Breaking into analyst position?

Hey guys, I was hoping to get some advise on breaking into a position as an analyst. A little background, I have a finance degree from a state school, have passed CFA level one, and maybe level 2 (fingers crossed). Since graduation, my experience has been one year at Northwestern Mutual as a Financial Advisor (read: Insurance Salesman), and then one year at BlackRock in an operations role. I live in Seattle, not exactly a big finance center obviously. I feel that all the analyst jobs are going to people out of MBA programs, or people with previous experience. No one seems overly impressed with my CFA progress, even though I’ve always been told its comparable to an MBA. Any advice?

It’s not fair to say “since CFA > MBA, therefore CFA progress > MBA Progess”.

Having the CFA charter is probably better than most mid-tier MBAs, but that’s assuming you hold the charter.

If you are in a top MBA, there’s almost zero chance you won’t finish the degree. CFA progress just indicates you passed one exam. The hurdle is coming up.

It’s not so much MBA vs CFA

it’s work experience > MBA or CFA

people with the MBA probably have relevant work experience. The CFA is most helpful when you have a relevant job, and are looking to do better, be promoted, make more $$… etc

The CFA program is not designed as a “break in” tool

What are some of the positions that you guys have acquired without the CFA and with CFA?

I do have some advice for you, although you can contact me at for more. For starters, I did a series of two 1.5-hour interviews for Mergers & Inquisitions last year. If you haven’t heard of this site, I highly recommend it for anything related to finance careers. Anyway, my interviews can be found here and I think you’l find a lot of information there related to your “breaking into research” inquiry:

Part I: Buy, Sell, or Hold: How to Break Into Equity Research and Pitch Stocks Like a Pro –

Part II: Equity Research: A Day in the Life, Pay, and Exit Opportunities – Got Hedge Funds? –

Never heard of M&I, looks interesting. Thanks for posting numi.

My pleasure Tulips. I hope you find the interviews informative. There is a lot of other good content on the site too, and much of is it free.