Where do you do get experience to be a financial analyst?

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Comments (13)

Olive in Princeton, New Jersey

31 months ago

I am just like everyone else here, recent graduate with Finance degree.
However I was actually thinking about getting temp job of Junior financial analyst first, just to build up my resume and get my foot into the door. Because so far, I have applied for more than 200 jobs and I got only a handful reply, not to mention those reject letter.
Do you guys think, doing the temp job will help? will I get better chance for being hire for temp job?

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Bean counter in San Jose, California

31 months ago

Yes, register with as many agencies as you can, take any accounting/finance assignment when offered, it's very tough out there, for years, I see folks with B.S degree and even MBA ended up employed as clerks or in general unemployed or under-employed.

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Joe the Analyst in North Hollywood, California

30 months ago

Finally got a Financial Analyst job in September, 2012. My new job is in a corporate finance department, not as a portfolio or investment manager.

Here's how I got my job:
1. Applied using Craig's List. It's better because it limits the applicant pool to local candidates so I wasn't competing against applicants from across the country.
2. I had to demonstrate a strong competence level with Excel and Access. I took the proficiency tests in both these programs at www.Smarterer.com. It's free and gave employers an independent validation of my skill set.
3. I worked for two years as a Financial Advisor for a major retail investment company (similar to Ameriprise, Edward Jones, Fidelity) selling mutual funds, stocks and bonds to individual investors. It's very easy to get one of these jobs b/c it's mostly sales - but they give you solid financial and analytical training and licensing (Series 7 and 63). This gave me a story to tell during my interviews about how I analyzed data in Excel to identify budget variances, made cash flow forecasts and other tasks that are central to the Financial Analyst role.

My background: marketing undergrad w/ finance MBA in 2009.

Hope that helps....

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Aaron in Chesapeake, Virginia

30 months ago

Hey all,

I have been reading all these comments on here and I am currently in the military and getting ready to start school to get into this field. I have been looking on job sites to get a feel for the job market concerning the finance field and I was just wondering if getting a job at a bank say doing loans and paperwork things would help as experiance since I don't have anything but the military experiance. It is in a completely different field so this is a big change for me and I could definetly use some advice before jumping into the unknown.

Thanks

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Joe the Analyst in North Hollywood, California

30 months ago

Aaron in Chesapeake, Virginia said: Hey all,

I have been reading all these comments on here and I am currently in the military and getting ready to start school to get into this field. I have been looking on job sites to get a feel for the job market concerning the finance field and I was just wondering if getting a job at a bank say doing loans and paperwork things would help as experiance since I don't have anything but the military experiance. It is in a completely different field so this is a big change for me and I could definetly use some advice before jumping into the unknown.

Thanks

You're right that your lack of experience will be a road block to landing an analyst job after school. If you can get into a bank as you describe, a good strategy could be to work your initial job for a couple years (doing loans and paperwork things)and then transfer WITHIN THE SAME BANK to a financial analyst role. They will be more likely to consider you for the analyst role at that point because they know your track record with them by that point. Employers are always more likely to give opportunities to internal candidates than they do to external applicants for this reason.

Also, working in a support role will allow you to build up transferable skills that you can then use to justify why they should hire you as an analyst.

Hope that helps!

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Jevon in Arlington, Texas

30 months ago

Here are my bits.

I've a Senior (light manager) Financial Analyst with 13 years experience and a BS in Accounting. I've debated getting an MBA or masters in IT but at this point I'm unsure of the value.

I spent my first 3 years as an auditor for a Public Accounting firm. Throughout the years I've transitioned from the Accounting department to more of a Financial/Data Analyst role.

A financial analyst should have a basic understanding of accounting and strong aptitude with systems.

My advice go for an entry level accounting job. Be prepared to to grunt work. Something that exposes you to a month-end process--including account reconciliations. Hopefully the company will use Oracle.

Next, I would learn SQL. Use your free time automating repetitive processes. Not only will you grab attention but you'll have experience with business process.

I hope this helps.

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Jevon in Arlington, Texas

30 months ago

Almost Forgot.

Learn Excel (backwards and forwards), Access and SQL.

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gdvdc in North Andover, Massachusetts

28 months ago

Hi Matt, I know you posted this comment sometime ago, I was hoping I could get a hold of you, I want to ask you some questions. Thanks in advance for your reply, where can I email you?

Matt in Toronto, Ontario said: yeah, that is a problematic chicken and egg thing, isn't it? I have a BBA and all I was able to get right out of school were sales jobs in freakin call centers, so whatever, I did it (getting to the point shortly). Eventually, as the economy started getting crappier, I got a job doing outbound sales to New York Banks (that was my sales territory) and that was June 2008.
Those guys were so arrogant; I couldn't handle that they talked down to me like they were so much smarter than me (even the Lehman bros. and AIG people were like that). So I was like screw you guys, you're not that smart, I can do your jobs no problem.
step 1. take CFA level 1. step 2, take Canadian Securities Course (like series 7 in USA). step 3, take another couple courses needed to be licensed as trader/portfolio manager/whatever and just keep passing them and stacking pieces of paper. step 4, apply for a back office job doing admin or some crap like that at a well respected finance company (this is the step I'm at right now). Step 5, CFA level 2 (that's in june). My hope is that after a handful of certifications, and finishing the third level of the CFA, I will be able to apply for, and get an entry level financial analyst position that pays like 45-50k. I'm setting the bar real low so I don't get disappointed.

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AJ Jao in Manila, Philippines

21 months ago

Hi, I'm currently residing here in the Philippines and working as a research analyst. I'm thinking of moving to Canada and working there as a financial analyst, is it possible for to get a job there if I apply while I'm still here in the Philippines?

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The irony! in Mumbai, India

6 months ago

Most of the things discussed in this thread hold true even for India. Experience counts more than degree's. Networking is the most important factor for those trying to get their foot in the door through the open market. (ie. other than college placements)

In India the irony is that most finance roles prefer Engineering degree's. They believe they have a better analytic mind as compared to business undergrads. More than three quarters of MBA students in top schools are engineers who major in finance and go on to take FP&A and investment banking roles.

Engineer's do this as this is where the most demand is. Manufacturing, R&D activities are quite low.

So what do undergrad business students do even after getting a CFA,CPA or CMA?

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Matt in Lynbrook, New York

6 months ago

I read all these comments, things were same even years ago... trying to move from staff accountant to financial analyst role, does anyone think that this would be a good strategy?? or having the staff accountant experience is not nearly enough

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Martha in Hollywood, Florida

3 days ago

Jevon in Arlington, Texas said: Here are my bits.

I've a Senior (light manager) Financial Analyst with 13 years experience and a BS in Accounting . I've debated getting an MBA or masters in IT but at this point I'm unsure of the value.

I spent my first 3 years as an auditor for a Public Accounting firm. Throughout the years I've transitioned from the Accounting department to more of a Financial / Data Analyst role.

A financial analyst should have a basic understanding of accounting and strong aptitude with systems.

My advice go for an entry level accounting job. Be prepared to to grunt work. Something that exposes you to a month-end process--including account reconciliations. Hopefully the company will use Oracle.

Next, I would learn SQL. Use your free time automating repetitive processes. Not only will you grab attention but you'll have experience with business process.

I hope this helps.

I have a question, why do you say that you're not sure of the value of MBA or IT degree? I have a finance degree but I am interested in data management. I'm thinking on what step to take next, what are you opinions.Thanks for your input so far!

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Martha in Hollywood, Florida

3 days ago

Martha in Hollywood, Florida said: I have a question, why do you say that you're not sure of the value of MBA or IT degree? I have a finance degree but I am interested in data management. I'm thinking on what step to take next, what are you opinions.Thanks for your input so far!

Oh I'm also training on Excel, Access and SQL on my own, but I'm think on taking some classes or add another degree.

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