The Finance industry involves working with people to reach common, productive financial goals. Financial services careers can involve:

  • Working on the quantitative side of a firm
  • Developing and maintaining a client base for investments
  • Serving as a consultant to help organizations analyze and solve their fiscal problems
  • Guiding a nonprofit to meeting its financial needs
  • Helping a customer manage a bank account
     

Accountants and Auditors:
Compile, analyze, verify, and prepare financial records
Provide assurance that financial information is correct
Provide tax, financial, and business-related advice to individuals, companies, and others
Examine and verify financial records to ensure that they are accurate, complete, compliant

Investment Professionals:
Analyze investment markets and funds
Make investment decisions for clients
Track investment performance
File regulatory paperwork. 

Economists:
Study the production and distribution of goods, resources, and services

Finance Job Search

Many large financial services companies adhere to a traditional recruitment cycle for internship and full-time positions and the chart below details the recruiting time line for these “bulge bracket” employers. However, it is important to remember that many companies recruit outside of this formalized recruiting calendar, particularly small to mid sized firms and companies outside of the financial industry looking for financial personnel. Make sure that your job search includes both the job posting section of LionShare as well as the on-campus recruiting section, in addition to other resources including company web sites, industry job boards, and networking opportunities. 

Month

Campus Activity

August

Full time offers extended to summer interns

First round in person and video interviewing for next year’s summer intern class, front office roles only

September/October

Summer internship information sessions  on-campus focused on back office and technology positions

Offers extended for next year’s summer intern class, front office roles only

October/November Offers extended to fall interviewees

January/February

Summer internship information sessions held on campus to promote summer programs to underclassmen

April/May

Targeted recruiting events continue for underclassmen

June

Full time and summer internship programs begin

July  Summer internship opportunities posted and applications accepted for the following year’s summer program, front office roles 

Many finance companies conduct on-campus recruitment events and interviews, and informational sessions for interested students. Visit the CCE calendar of events for upcoming employer events, and LionSHARE to search for scheduled on-campus interviews.  Look through CCE’s tipsheets for help preparing for an Employer Information Session or an upcoming interview.

 

Center for Career Education Resources

  • LionSHARE: Thousands of finance positions are posted on LionSHARE, for employers such as Credit Suisse, CitiGroup, J.P. Morgan, and many others. Search the Employer Directory tab in LionSHARE to search for companies in the finance industry that have posted in the past. Visit the human resources and career pages of those companies to search for opportunities if they don’t have any active posting in LionSHARE at the present time.
  • Fall/Spring Career Fairs and Industry Showcases: Sample employers that have attended recent career fairs at Columbia include AllianceBernstein, Royal Bank of Scotland, and American Express. Each year, CCE hosts a Beyond the Bulge Bracket Industry Showcase to help students learn about opportunities outside of the large banks.  These smaller firms may offer longer-term employment experiences as well as the opportunity to work on a smaller team.
  • Vault and WetFeet Guides: Check out WetFeet’s Careers in Investment Banking, or Vault’s Banking & Finance and Vault Guide to Finance Interviews.
  • Tips on Super Day Interviews

Columbia Resources

Student groups at Columbia offer an excellent way to learn about the financial industry. In addition to joining a finance-related group, one can also gain experience by taking on a treasurer position in a cultural group to gain hands-on experience in budget planning and basic accounting.  Employers have commented on how valuable it is to join pre-professional student organizations such as the ones listed below in order to learn about the respective industry as well as to be able to network  with the appropriate employers and alumni.

External Resources

Professional Associations

The CFA Program

  • The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Program is a professional credential administered by the American-based CFA Institute to investment and financial professionals.  In order to obtain it, a candidate must pass three, six-hour exams, have earned a university degree (or equivalent) and must have four years of qualified, professional work experience.  You may register for the Level I exam if you are in your final year of your bachelor’s degree program, or have four years of professional work experience, but you must have earned your degree before registering for the Level II exam.  See the CFA website for more details.

Industry Resources