Need help planning my career?

Ok so I’m in the final year of my BBA (Finance) and I’ll be finishing it in April next year. I’m also giving the CFA L1 exam in December this year.

Many companies (both from the financial sector as well as other sectors) come to my college for placements. I have a couple of questions:

  1. Assuming that I pass the L1 exam, would seeing the “Passed CFA L1” or “CFA L2 Candidate” discourage companies (from sectors other than the financial sector) from considering me for employment? Suppose I attend an interview for an IT Company and I’m asked why I’m interested in joining a non-financial company despite being interested in CFA, what can my response be?

  2. If an interviewer asks me for my future plans, would saying that I’m considering an MBA be a deterrent?

  3. When would you recommend doing an MBA? How financially rewarding would a CFA Charter (without an MBA) be in the long run? I’m currently in India and wouldn’t mind working abroad either…

  1. just take off your CFA candidate status off your resume. they will never know

  2. generally, yes

  3. don’t think of CFA / MBA as moving up the same ladder of 1 career path. It generally leads to differnet paths.

Thanks for your reply… Assuming that I stick to only CFA (and not MBA), how quickly would I progress up the corporate ladder and how financially rewarding is it? I hear about Engineers getting lucrative pay packages straight out of college… Would a CFA charter at least level the playing field in that regard? Sorry if I sound a little too money-oriented, but it does matter to me at the end of the day.


some people like basketbal. other people like to study for cfa curiculum.

you’re starting to ask questions that are way too general. how quickly you progress is far more about your performance at the firm than those 3 letters (CFA or MBA).

engineers and lucrative pay depends. At top firms? sure. At small firms? no. there’s no hard and fast number.

CFA charter will not level the playing field in the corporate level, and it was not designed to be. The CFA was designed for people already working in AM or ER.

Thank you for your reply. What roles do you think I can start my career with (at an investment bank)? For instance, is it possible that I start with a role in the compliance or forensics division and later on move into equity research? What would the nature of my work be like in the beginning?

back office to front office moves are very very difficult

Understood. Could you provide me some more insight as to some common starting roles I could get into? From what I understand, forensics isn’t completely back office?

Can someone please reply?

Sounds like you need to do some more personal reflection and research.

Suggest you start an excel doc of companies you either like or find to have a respectable name. Follow them, look up some of their employees’ profiles on linkedin, specifically their time in role, education, certificates, extra stuff. This will give you more insight into a career path than just asking very broad generalistic questions.


I feel like I’ve read this thread before.

I have the same feeling myself with threads that tend to start with… Hi, I work in IT in India, and want to move to the US to do portfolio management. Will CFA L1 land me a job?

lol. Just casullay laughing at few replies. laugh Anyway, You don’t need to take off the CFA candidate your resume. In fact you should work on it to make it more attractive. I don’t much about these what works best & what not. So I just undertook online finance courses from Bluebook Academy, some other added skills & good tutorials…

There’s nothing wrong with having your CFA studies on your resume, particularly if you are doing it for a finance job.

You may not want it on your resume for non-finance work. Often people have more than one version of their resume to go out to different target industries or roles.

What is unrealistic is to expect CFA progress to make a huge difference, particularly CFA L1. If you see the CFA work as part of a package you are presenting to an employer, that’s fine. If CFA studies make you feel more comfortable or confident talking about investment stuff, then that’s great. If you expect it to make your resume stand out amongst the (likely) hundreds you are competing with, then you’re probably in for a disappointment.

Thanks for your replies guys. Just an update on my situation:

I have three companies coming to my college for placements:

  1. DE Shaw: For Financial Operations and Financial Research departments in India

  2. EY: For Assurance (Auditing) and Taxation departments

  3. United Bank of Switzerland: More details to follow in the coming days.

Given that I’m interested in a career in Investments does it make sense for me to attempt getting a job at EY (they’ll be inclined towards hiring Chartered Accountants, won’t they?) Some say that I can change over to the Private Equity or Research departments once I’m in, but I wanted to know your thoughts.

Looking forward for your inputs. Thanks in advance…

Also, what questions can I expect during the interview?

Someone please reply?

  1. Walk me through the balance sheet, cash flow statement, and net income statement.

  2. So, do you like working in operations?

  3. Wow, the weather sure is hot lately.

  4. Women, amiright?

Look at Glassdoor for the questions they ask