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
Analyze investment markets and funds
Make investment decisions for clients
Track investment performance
File regulatory paperwork.
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.
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
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|
Summer internship information sessions held on campus to promote summer programs to underclassmen
Targeted recruiting events continue for underclassmen
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
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.
- Columbia Financial Investment Group - One of Columbia’s largest undergraduate ﬁnance clubs.
- Columbia University Financial Engineering - Seeks to promote a collaborative learning environment for anyone interested in ﬁnance, regardless of experience level and ﬁeld of study.
- Columbia Women’s Business Society — Aims to connect undergraduate students to successful women in a variety of business ﬁelds, and to inspire them to achieve their own professional goals in the future.
- Columbia Financial Review - A student publication that provides a medium for student discussion of relevant ﬁnancial issues.
- Association of Graduate Economics Students – Represents interests of students at both the departmental and graduate school level and organizes various social activities for its members.
- Columbia Economics Society - Organizes events to connect students with professionals from banking, ﬁnance, and consulting related ﬁelds.
- Columbia Investment Banking Division - Provides a setting for Columbia University students to learn about the technical concepts of investment banking.
- Multicultural Business Association – Engages in a campus-wide discussion on how future business leaders should be gearing up to compete and operate in a multicultural and global economy.
- Columbia Smart Woman Securities – Aims to empower undergraduate women of all academic backgrounds and all career interests with investment knowledge.
- American Finance Association
- American Association of Finance & Accounting
- New York Society of Security Analysts
- Association for Financial Professionals
- Financial Management Association International
- 85 Broads
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.