hi there, i’m a soon to be new grad in june and i’ve just passed L1 this december. I’m very passionate about working in the finance/investment industry and eventually obtaining the CFA charter. however, let me quickly admit that I have no ‘working-life’ experience. having read this forum alot, seems like the majority here have already started their careers. Therefore, I’d really like to know if you have any tips generally speaking. such as specific areas in the industry to start out in, what positions typically has the best learning experience, etc. hopefully this will help not just me but others in my shoes too. -thanks
my recommendation would be to go to as many campus recruitments as possible. start NOW. campus recruitment is key as a lot of the jobs that you can have access to is simply not available once you’re out.
With no work experience most people usually have a hard time but you’ve passed Level 1 which is a hell of a step. I have no common advice to offer except your search will be hard due to current state of the finance industry (it’s hard for everyone right now) but you’ll have an edge as a recent grad that has passed Level 1. I graduated in June with work experience and only the intention to take CFA level 1 (I’m registered for June '08) and I had a hard time…actually I still am. The only thing I can say is start early and APPLY, APPLY, APPLY… If you can, try to get into some of the CFA institute events at your local society. Also when applying your key selling point is being a finance grad who is already a level 2 candidate (it sounds much better than “I passed level 1”) and is committed to a career as a CFA.
The way I see it there are a few personality types in this industry Among these are: 1. Qanty Nerd (JoeyD) 2. Frat Boy Schmoozer (Me!) 3. Neither a Quant Nerd nor a Frat Boy Schmoozer (too many to count here) Which are you? 1. Trading Assistant/Portfolio Analytics/Portfolio Management/Research 2. Relationship Management/Client Service/Sales 3. Compliance/Portfolio Administration/IT
Danteshek Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > The way I see it there are a few personality types > in this industry > > Among these are: > > 1. Qanty Nerd (JoeyD) > > 2. Frat Boy Schmoozer (Me!) > > 3. Neither a Quant Nerd nor a Frat Boy Schmoozer > (too many to count here) > > Which are you? > > 1. Trading Assistant/Portfolio Analytics/Portfolio > Management/Research > > 2. Relationship Management/Client Service/Sales > > 3. Compliance/Portfolio Administration/IT Ha, great profile of personality types…I’d say that’s pretty accurate. And I def. fall into the 2nd category.
I think the people that rise to the top are some of both, not necessarily, neither. I know plenty of guys that fit into 1 and 2 who are analysts or sales guys their whole lives. The guys who end up running departments and large firms are able to do both effectively…
skiloa Wrote: ------------------------------------------------------- > I think the people that rise to the top are some > of both, not necessarily, neither. I know plenty > of guys that fit into 1 and 2 who are analysts or > sales guys their whole lives. The guys who end up > running departments and large firms are able to do > both effectively… Leaders of large asset management companies tend to come out of the sales/marketing/client service ranks. Most of the upper management at my firm fits that description, including the CEO. In large firms there is a parallel structure where the CIO and deputy CIO run the investment management department relatively independently of the rest of the firm. Investment dept will comprise about 10% of the head count in a large asset management firm. CIO will ultimately report to the CEO and his deputies who more often than not have direct experience with clients and prospects, and have never managed a cent in their life. It makes sense. People people have leadership qualities that analysts usually don’t.
That’s what always turned me away from working at a very large asset manager. I’ve interiewed @ Russell, know guys at Pimco and Wamco, major insurance companies, etc. The investment departments are very light compared to the people behind them. It seems so bureaucratic and unecessary…That where the hedge fund started off…guys upset by working within the bureaucracy and tedium, running their own money with 90% investment guys and 10% BOM.
You’re right. If your calling is to be an analyst you have no business working in the large AMs early in the career. You’re much better off in ER or in a small fund. That’s not me though. I want to be the guy making calls on billion dollar accounts… you can only do that at a large AM. I may take a detour though to get investment experience. But I know I will wind up back at an AM making those calls…
As a recent grad, I would say network network network. Everyone knows someone who knows someone that could help you. And apply to as many jobs as you can. It’s all about persistence, and eventually you get your foot in the door. Also, I think to an extent it depends what city you’re in - here in Toronto, Level 1 doesn’t cut it anymore since there are so many people that have passed it. The key is finding something that makes you stand out in your particular locale.