I am a finance student who will be graduating in May. I have no experience and I desperately want a financial analyst job in the industry before I graduate. How do I find a job in my field of study that will take a student with no experience? What are my options if I decide that this is not the career for me?
Financial analysts provide advice to individuals and businesses making investment decisions. They assess the performance of stocks, bonds, and other types of investments.
Getting a job in finance before May is possible if you meet these criteria:
- a high GPA, preferably above 3.5
- successful completion of several demanding internships in a financial institution
- strong quantitative skills
- major or strong coursework in economics
Folks with that profile will no doubt find themselves hired before graduation. Without those criteria, you had best plan on an internship after graduation or lots of networking with alums from your college. I’d suggest a visit to your career office soon to see which financial firms are coming to campus and who’ll be doing resume referrals later in the spring. Some smaller financial firms come later in the year, hire through the summer and are a little less picky than the high-end employers who come early in the year.
Now about the desperation you feel right now — don’t hang all your hopes on a job in May or you’ll be tempted to marry the first one that comes along, which is often a big mistake. Hold out for one that really seems right.
As for what to do if you don’t like it: Just move on. Lots of mind-changing goes on for a year or so after graduation, so it won’t be a big deal if you switch tracks a couple of times. Of course, this is a good case for having done several internships in earlier years, so you’d have a clearer sense of what you wanted AND a leg up in the competition. But if you kissed that train goodbye already, there are other things you can do.