How to get into the relevant job experience roles?

So I graduated in 2015 and last minute instead deciding to pursue my CFA instead of my CPA designation. I live in the greater Toronto area in Canada and I failed to take advantage of the on campus recruiting. Fast forward to now and I’m working an accounts payable job and I’m 23 right now. The accounts payable job is my first real full-time job and I’m working as much as I can while trying to break into the relevant finance positions. I passed level 1 last year and I"m waiting for the results for my level 2 exam (coming in a week).

I guess my question is how does someone with no relevant work experience break into the industry and eventually secure that analyst position. In the long run I want to work in private equity but right now that is kind of a pipe dream.

I’m open to any suggestions and I’m willing to network to get that job! These are the suggestions I have received so far:

  1. Get a teller job in the bank(have applied to some but didn’t get hired) - I have also lurked these forums sometimes and some people are against this idea.

  2. Get your CPA first as it may help land those roles in time (Sounds solid but it might take too long)

  3. Fund accounting

  1. AP sucks, but probably better than bank teller. Never get a bank teller position.

  2. I hate accounting 3) I hate accounting AP is probably under the CFO, right? So just move up the ladder a little bit and then you’re probably going to have to go to H/S/W to have a shot at PE with your experience. Its a long shot though.

You’re basically toast unless you know someone. Really, nepotism is your only hope here.

You could look at applying to some entry level roles at fund co. (CI, Sun Life, etc) or consider development programs (Manulife, Sun Life) which have tracks for CPA and CFA.

What are your ideal roles or rather relevant roles you want to pursue?

some suggestions:

learn modeling

learn programming language (python imo)



read a lot

try to get into accounting

beg for BO gig and try to move to MO/FO


You need to get out of AP asap…I’m not sure where you work, but I work in corporate finance… Maybe you could try transitioning into the credit department and do some type of corporate credit analysis to get experience? The guys in the credit depart at the company I work typically go into fixed income research, although 1 did get an equity research job, and another went to IB.

Thanks guys. What about back office jobs? I have heard of trying to get into back office of banks or investment firms and then working your way from there

this guy

forget back office jobs

go back back office

Just go janitor to GS CEO … Sidney Weinberg did it. Sidney Weinberg. Sidney James Weinberg (October 12, 1891 – July 23, 1969) was a long-time leader of the Wall Street firm Goldman Sachs, nicknamed “Mr. Wall Street” by The New York Times and “director’s director” by Fortune magazine. In a rags-to-riches story, he rose from a janitor’s assistant, making $3/week, to CEO.

Alright I shall try it all.

Update: I just got the results for my level 2 and I passed. I doubt it will impact my job search but I shall definitely network. Would you guys recommend that I join my local CFA society. I haven’t joined yet but I’m considering joining seeing as I have nothing to lose.

Also the back back office joke was pretty funny.

No confidence!


If you hate accounting, CFA program must have been hell for you.

As an equity analyst accounting portion takes up 60-70% of your work.

  1. Read and understand 10K, 10Qs which are prepared by approved by the CFO of the company.

  2. Read footnotes of the 10Ks to fully understand what kind of accounting tricks they played and adjust the way YOU see fit This is key if you are doing comparable methods and accounting skills is a must.

  3. Now the pro-forma part, financial modeling which is very accounting heavy heck cooperate finance or FP&A folks are really good at this. From here you do dcf which is the easy part.

  4. Now the “finance” part. DCF which is just adding few things and discounting it to PV.

  5. Of course there are few more steps here to understand the company and the sector which is neither finance nor accounting but more ability to absorb information and critical thinking aka thinking outside the box(ish).