time basis. So, I would recommend that, as you seek employment, inquire about tuition benefits/reimbursement if obtaining another degree is of interest to you. Best wishes!
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Post by slug »

aares wrote:Wow, thank you all for your replies! Much appreciated. A lot of good advice, but it makes me realize that I need to "get off my butt" and start doing something extra.

Im having trouble meeting people, and that is my personal problem. Im just not good at making connections, especially with people in NY where Id like to move after college.

I have to get on the ball right now.
If you're not already on LinkedIn, you should be. It's not your friends that matter. It's the friends of your friends and maybe their friends. Also go find out about your alumni network. Especially in business, the alums are usually open to talking to or helping you out.
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Post by XtremeSki2001 »

GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
alec wrote:When I was in college, my dad told me to go to the career office and ask what companies come to campus to hire people with my major. After rolling my eyes and thinking "pffft.. what does he know" I finally went and it was pretty informative.

In addition to a brokerage/investment bank, you can do financial consulting [Accenture, BAE, etc.], some sort of budget analyst, etc.
Excellent advice!

A finance degree gives you a lot of possibilities.

Business is about making money. Sometimes it is helpful to think about making money.
All of the above plus ability to read/decipher and effectively translate an income statement, statement of cash flows and balance sheet into "plain English" will set you apart from the rest. - Trust me on that.
+1

My employer (a big 4 Accounting Firm - EY/PwC/Deloitte/KPMG) has great internships and we aggressively recruit Finance majors. You def need to know what companies recruit at your school and when. A lot of the large companies will recruit for interns nearly a year before they need them.
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through
Colorado13
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Post by Colorado13 »

renditt wrote:Once you did an internship, they know you and it will be a lot easier to get a permanent job.
Excellent point about internships. You need to make yourself stand out from other applicants and an internship is an excellent way to do that. Another bonus is that the internship can give you insights regarding what you would/would not want to do as a career (not that you need to decide now, by any means, but learning that you loved investment classes but dislike working at a brokerage is a great insight to gain while you are still in college.) Also, I would strongly recommend that you visit your university's career center sooner rather than later, if you have not already done so. Many of the resources at these offices are underutilized and the staff can help you with career planning long before you being your career search. Finance majors have a lot of options and a Career Center may be able to help you explore options that you may not have yet considered. Best of luck to you!
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Post by leonard »

The reality is no one is going to pay someone fresh out of school to do finance - create/apply options valuing methodolgies, analyze mergers and aquisitions, create financial securities. It can be useful in a career eventually, but these simply aren't entry level activites.

So, I agree with others that say study something else that can get you in the door information systems, computer science, accounting - something you can put with the Finance degree.

A secondary suggestion is to get an internship as early as you can with a good company. And, make the most of it. Experience in business in general will also help make that finance degree more marketable.
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swhitney
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Post by swhitney »

XtremeSki2001 wrote:
GRT2BOUTDOORS wrote:
HardKnocker wrote:
alec wrote:When I was in college, my dad told me to go to the career office and ask what companies come to campus to hire people with my major. After rolling my eyes and thinking "pffft.. what does he know" I finally went and it was pretty informative.

In addition to a brokerage/investment bank, you can do financial consulting [Accenture, BAE, etc.], some sort of budget analyst, etc.
Excellent advice!

A finance degree gives you a lot of possibilities.

Business is about making money. Sometimes it is helpful to think about making money.
All of the above plus ability to read/decipher and effectively translate an income statement, statement of cash flows and balance sheet into "plain English" will set you apart from the rest. - Trust me on that.
+1

My employer (a big 4 Accounting Firm - EY/PwC/Deloitte/KPMG) has great internships and we aggressively recruit Finance majors. You def need to know what companies recruit at your school and when. A lot of the large companies will recruit for interns nearly a year before they need them.

I did an internship at KPMG 2 years ago and they, along with the rest of the firms at Meet the Firms (including the rest of the big 4), wouldn't even look at your resume if you weren't on track for getting your CPA. I was part of the normal yearly internship program, and everyone was on the CPA track. Even the 3 people hired for Advisory internships (out of 60 interns at the office I was at) would be qualified to sit for the CPA after graduation. Also, in the big 4, as well as other smaller accounting firms, it is near impossible to be promoted to manager 5-7 years down the road if you do not have your CPA license.

I would seriously consider looking into how many more classes you would need to qualify to sit for the CPA exam. Every state has different requirements and I believe that most allow you to practice in other states once you are licensed.
California is currently eliminating the option of getting your CPA after only 4 years of college because it only allows you to be licensed to practice in California. Make sure you know the requirements where are you are currently located, where you would like to live, and if the license would be recognized in other locations as well.

Disclosure: I have taken and passed 3 of the 4 tests under the California system. While I know a ton about the California license, I do not know about any of the qualifications for other states. If anyone else knows more about the New York license qualifications, please chime in! :)
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