Want to Become a Financial Professional? Read on for Some Tips on How You Prepare
Are you interested in pursuing a career in banking, finance, or financial services? Do you aspire to work in a posh office and be a member of a prestigious group of professionals who travel the world and dine in style? Read on for some advice and recommendations on how to prepare and what you should do starting in Business School if you’re seeking a finance degree.
While a profession in finance may appear to be all “milk and honey,” it also needs discipline and a single-minded focus, as well as long hours at the office desk and being prepared for late nights and all-nighters.
Learn Quantitative Skills
To begin with, most banks and financial institutions need high quantitative skills and talents, so it’s best to get started early and focus on things like interpreting financial statements and how to read balance sheets, income, and cash flow statements.
The ever-popular book How to Read a Balance Sheet, which demystifies the complex statistics and financial data in financial statements including the Balance Sheet, Income, and Cash Flow Statements, is a wonderful resource.
There are also numerous websites and other online resources you may use to learn about financial ratios and other “jargon” used in financial statements.
Be Good at Financial Modeling
Next, you’ll need to be proficient in financial modeling, which is essentially the art and science of producing future forecasts of financial viability, profitability, and other elements where the need to model and advocate investment alternatives and their profitability arises. Indeed, for the first several years of a finance profession, financial modeling consumes a significant amount of time.
The bread and butter of finance professionals are analyzing financial numbers and preparing projections about the viability or otherwise of the firms’ investments, which is why many Wall Street firms and other financial institutions require financial modeling. As a result, you should start early and familiarize yourself with such techniques.
The Rise of the Quants
Third, all Wall Street businesses recruit so-called Quants, or people with strong quantitative financial abilities, since doing sophisticated quantitative calculations and assisting in the production of software and other tools based on quantitative analysis is critical. Indeed, Quants are paid more than bankers in certain organizations, so it would be beneficial if you could take courses in such abilities as part of your finance study.
Furthermore, you may improve your preparation by studying Derivatives, Options, and other complicated financial instruments that require advanced knowledge and other skills to understand. As a result, you should read extensively about such items, not just from textbooks and in class, but also from reputable journals and magazines such as the Financial Times, Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Forbes, and Fortune Magazines.
Read Reputed Publications and Don’t Bunk Classes
Indeed, these and other magazines, such as the Economic Times, give useful information on the current developments in equity markets, debt markets, and the Mergers and Acquisitions sector, where the action takes place.
Apart from core banking and retail investing, these sectors account for a large portion of the work done by financial professionals. When it comes to Core Banking, it is critical that you first grasp this concept before moving on to more sophisticated topics. This necessitates a sophisticated and in-depth grasp of accounting and other disciplines before you consider majoring in finance.
So, if you’re serious about a future in finance, don’t skip Accounting Class.
Develop a Worldview
It isn’t true that Wall Street businesses are just looking for people with quantitative abilities. Indeed, it has become fashionable for such companies to employ applicants who have majored in liberal arts and humanities to guarantee that they can think in abstract and nonlinear ways that would aid them in their job. While we do not encourage just focusing on such specialties, we do believe that becoming a well-rounded individual with a diverse set of abilities and other traits that will benefit you in your profession is preferable.
Even if your business school does not offer such classes, you can always rely on fiction and nonfiction to help you establish a worldview and perspective on how the world works, which will benefit you in any field, not just finance.
Acquire Soft Skills
Aside from that, you should concentrate on improving your soft skills. This requires you to be familiar with how business is conducted throughout the world and to comprehend how different cultures approach the business itself.
Indeed, if you want to travel the globe, the very least you can do is brush up on your language and other soft skills, such as people management, so that you can operate in a variety of cultures.
Finally, a job in finance requires these abilities as well as a comprehensive grasp of human nature. As a result, extend your horizons and cultivate a sense of perspective that will aid you in navigating the difficult world of finance.