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Career advice (Finance)

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Scope, May 5, 2010.

  1. Scope

    Scope Member

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    I graduated with a BS in Finance in '09 from a public university in the Southeast, but due to the shitstorm taking place in the industry at the time, I was unable to to secure a finance position upon graduation, or even an internship prior to graduation. I didnt even get a callback for an interview. This seems to be the case with a large percentage of my class. I still get awkward calls from unemployed former classmates looking for work.

    Luckily, with the help of a professor I was able to land a sales position with a marketing company and have been working there since graduation. Im performing well, but I abhor everything about the work and the company and need out ASAP. The financial sector is improving, so I would like to transition into a position that would utilize the skillset I aquired in undergrad.

    My question is, having no real-world financial experience or related work history, what am I qualified for? What roles should I be pursuing? What can I do to make myself more marketable? Ive been thinking about getting my series 63, or even getting an MBA to become eligible for internships. Im just a little lost, seeing as even "entry-level" positions require related work history.
     


  2. Valor

    Valor Senior member

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    In a similar situation, though probably doing slightly better.

    1. what are your interests? (banking/research/S+T/PE/Hedge funds/consulting? etc)
    2. Where do you live
    3. consider grad school?

    I have a BA in Econ and am working in education (business management) although my resume has 3 finance internships and basically screams finance. I'm going to attend grad school in the fall for OR which is heavily finance related and go from there.

    How to get a finance job. The only real advice I have is to apply for more and more jobs, fix up your resume if you're not getting interviews (have someone in finance go over it with you).
     


  3. leftover_salmon

    leftover_salmon Senior member

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    "Finance" is a really vague term. What exactly are you looking for? Do you want to be a stockbroker? Financial planner? Investment banker? Trader? Work in research? Hedge funds? Private equity? And seriously, what the fuck? You're asking us what you should be pursuing? Tell us what you want and we'll give you advice on how to get there, but don't ask us to tell you what you should do. I'm always very skeptical of people who say they want to work in [insert vague field here] but don't seem to know what they really want from it. I will say that coming from "a public university in the southeast" (UNC is the only very good one of which I can think, unless you include William & Mary, so I'm going to say you probably didn't go to those) and having relatively lame work experience will make landing a job in banking/trading/HF/PE very difficult. If you're looking for those, your best bet is probably to take your GMATs and apply to some top 25 business schools.
     


  4. Valor

    Valor Senior member

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    If you're looking for those, your best bet is probably to take your GMATs and apply to some top 25 business schools.

    In all honesty, I don't think any Bschool not in the top 10 is worth going to from a financial perspective. And in order to get into the top ones, you'd have to a high caliber job already or amazing grades straight from undergrad.
     


  5. Scope

    Scope Member

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    1. I'm open for anything. I enjoyed analysis, investments, and operations in school. No idea what any field would entail on a daily basis, though.
    2. I live and went to school in Charlotte, NC, so Im in a decent area.
    3. I have considered grad school, and Im all for the idea, although Id like to get some solid experience before tackling it. Plus I dont really want to make such a significant investment without getting somewhat established in the field having a better idea of what exactly I need more schooling for. I dont want to go just because I cant get a job with a bachelors. Ive also seen it mentioned that the ROI from anything other than a top school isnt worth it. I enjoyed school, so I wouldnt mind going back.

    What is the consensus on recruiters? A friend of mine is an IT recruiter, but he has finance/banking recruiter contacts he could put me in touch with.

    What is OR?
     


  6. leftover_salmon

    leftover_salmon Senior member

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    In all honesty, I don't think any Bschool not in the top 10 is worth going to from a financial perspective.

    Wharton
    Harvard
    Stanford
    Chicago
    Northwestern
    Michigan
    Berkeley
    NYU
    Columbia
    Dartmouth
    Cornell
    MIT
    UVA
    Yale (I know it's ranked quite low but recruiting is decent because of the Yale name)
    UCLA

    That's 15 right there. Obviously some of these are better than others, but you can get a good job out of any of them. And I've left out some other decent ones, like UNC, Indiana, Texas, Emory, BYU and Carnegie Mellon, which all do well in regional recruiting.
     


  7. Valor

    Valor Senior member

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    Wharton Harvard Stanford Chicago Northwestern Michigan Berkeley NYU Columbia Dartmouth Cornell MIT UVA Yale (I know it's ranked quite low but recruiting is decent because of the Yale name) UCLA That's 15 right there. Obviously some of these are better than others, but you can get a good job out of any of them. And I've left out some other decent ones, like UNC, Indiana, Texas, Emory, BYU and Carnegie Mellon, which all do well in regional recruiting.
    I agree that those school are all decent, but when you look at how much they cost compared to the jobs you get afterwards its not worth it. The top 5 (H, S, wharton, Kellogg, Sloan) and i guess + chicago, are fantastic names, but if you look at salaries post MBA they aren't that good. To get into HBS you probably make over 100k a year prior, after graduation the average salary is 150k. For lower ranked schools you'll be in the same boat (looking for a job) as prior to attending. If you look at MBA placement % after the top 10 ranks or so, its not good at all. A school ranked 25th MBA is definitely not worth it. If you want to do finance, the cities are basically NY, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chicago. more or less in that order. OR is operations research which is similar to financial engineering (derivatives pricing).
     


  8. leftover_salmon

    leftover_salmon Senior member

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    I agree that those school are all decent, but when you look at how much they cost compared to the jobs you get afterwards its not worth it. The top 5 (H, S, wharton, Kellogg, Sloan) and i guess + chicago, are fantastic names, but if you look at salaries post MBA they aren't that good. To get into HBS you probably make over 100k a year prior, after graduation the average salary is 150k. For lower ranked schools you'll be in the same boat (looking for a job) as prior to attending.

    If you look at MBA placement % after the top 10 ranks or so, its not good at all. A school ranked 25th MBA is definitely not worth it.

    If you want to do finance, the cities are basically NY, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chicago. more or less in that order.

    OR is operations research which is similar to financial engineering (derivatives pricing).


    I hate to get sidetracked here, but looking solely at post-MBA salaries -- i.e., the average salary upon graduating -- is incredibly short-sighted (literally). You seem to forget that pay in hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks escalates very quickly, and you're also ignoring the fact that many of these grads will climb the corporate ladder at F500s.

    Not that I think I'm an expert, but you don't seem to know what you're talking about.
     


  9. nate10184

    nate10184 Senior member

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    Network with as many alumni from your school as you can, especially the ones at BofA or Wells. I doubt you have any real chance unless you build relationships with people on the inside. As a recent graduate you don't have a whole lot to offer an employer, being interested and persistent are about the only things you can do to distinguish yourself. Luckily, Charlotte is about as good a city as you could hope for in terms of finance opportunities. I would take just about any role you could get at one of the banks, once you are inside it is much easier to move around.

    Agreed with what leftover salmon said, I would avoid using the term "finance" because it's so vague. If you don't have a more specific idea of what you want to do people won't take you seriously.
     


  10. Valor

    Valor Senior member

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    I hate to get sidetracked here, but looking solely at post-MBA salaries -- i.e., the average salary upon graduating -- is incredibly short-sighted (literally). You seem to forget that pay in hedge funds, private equity firms and investment banks escalates very quickly, and you're also ignoring the fact that many of these grads will climb the corporate ladder at F500s.

    Not that I think I'm an expert, but you don't seem to know what you're talking about.


    If you work at a hedge fund and you're good, you probably dont have an MBA.

    the stereotypical way to go is IB->PE->MBA-> more PE this basically assumes you make 200k a year before going into an MBA program (if you don't make 200k a year doing PE, you're doing something wrong).

    IB: This is just a receptacle for people who can't get into PE.

    Climbing the corporate ladder: I agree completely, but if you think about it, a nice director position at an average corp nets you about 300k-500k a year, the average MBA from a non top 10 school will probably barely find a job if one at one of these corporations and to get into that MBA program you probably made 100k+ already.

    I'm not saying MBA is a bad idea for everyone, I'm just saying the picture isn't as rosy as it seems. Getting a Harvard MBA is still basically getting a license to print money, but getting one from a rank 15+ school is most likely -EV.
     


  11. Pezzaturra

    Pezzaturra Senior member

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    Do you enjoy teaching? Have you considered pursuing an academic line of work?
    I would say that anyone who is starting career right now should seriously consider how "Outsource-able" you job is right now or will be in a decades ahead.
    Too many desk jobs are heading to India right now.
     


  12. Scope

    Scope Member

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    I agree that those school are all decent, but when you look at how much they cost compared to the jobs you get afterwards its not worth it. The top 5 (H, S, wharton, Kellogg, Sloan) and i guess + chicago, are fantastic names, but if you look at salaries post MBA they aren't that good. To get into HBS you probably make over 100k a year prior, after graduation the average salary is 150k. For lower ranked schools you'll be in the same boat (looking for a job) as prior to attending.

    If you look at MBA placement % after the top 10 ranks or so, its not good at all. A school ranked 25th MBA is definitely not worth it.

    If you want to do finance, the cities are basically NY, London, Singapore, Hong Kong, and Chicago. more or less in that order.

    OR is operations research which is similar to financial engineering (derivatives pricing).


    This backs up what Ive read from other sources.
     


  13. Scope

    Scope Member

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    "Finance" is a really vague term. What exactly are you looking for? Do you want to be a stockbroker? Financial planner? Investment banker? Trader? Work in research? Hedge funds? Private equity?

    And seriously, what the fuck? You're asking us what you should be pursuing? Tell us what you want and we'll give you advice on how to get there, but don't ask us to tell you what you should do. I'm always very skeptical of people who say they want to work in [insert vague field here] but don't seem to know what they really want from it.


    The inherent vagueness of Finance is what lead to this thread in the first place. My original intention when I declared Finance as my major was to do a few internships to get a feel for what I wanted to do and to get aquainted with different fields. That didnt pan out.

    Im asking others what I should pursue because my interests are irrelevant. What I want to do is unimportant; I need to know what I can do, what options are available for someone from a no-name school with no related experience.
     


  14. v.freeman

    v.freeman Senior member

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    Honestly, your scope of opportunities is probably very limited. Finance majors from huge public universities are a dime a dozen and being located in the Southeast will hamper your opportunities even further because I can't really think of too many financial service firms the operate solely in that region (excluding the obvious Charlotte headquarters of a few banks).

    It really depends on a few factors what you can do from here. It depends on your undergrad gpa, how well you can do on the MCAT, and whether you think you can get into a good MBA.

    Perhaps also look into a few MS.Fin programs for another shot at recruiting if you really despise what you're doing right now? An education "restart" would probably be the most obvious choice.
     


  15. nate10184

    nate10184 Senior member

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    ^^^ I don't think its that dire if you know what you want and are willing to really go after it.

    You work in marketing now? There are a million different roles at the big banks, you might look for something in marketing or communications to get your foot in the door. Tell them you're interested in the role because it allows you to "pursue your interest in financial services while leveraging your work experience in marketing yada yada"

    I really emphasize you should take anything you can get with a financial services company. I hear stories all the time about people who started in HR and are now doing wealth management, corp. finance etc.
     


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