Starting out strong

Hello everyone,

A little about myself, I am going into final year university at a respecatable university in the UK expecting to graduate with (roughly converted) 3.7+GPA in Economics and finance. My aim is to gain a decent entry level graduate job that will enable me to in a few years move into management accounting. I’m ambitious but also realistic and the desire is to find a career that combines good financial incentives with a sustainable work-life balance.

My situation is slightly unorthodox in that I will be getting married shortly after graduation and moving to California to live, my knowledge of entry level positions is basic, I will also have several months before my work permit is granted. I see this as a great opportunity to pass some proffesional exams namely the CFA or CMA. The question I have is what will make me more employable and give career flexibility.

Option 1) Work v. hard final year of university and attempt CFA level 1 December, and level 2 June.

Option 2) attempt part 1 CMA during final year, and part 2 during waiting period for work documents. (May/June and October)

The CFA is attractive to me due to its high esteem and I enjoy the technical element. The CMA seems to fit better to the lifestyle I wish to live and the timeline for completion as I’ll be moving to the States in June. (*I am aware of difficulty level and pass rates etc etc.)

Option 3) ???

Any input is going to be well recieved, I’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences. Please ask any questions if you need further clarification. Thanks!

CPA is easy - asmash that out quickly.

CFA is not necessary for management accounting.

You will likely get bored doing pure Management Accounting - what about analyst role?

Thanks Peter. Analyst role is something I would definately consider, I’m assuming the CMA exams will help me land an entry position?

When I think of startng off strong I do not think of a CMA. I always thought CMA’s are for manager level people with 7+ years experience trying to work their way up, not entry level.

Get your CPA then revisit what you want to do.

My input? Get the CFA Level 1, and also, get a part time internship in finance if you haven’t already done this. Work experience is far more important than paper credentials. You will be competing with people who already have job exposure through internships. There is still time.

Anyway, in California, there are some ok finance jobs. Blackrock, Fidelity, PIMCO, some hedge funds, Wells Fargo, mutual funds, TCW, some others. If you’re thinking of the “high finance” sort of thing, then there is the fundamental analysis route, or the IB route. I don’t know too much about opportunities in accounting, unfortunately.

Which part of California will you be moving to? This might matter a bit too. It is a big state and North/South are quite distinct.