Sign up  |  Log in

Done FRM and CAIA... still cannot get a job?

Hi everyone. I am having a hard time finding a basic finance job even after finishing all FRM and CAIA exam. I did not do CFA yet because the earliest legitimate test for me is next month. I have 3.0 GPA while the average is around 2.7. I do not have any intern experience but do have investing club and charity experience. I applied to 15 companies this year and got no interview. Should I keep looking (is there any hope?) or go to law school? I can probably go to a top 30 law school in the US, or their equivalence in Canada. But my passion is in stock investing. Thank you!

Passed FRM CAIA exams, working on CFA I, looking for investing-related apprenticeship

Why do the FRM and CAIA if you are passionate about stock investing? CFA is the only certification that relates and even that’s no guarantee. 15 companies? I’ve applied to that many in an afternoon…

We’re gonna win so much, you may even get tired of winning. And you’ll say, 'Please, please. It’s too much winning. We can’t take it anymore. Mr. President, it’s too much.' And I’ll say, 'No, it isn’t!' We have to keep winning!

Firstly I’m not sure where you are from, but I’m going to speak from a Canadian and American perspective and hope that it carries over everywhere.

Applications are no longer enough. Neither are those letters after your name. I’ve done a MBA from a top-tier school in Canada, but it didn’t get me too many interviews. What got me interviews was someone’s referral or even a recruitment agency standing behind me.

I used to be told this a lot, but didn’t believe it until I entered the job market. It is tough, it is competitive, and it is no longer about how good you look on paper.

I will suggest the same to you. Network, network, network. Especially attempt to get to the hiring managers, the VPs, and those senior level folks who make the hiring decisions. Of course you shouldn’t go for a CFO if you’re applying to a multinational firm, but at least go up to the VP of the area/district you’re applying for.

The FRM is great (and my plan is to do it sometime after I finish all 3 levels of CFA because it is right up my alley), but it’s more for those who want to go into a credit/underwriting role or are in one already. If your passion is in stock investing, do the CFA as well or at least register for it. A CFA candidacy on your resume also looks good.

Bachelors of Business Administration (BBA), Masters of Business Administration (MBA)
"People grow through experience if they meet life honestly and courageously. This is how character is built." Eleanor Roosevelt

hpracing007 wrote:

Why do the FRM and CAIA if you are passionate about stock investing? CFA is the only certification that relates and even that’s no guarantee. 15 companies? I’ve applied to that many in an afternoon…

I was at a networking event with a retired PIMCO manager Charterholder Columbia grad and his opinion seemed to be that you either have CFA next to your name or you don’t and that when you do, doors do open up. However applying to 15 jobs is nothing. 

On average it’s necessary to apply to hundreds of jobs and you might get a handful of interviews that will lead to 2-3 offers if you’re lucky.

front office jobs posted on LinkedIn in NYC  are seeing thousands of applicants per position. Pretty insane!

GMerton wrote:

Hi everyone. I am having a hard time finding a basic finance job even after finishing all FRM and CAIA exam. I did not do CFA yet because the earliest legitimate test for me is next month. I have 3.0 GPA while the average is around 2.7. I do not have any intern experience but do have investing club and charity experience. I applied to 15 companies this year and got no interview. Should I keep looking (is there any hope?) or go to law school? I can probably go to a top 30 law school in the US, or their equivalence in Canada. But my passion is in stock investing. Thank you!

Then go to a top30 law school in the US. If you look at high finance jobs in the US, notably research roles at hedge funds or venture capital funds, some do have law degree….You see it is not about what you know but how you present yourself and who you know….

My advisor at US Trust has discretion over most of the assets he manage which is in the hundreds of millions….He has a law degree from top US school…never practiced law…..I have a friend of mine who is a sell side analyst for Goldman who went to georgetown law.

Get the law degree and you don’t even need to take the bar….just have that school and degree on your resume

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Search indeed for CFA investment internship.  There’s a lot.  I saw one specifically geared to equities in New Mexico with Thornburg.  If you know any local brokers or financial advisors, ask them to put them in touch with the local Thornburg wholesaler.

Actually, talk to any local brokers or advisors and tell them to get them in touch with any of their wholesalers.  Warm handoffs from wholesalers have gotten me countless interviews in the past.

Huh, I doubt that most respectable hedge funds are going to care that you went to law school. Sure, some people in finance have law degrees, but that sounds far from the most efficient path. When big law firms are now paying about $200k to L1s and $300k+ by L5, that seems to be what most law school graduates in the US would logically aspire towards. If you’re going to spend six figures on a postgraduate degree with the goal of working in a finance job, I can’t see why you wouldn’t choose a cheaper and shorter MBA.

Anyway, yes, 15 job applications is not much. I graduated from HYPS and easily applied to over 100 jobs before getting a position that I liked. Besides just applying for jobs, find school alumni in relevant jobs, stalk random people in LinkedIn for informational interviews, and ask friends of friends for leads. You have to be quite shameless, and create some reason why someone should hire you. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

ohai wrote:

Huh, I doubt that most respectable hedge funds are going to care that you went to law school. Sure, some people in finance have law degrees, but that sounds far from the most efficient path. When big law firms are now paying about $200k to L1s and $300k+ by L5, that seems to be what most law school graduates in the US would logically aspire towards. If you’re going to spend six figures on a postgraduate degree with the goal of working in a finance job, I can’t see why you wouldn’t choose a cheaper and shorter MBA.

Anyway, yes, 15 job applications is not much. I graduated from HYPS and easily applied to over 100 jobs before getting a position that I liked. Besides just applying for jobs, find school alumni in relevant jobs, stalk random people in LinkedIn for informational interviews, and ask friends of friends for leads. You have to be quite shameless, and create some reason why someone should hire you. 

to be clarify….yes, no hedge funds would hire a fresh law student….BUT an IB will……And IB is the starting point. Go in as post “mba” grad….not hired to be an excel monkey but to be a negotiator and just to be there and say yeah our new member of the team…went to your school….Columbia Law by the way etc etc etc

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

But…. why not go to Columbia Business School instead?? If you’re telling me the path to IB is better through Law school than business school, then… I don’t know what to say. OP mentioned law school presumably to imply he would switch to a different field. 

“Visit the Water Cooler forum on Analyst Forum. It is the best forum.”
- Everyone

ohai wrote:

But…. why not go to Columbia Business School instead?? If you’re telling me the path to IB is better through Law school than business school, then… I don’t know what to say. OP mentioned law school presumably to imply he would switch to a different field. 

OP said he can get into top20 law school in the US and if high finance is his dream then going through law school is a way for him.

He did not mention MBA.

I never said path to IB is better through law school.

Be yourself. The world worships the original.

Good Information here.  I was recently at an event where a Ph.D. candidate told me he had sent out 1k resumes over a six month period and finally got a entry level position doing industry research for a PE firm for lower pay than he expected.  In my own search I find most firms don’t want to hire you while you are still studying for the CFA or any other designation that could potentially interfere with devoting all your efforts to the job at hand.  A path I have noticed that has been successful for some is go work for a Fintech who have clients that are asset managers/institutional investors. Over time (if you are successful at Fintech sales) you build a relationship with these asset managers and have a chance at being employed there due to your already existing relationship. 

More now than ever unless you are recruited from a top school, work experience is key.  If you don’t get drafted in the NBA, you go to Europe and get experience and hopefully can back door your way into the NBA.  Same goes for finance. Work experience doing anything finance related will give you a leg up on anyone without experience and 3 designations next to their name. 

Its a lengthy process although some get lucky (through nepotism, etc., but never admit to it).  It may take you 10 years before you get your ideal position. It is a long term process taken in small steps.  Hope this helps. 

I should say, “go where your heart is” and “never give up!” wink

Any update on this?  Surely you can find a finance job with those qualifications. Otherwise what is the point? Would a sole CFA charter get a you a job?

Spot on! This summarize pretty much everything I wanted to say. I think there is a lack of understand of the real world. Most of the jobs are filled through internally because there is a trust factor, people can call your manager and ask about you. You can’t beat that with someone you have to hire from the street.