Where can I go from FP&A role at tech company? (exit opps)

I have a job doing financial planning and analysis (FP&A) at a (mature and midsize) tech company when I graduate. I don't want to get too specific about what they do. What kind of exit opps are there? I want to get into something sexier than FP&A, although I'm not sure how bad FP&A is. Since I go to an extreme non-target it was considered one of the best jobs one can get from my school.

So my first question is, how good/bad is FP&A relative to the universe of finance jobs? Has anyone here had one? How is it? I know some are more accounting based than others. It seems a lot more fun than credit analysis for no-name banks and all the other jobs that recruit at my school.

Second question, could this leave me with any sweet exit opps? I think it would be really cool to get involved with tech startups but I'm not sure what finance role would be involved in that except VC, which is probably out of my league coming straight from this job. I really want to get into investment banking (who the hell doesn't?) or something else, but I'm not sure if that's out of my reach as well. Will be attempting to network with people but there really are a VERY small amount of alumni that are in IB. If that doesn't work out my only real shot is going to an MBA and rebranding myself, which seems expensive as hell and definitely not something I want to do.

Comments (7)

Jan 15, 2016 - 6:29pm
nparry14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Any update from the Author? I am in a very similar situation and would love to have some realistic expectations upon beginning my job in FP&A. Any help is appreciated!

Jan 18, 2016 - 12:15am
BondBull, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I interned for 7 months in FP&A at a tech company, so inbox me if you'd like any background.

Best Response
Mar 29, 2017 - 6:23pm
Steno, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Update: I've put in almost 4 years in FP&A at the Tech company. I did network mildly and built a pretty good narrative and had an offers at an advisory firm and a VERY small investment bank, and an interview with a slightly larger but still small bank that I never followed up on. I also had other offers in FP&A/biz dev that I never took, but used one for a raise. I didn't take the banking job BC the bank was so small I just couldn't see a future there and I was skeptical about the deal flow and exit opps. The advisory firm had bad reviews on Glassdoor and there were some warning signs. The other offers in FP&A were just exploratory. I've since been admitted to a good MBA program and will be rebranding to do either banking at a bulge bracket or consulting.

As for FP&A: It can be good and bad, like all jobs. Especially in your first role. At the beginning I hated it and thought I was above the work but I slugged it out and managed to maneuver into higher profile and more value add roles that actually felt like I was making a difference. FP&A isn't the end and can be a good career. One positive is that it's very structured and there are a lot of FP&A jobs out there that make getting raises/new jobs very easy.

May 2, 2017 - 4:13pm
nparry14, what's your opinion? Comment below:

thanks for the update! I have an update myself - began career in commercial lending for a top10 bank, focused on small cap, moved to large cap companies. Before pursuing the tech IB team I decided to shop around after ~2 Years and landed at Amazon; I couldn't be happier. Their corporate finance incorporates a lot of the traditional FP&A in regards to controllership, managing close, planning etc. but allows you to be a true business partner by emphasizing the focus on data. You're not surrounded by corporate wigs who are waiting for pension but rather dedicated and hard working business partners who have a high expectation for driving growth. This puts you in the middle of bus-dev and accounting and provides some really good exposure for the line of business you work in. Pay is great for comparable positions, bonuses at YE are equity instead of cash but they compensate with a 1st and 2nd year signing bonus paid in cash. Overall great position and would highly recommend people looking for a less traditional FP&A to look at larger tech companies (Seattle alone has Expedia, Zillow, Amazon, Redfin, Concur, Microsoft).

Nov 1, 2020 - 4:21pm
aceballos, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Thanks for the update, what is your current job title or the one you were referring to in this post to do some research? Most of the openings Ive seen for Financial Analyst on Amazon require knowledge of some programming language like MySQL is this true for this position you referred to as well?

Thanks in advance!

May 19, 2017 - 12:25am
monkeystraps, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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