Are you seeking an exciting finance opportunity that will ease you from your career misery? Do you need more money to pay off those pesky student loans? Are you craving a career that will lead to large annual bonuses?
If this is what you are looking for, don’t shy away from the financial services industry. Unfortunately, the tenderhearted professional looking to make money by just following a script of responsibilities won’t survive. Finance requires a mindset of growth, achievement, and leadership. These traits are needed to break barriers in an industry that was once only reserved for educated white males.
Is your finance fever causing all nighters? If you are constantly thinking about the possibilities of working on Wall Street or carrying that black leather briefcase filled with the company’s most coveted financial documents, here’s what you should do:
1. Sprinkle Finance Buzzwords All Over Your Resume
Here is the truth; you won’t get a job in finance with a resume fit for a secretary. Learn what financial firms are looking for, and make sure you are equipped with those skills. Check out the latest job descriptions for various roles in financial services. If you are seeking a role as a financial associate at a large bank, employers may be seeking someone with knowledge of programs like Access and VBA. You may also need to know internal finance systems such as GLW and SAP. Real estate lending and structured equity investment finance experience is a plus.
Bonus Tip: Make sure you know how to use pivot tables, v-lookups, and the most commonly used keyboard shortcuts.
2. Don’t Let Finance Be a Foreign Language
If you want to be a highly sought after finance professional, you must speak like one. Subscribe to the Wall Street Journal and Barron’s for daily commentary on the markets. Then read discussion boards on the Wall Street Oasis. Next, become familiar with annual reports. You can visit the ‘Investor Relations’ section of a company’s website. Go to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission website for more details.
In addition, go beyond reading lengthy reports and articles. Start engaging with companies on social media and via informational interviews. You can update your settings to receive tweet notifications from company accounts you follow.
3. Be Visible on the Networking Scene
You may think most financial experts spend most of their time cranking away at interest calculations at their desk. As enticing as this sounds, most finance individuals are number-driven networking gurus. They know how to use their quantitative skills to build quality relationships.
Here’s How This Works: Create a list of conferences and events that financial professionals and recruiters are most likely to attend. This is when Google becomes your best friend. Find out how many people attend these events and read testimonials. If you attend the National Association of Black Accountants annual convention, you’ll notice a full plate of opportunities. A lot of distinguished accounting and finance leaders are there to provide you with job opportunities. You’ll also benefit from continuing professional education credits and the access to potential career mentors. Therefore, you should always try to find ways to network to build your finance net worth!
4. Pursue a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (M.B.A.)
Are you in a career rut and searching for a more lucrative professional opportunity? Consider an M.B.A.—it’s an excellent option for career climbers.
There are programs such as Forté and MLT that help high-achieving women and minority students get into top-tier MBA programs. Additionally, these programs help students gain access to the most reputable financial firms.
You should also consider The Consortium, if you are a top M.B.A. candidate who has a record of promoting inclusion. An additional bonus of The Consortium is that you may gain access to a full tuition scholarship.
Let’s not forget about Toigo. It’s the premier network for talented minority professionals who are enrolled in finance programs.