Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Advice for Getting the Job in Finance

Rotman students are still in the heat of trying to find a summer job and have been asking around for advice for what to do. Specifically, there were a lot of questions about how to get into finance, so I thought I would pass along advice that I've gotten from colleagues and friends.

Before you even start looking for jobs (when you first start school: undergrad or MBA etc):
  1. Clubs and competitions. Join clubs relevant to your interests and gain any relevant experience you can get and to apply theory and academic skills in class in a practical environment.

  2. Networking. This is especially important for career switchers, as it helps give us insight into how to design our recruitment materials and to understand if this job we are looking at is really what we want. It also doesn't hurt to show genuine interest and make an effort to learn more about different career paths.

  3. CSC. It's easy and a good primer if you have no finance background. The Canadian Securities Course is also a required designation for anyone hoping to sell securities in Canada.

  4. CFA. If you can afford the time (possibly before you start the MBA) doing the Chartered Financial Analyst (even just the level I) designation gives you a tremendous financial foundation for taking classes and working in the industry. Toronto is also notorious for being the "CFA Capital of the world", having the highest per capita CFA population of any city in the world. This goes doubly for people applying for buy-side jobs (Mutual funds, Hedge funds, Equity Research, PE etc).
The first is to understand the recruitment process for jobs:
  1. Application Materials (Cover Letter / Resume) - Have someone look them over, preferably someone in the industry who can A. Give you relevant advice and B. Can pass it on to people they know are recruiting if they like what they see.

  2. Interviews - READ THE VAULT GUIDE. It won't get you a job, but if you don't read it, it will help you lose it. It has all the fundamental background for jobs in finance so you have an idea of what you are getting into. Also, do extensive mock interviews to feel comfortable with the technical as well as behavioural questions. Be ready to talk about the markets, pitch a stock and otherwise show that you are genuinely interested in finance.
I'm looking to get more advice from people who know more than myself so I can do a specific post for people, such as MM, who are currently looking at getting into Asset Management.


Trendsetters said...

very useful

Ravi Manoram said...

hey nice article...I am a level 2 candidate and wanted to hare this tidbit: