Hi, I’m currently a final year BA(history)/LLB student working part time in a law firm. I’m interested in moving into the finance industry, with a particular interest in corporate finance; securitisation, M&A etc. I’m looking for a postgrad course which will enable me to enter the industry, essentially tossing up between a CFA and Masters in Applied Finance. Would you please be able to give some insights as to which may be a better option for me, taking into account that I don’t have any formal education in finance. Thanks!
particular what type of finance job are you looking for? finance is very broad, if you want fixed income. better get a quant background if you want private equity/investment banking etc. then an top mba school. definitely not cfa or masters. if you want something like equity research, CFA would be okay, but so is a CA or MBA if you want something more towards tactical asset allocation, portfolio construction etc. CFA or MFin is good if you want corporate finanace etc. so pretty much investment banking. CFA or MFin isn’t the way to go.
Are you in Delhi or Bangalore ?
I’m interested in entering the m&a field, so essentially corp fin/ib. I’ll be graduating with an undergraduate law degree in Australia at the end of the year and feel it’s too early to consider an MBA. At this point I’m looking for a qualification to enter the field. I studied the highest level of maths in high school but don’t have a finance degree. Is it worth pursuing a cfa to break into the industry and obtain an entry level grad positon?
Indu Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I’m interested in entering the m&a field, so > essentially corp fin/ib. I’ll be graduating with +1 on what whystudy said. The investment banking field is notoriously difficult to break in to. Pursuing the CFA designation may help you “somewhat”, but it takes a LOOONG time to actually earn the charter. (Keep in mind that in order to actually be awarded the CFA, you need four years of equity research / portfolio management / etc experience.) And the CFA isn’t considered to be directly relevant to M&A. Your efforts would probably be better spent elsewhere. I’m not an expert on IB recruiting (nor, I think, are most folks on AnalystForum) but I suspect that on-campus recruiting (undergraduate and graduate) is probably one of the better ways to break in.
Indu Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I’m interested in entering the m&a field, so > essentially corp fin/ib. I’ll be graduating with > an undergraduate law degree in Australia at the > end of the year and feel it’s too early to > consider an MBA. At this point I’m looking for a > qualification to enter the field. I studied the > highest level of maths in high school but don’t > have a finance degree. Is it worth pursuing a cfa > to break into the industry and obtain an entry > level grad positon? I could have got your CV forwarded in IB, had you been in Mumbai. Btw… IBs hire on base of college reputation, it doesn’t matter what you study, be it Law or marine science or agriculture. There’s no such thing as “qualification” for IB, specially in entry level jobs, every sane graduate is qualified - it boils down to college reputation or networking.
Thanks for all the advice! I went through internship recruitment with goldman sachs. I did some verbal/non verbal testing and had an interview. At the interview they pretty much said that while they like me and I had good knowledge of the current markets, they suggested I get a postgrad qualification in finance to bridge my technical gap. Based on the feedback I received, would perhaps passing one or more of the CFA exams be enough to obtain an entry level position? Or should I pursue an alternative route?
The CFA program won’t really help you into banking. Only a top MBA will give you a real shot at that
I work in corporate banking (debt capital markets). I disagree that the charter doesn’t help. The L1 and L2 can also really help you understand some of the basic concepts and vocabulary you come across when pitching capital structure and capital markets ideas to executives. I guess I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s better than having a top 25 MBA (which I have with undergrad double major in finance/econ), but it’s just another notch on the belt that helps in an incredibly competitive corporate finance world in which most everyone has an MBA anyways. However, if you’re just trying to break into finance though… I’d suggest taking the time that you would spend studying for the CFA because you have no finance background and putting it towards destroying the GMAT and applying for every credit/IB training program on the face of the planet. After you do those two things, then get the CFA to make you stand out a bit in the crowd.
Indu Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > they suggested I > get a postgrad qualification in finance to bridge > my technical gap. I understand that young ambitious girls are vulnerable… but seriously, you’re buying this? Your best shot is through developing a personal informal rapport with the inside guys you know.
Thanks for the advice!
Hi Indu, It is a good idea to get some formal study done rather than just the CFA. But whether you go straight to a full time masters in finance or land a law job and do your studies part time is a decision you’ll need to make. The CFA takes up a surprisingly large amount of your time, very similar to or maybe even more than a lot of part time masters programs. So for you I think it would be a better investment to take formal studies, even if you just sign up for one finance subject at a time while you work. Having completed level 1 and also another program similar to the CFA, I’ve found that after the exam I forget 90% of what I studied, they don’t test you hard enough to force candidates to really understand the material in great depth, and in the end these self study exams are just another line to throw on the resume. Catch you later
CFA Vs MBA or CFA vs MS is a widely debated topic. I admire people with such a clear goal in mind. Indu wants to be in IB when he is working in a law firm. There is clearly a greater demand for professionals with training in many disciplines. I would argue that experience in a law firm can be an advantage especially if you sell yourself to M&A arm of a financial institute. In terms of job market, MS in applied math would be similar but still very different. You could still aim for quant jobs depending on your inclination with programming and quantitative analysis. However, if you do decide to pursue MS in applied math, there is no reason why you shouldn’t consider CFA as well. This will strengthen your resume and knowledge base. Plus you would have time to go through the levels anyway. Only CFA (i.e. without any financial training or MBA) is helpful in changing career to those who are involved in this industry but work in a different capacity. For example, programmers, business analysts who help the traders. For others, they would have to wait for a more conducive market environment to break into “finance”.
Yeah, it seems the OP’s interests are more closer to the MBA route.
smark Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > Indu wants to be in IB when he is working in a law > firm. “She”!