Joining the oasis has been a real eye opener. As I complete schooling, try to land a desirable job, and pursue the CFA path, I have used WSO as the main reference for guidance and advice. I know you monkeys tell things how they are and these are the main points you all have helped me to learn:
- This industry is competitive. I now see why people view accounting as a more stable career choice. Finance takes sweat, blood and a relentless work ethic to succeed. An accounting undergrad with decent grades can get a job in the big 4 upon graduation. In finance, only the top students from top schools their way into firms. A great gpa alone does not get you very far in the field.
- Competition comes from all backgrounds. I would have never thought that I would be competing against mechanical engineers, chemical engineers, computer science and math majors when applying for positions. A measly finance degree from a non-target simply cannot compare. I feel that other industries require a background and experience in their respective industry, where as in finance, well rounded intellects are welcomed from all backgrounds.
- You need to hit the ground running, early. If you don’t start to build up your resume with experience (SA type of positions) starting as early as your freshman year you are at an extreme disadvantage. These positions serve as pre-reqs to other top and entry level positions and you can quickly fall behind. Get your stuff together early, youngsters!
- WSO makes it easy to learn different aspects of the field. The forums separate , , hedge funds, PE, VC, etc. This gives everyone, including myself, the opportunity to learn from experienced users about detailed positions and field in which they work. I quickly learned that I was not cut out for a position in IB and would be a better fit for .
- Success is dependant on your efforts. I also had no clue of the work ethic required for IB positions. After reading various reviews on WSO, I quickly realized that this was not the path for me and cut my losses. There are also a number of great success posts from the underdogs that made their way up from non-targets to the show, solely because of their drive for success.
Please correct me if I am wrong in any regard. I joined this site to learn.