How can I get into the corporate finance field? |
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How can I get into the corporate finance field?

Question :

Hi Sir,

I was graduated from university last year, with 1 year working experience as Management Trainee in a public organization. I am wondering how I can change my working field into the Corporate Finance field. 

Seriously, my background does nothing to do with Corporate Finance. To let you know my background a little bit more, I was doing Politics and Economics in my university life, with Second Upper honor degree. During my last year working, I devoted my time into different marketing / PR events management, with limited exposure to financial tasks.

While I start to find my interest in financial industry, I am thinking the quickest way to change my career, after all, I have "wasted" some time on other sector.

My Question is:
1) Would doing CFA examination (LEVEL 1)  / taking a master in Finance help me to change the industry?
2) Shall I quite my current job, and change to more relevant jobs ASAP to increase my success chances?
3) May I know if there is any relevant jobs without requiring experience I can apply for?

Thanks very much for reading my post, and thanks for your advise in advance.

Posted by LY on Saturday, 01 Sep 2012

Comments :

Mark Enticott - Career Doctor

Posted Tuesday 25th September 2012 08:31:00 PM


When making a career change, it's important to conduct extensive research to ensure the change is right for you. A career in corporate finance obviously requires excellent numeracy skills but you'll also need to be very confident, have strong communication skills, be able to deal with pressure and above all, be happy to work long hours. To be successful in any role you need to have passion and drive for what you are doing, so before making any change I'd highly recommend you talk to as many people as you can in the Corporate Finance area. By fully understanding the role, you'll then be able to compare that against your own strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes and will be able to assess whether it's the right career for you. After doing your research, if you're still committed to a career in corporate finance then you need to start notching up some experience in the Finance sector. There are several ways that you could achieve this. Firstly, the Big 4 firms provide excellent training and development to give you the exposure and experience you'll need. You may not necessarily get a start in corporate finance straight away but other parts of the firm, such as audit, can provide you with equally good experience. You'll also be able to study for your CA or CPA whilst working in a professional services firm and this will provide you with the core foundation to start building your experience in corporate finance. After you become qualified, I'd recommend you continue your studies and complete a CFA qualification. Working hard and becoming qualified will help you transition into the transaction services/corporate finance areas within the firm. Another option is to study an Undergraduate or a Master's Degree in Finance and apply to join a multinational firm with a strong corporate finance department or a leading bank as part of their graduate/management trainee scheme. With the right dedication and determination, you'll be able to achieve your career change to corporate finance. Mark Enticott


Posted Tuesday 25th September 2012 07:18:00 PM


Hi, First of all, I think getting professional certificate eg. CFA would definitely help you in getting in the corporate finance field. It increases your chance of getting an interview. I personally would quit the job and focus on getting a more relevant entry level job. It's funny that I have a finance background, working as IPO consultant. But I realized that I prefer the International affairs/politics field now after 6 months of work. I am also desperately looking for a way to break into the field I want.


Posted Monday 17th September 2012 08:56:00 PM


First and foremost, don't quit your job until you can land your next job. To get into corp. fiance, you need to have solid accounting background. Apply to the big 4 accounting firm. you can still sell yourself as a fresh grad, but that window will close very soon. The key is to get into those big 4 firm and stay there, after 3 - 5 years, you can then get into corp finance.

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