|Author||Topic: Intro. & advice for newbie|
|Good morning, everyone. This is my first post to the forum.
I am a doctoral candidate (ABD--all but dissertation--in Religious Studies) at Marquette University, Milwaukee, WI, and I am seeking to begin a career in the financial services industry. I have decided to register for the CFA program and am preparing for the December 2012 Level I examination.
My research, analytical, and communication experience lends itself well to a career in the industry. I have solid research, analytical, and communication skills that I have developed to a very high degree as a doctoral student. I am a career-changer, essentially, and quite specifically an academic who has chosen a non-academic career path.
Having advanced to candidacy I am confident I can pass Level I and ultimately achieve the CFA designation. I am not overestimating my abilities, however, which is why I am thrilled to be part of this forum. I want to know:
1. As an academic making the transition to the real world, what is the best way to position myself for a career in the industry, particularly one that would give me the opportunity to do what I do best?
2. Apart from the required and supplemental materials for Level I, what else should I be reading?
3. Does anyone here have an unconventional (i.e., non-business, non-finance) background? What should I be doing (or not doing!)?
Thanks so much! Again, this looks like a brilliant forum and I have already learned a lot. My success as an academic has been contingent upon being able to learn new things (e.g., languages, research techniques) quickly in order to produce results. I can ride a fast learning curve and I have already done a lot of networking--at the risk of sounding immodest (perish the thought), everyone with whom I have spoken has been impressed with my abilities and passion. What I really want to know is, practically speaking, how do I go about getting a foot in the door? Thanks!
|dude. did you say religious studies? i know you believe that you have "research, analytical, and communication experience", but doing well in finance is a lot more than that.
a) you need a streak of greed in you. the love of money is why most people do this. some people may justify what they do by saying that they 'create wealth'. that's bullsh!t.
b) i don't know why you chose to do religious studies, but the other end of the spectrum is finance, i can guarantee you that.
c) sure, some of us have non-finance backgrounds. i have a BA in history and psych. never took a finance course in my life before i ran into the CFA.
d) why do you think you want to do finance? do you have it in you? do you have a natural interest in the markets, in business, etc...?
e) you should be reading the financial press, every day. read of the 'story' finance books, like monkey business, liar's poker, barbarians at the gate, wall street meat and some of the biographies like when genius failed, the making of an American capitalist (buffet story), confessions of a street addict, etc...
|Religious Studies is analytical, interdisciplinary, blah, blah, blah. That's great. Why did you need to get a doctorate in it? It's going to be a tall order overcoming that and you'll have to overcome that issue before you sit down for an interview. Even going for an MBA now or something would lead me to conclude that you are an academic type that loves school, not a lunch pail finance guy.
Reading about finance and watching Louis Rukeyser are fairly passive activities. What have you done that demonstrates an interest in finance? How's your portfolio doing? You follow the stock market? Give me your best recommendation and justify it. If you tell me that you are a baseball fan and you don't know the difference between how you throw a knuckeball and a slider, I am going to conclude you're not a baseball fan. Use this analogy as an approach to how you prepare for an interview. I would think because of your background, you are not going to get a lot of interviews. So when you do get one, you better drill it.
I'm not trying to be an ass but most interviews in finance are tough and your burden of proof is going to me higher. That said, good luck.
If all else fails and you are really "interested" in finance, you may be better off to go for a tenure position at a university and hope that TIAA-CREF hooks you up.