Advice needed - Passed level 3 but no relevant work experience

Guess I have been really lucky (and with some hard work), I passed Level III in June. The big problem is, I don’t have any relevant “investment management” experience.

I currently work in an investment bank in the support functions and have worked in business analyst and project management roles. These are not investment management related roles though so I can’t get qualified if I stay in my current job.

Any advice appreciated on what job I should go for next to get qualified with the background I have!!!

Maybe intern somewhere.

time to take out your extra rusty friend and go to town on your balls…

@ reg

Are you kidding me? your workexperience qualifies as relevant

* Engaged in responsibilities and/or producing work or work product that informs or adds value to those decisions.

Do you work on financial software? Then yes it qualifies, cuz you are using financial knowledge to add value in investment decision making… You can take that small test and you will see one point that concerns back and middle office poisitons…

My advice is to get creative. You will most likely get it through if you do.

Definitely try - no harm in doing so. I honestly think they will approve your experience - you just to word it properly to highlight how your experience added value to the investment decision making process…

Out of curiosity, why did you do the exams?

If you don’t have relevant work experience is it because you are trying to move to a new role?

I agree with Henriko, sounds like you qualify. Everything I have read is that CFAI is pretty generous with the work requirement. It doesn’t hurt to put the application in and stress how you added value to the investment decision making process, even if you didn’t make the ultimate decision. Also, per CFAI only 50% of your time needs to have been spent on the decision making process. Below is a link with sample job titles, work descriptions and work experience guidelines on CFAI website. Put it in, can’t hurt.

I agree with few others above. i think you should definitely be creative, but then again, it all depends on your references and if they are okay with it, i think you should be good to go.

Honestly, i don’t think the work experience part is that strict. Try to file your experience and see how it goes first!

I probably wasn’t being really specific in my original post. I work in the pay/reward team and have experience doing project management within the corporate functions. It is no where near investment-related :frowning:

… good to know … i’m retrying (2nd attempt) next year on l3 and was wondering if my work expereice would qualify or not. In IT field but heavily invovled on business side, portfolio accouting, OTC, dealing direclty with Hedge fund client - various product that support can add value to decision making process. Just was wondering how strict the process is.

I work at the electric company pushing buttons to make sure the electricity grid stays on. I am absolutely critical to the investment decision process because nothing would function without me. My work adds direct value to investment decisions as going back to pencil, paper and candles is too large a burden for markets. In fact, without me, there are no stock markets. I am a BSD.

Performance measurement?

You’re way more qualified than me. I passed lvl 3 and I haven’t had a job in 7 years. Just been playing poker professionally. I’m 27 fwiw.

is it possible for internal transfer? if not, is it possible to find another job having your company name on the resume may catch some employers’ attentions?

The most important thing is to stay grounded, start entry level somewhere, if not an investment bank or a money management firm perhaps somewhere in corporate finance?

it’s always tough to start a new career, trust me, passing the CFA exams is the easy part! that’s why i have been telling other candidates to really think it through and get their feet wet before taking the exams. it’s so hard to do all this work to get your exams out of the way only to find out there’s no way to get into the industry.



I was under the impression that only front office and other client facing roles (WM) count towards getting the charter. With a support role, that’s exactly what you are doing; supporting those that actually make the decisions. Creating models and writing reports adds value to the investment making process. Letting your trader or PM know that his trades went through doesn’t qualify, or shouldnt qualify in my opinion.

Alot of ppl say they want to work in investment management, but do not take the initiative to show employers that they want to work in that field i.e. writing your own research reports and analyzing companies in your spare time.

Your best bet is to network internally and see if you can get in as a research associate. It would be an entry level position so expect entry level compensation.

With your amazingly analytical mind it’s a wonder you made it past level 2.

So according to you, something like teaching risk management wouldn’t qualify.

  • Evaluating or applying financial, economic, and/or statistical data as part of the investment decision-making process involving securities or similar investments (e.g., publicly traded and privately placed stocks, bonds, and mortgages and their derivatives; commodity-based derivatives and mutual funds; and other investment assets, such as real estate and commodities, if these are held as part of a diversified, securities-oriented investment portfolio).
  • Engaged in responsibilities and/or producing work or work product that informs or adds value to those decisions.
  • Supervising, directly or indirectly, persons who practice these activities.
  • Teaching such activities.

i suggest claritas

He clearly isnt in a teaching role. Are you advising him to become a teacher or a compliance officer then? I doubt those are in his plans. Obviously those would count, but for his given situation he needs some type of front office work experience. What’s the point of studying for the cfa exams if you dont want to move to front office?

I was responding to what you actually said: “I was under the impression that only front office and other client facing roles (WM) count towards getting the charter.” If you meant something else, write it and don’t expect others to read your mind.

Lol, are you serious? Wow, get over yourself. Most people with the CFA designation do not (and have no desire to) work in “front office” - at least when you get off these forums and into the real world. There are tons of positions for which the curriculum is relevant and well respected. Many people in risk/consulting/strategy have done it, and I can guarantee they’re not looking for your so-called “front office” roles. Believe me, I’ve been there (trading desk at IB), and one reason that people do the CFA program is to move into other functions without the stigma of being a seen as one dimensional. I work in consulting (for banks and other FIs), and a number of people I work with have the designation - one of the main benefits is being able to show the credential to clients in marketing, and while it’s admittedly a small piece of the puzzle, having a team full of CFA charterholders doesn’t look bad.

Besides, you’re totally missing the point (as do many people here) of the charter - it should not be seen as a passport to some position, but simply a professional credential.