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How to enter the financial industry?
MT
posted on Thursday, 07 February 2013 17:45
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Hi, my name is Michael and I am 26 years old.

I graduated lower second in mechanical engineering with King's College London, I have been searching for an analyst position in the financial industry, specifically financial data/equity/investment, I have been looking for an entry level job for almost a year now, with no success. I have previously worked in bars as bar tender and manager for four year during and after my degree and have worked for one and half years as a financial advisor, in the hopes of 'getting my foot in', I have even taken a job as a mailroom clerk at a private bank. I have read the previous post which contained great suggestions and have since applied for the CFA level 1, I was just wondering whether there are an other suggestions which could to help my specific case. I have excellent knowledge of MS office and have programing experience and I have kept up to date with the financial industry through news and media (mainly fundamental and some technically knowledge as well), I have also self studied basic accounting.

Thank you for your time

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Mark Enticott - Career Doctor's picture
Mark Enticott - Career Doctor  
Posted Monday, 04 March 2013 06:57 PM

With the current issues that Banking has faced in recent times, especially in investment banking, this sector has become very cost focused and has limited the level of graduates intake. As a result, this has made it more difficult for graduates to enter this sector.

It is good that you worked part time while you were studying and this is something that a lot of employers will consider when recruiting a graduate. Using different methods to gain entry into the financial industry can be a good approach because with the right opportunity together with the demonstration of the right attitude and work ethic, other internal opportunities may arise. What is important in this approach is that the opportunity will allow you to transition to other areas of the business. Therefore, it is critical that you apply to those opportunities that allow you to move internally.

Undertaking a CFA course is an excellent approach and this is a key qualification that will not only assist you to apply for analyst roles, but will also provide you some very relevant skills to get a job in this area. Going forward, you should continue to apply for graduate programs available in banks and financial institutions. Furthermore, it is important that you only apply to roles where you demonstrate the skill set that the role requires.

When applying for graduate roles, the way that you interview is very important. Make sure you have done extensive research on the company, role and seek further background information on the person that is interviewing you. You also need to review your interview skills and if you feel that this could be further developed, talk to people who can provide you coaching around this. Make sure you are well presented for the interview and have a list of relevant and interesting questions to ask. A common interview technique is Behavior Based Interviewing and this is something that you should review and gain an understanding of the types of questions you may be asked and prepare appropriate responses.

Finally, if the financial industry is your passion, then remain persistent.

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