Another recent grad at the cross-roads

bsea_93's picture
Rank: Chimp | 15

Recently, I've been encountering numerous threads like this one, but, since my story and background are somewhat non-standard, I'm suspecting, that I might get different recommendations.

My profile can be summed up as follows:
* B.S. in Finance, 4/4 GPA from a decent albeit completely unknown university in Eastern Europe
* Currently awaiting results for CFA level 1 exam (expecting a pass)
* Profoundly interested in researching companies and industries, whether for the purposes of investment decision making, credit analysis or M&A
* I occasionally publish articles on my financial blog (e.g. in hopes, that it's at least not embarrassing from recruiters' stand point
* I have some other academic achievements pertaining to finance, which would look meaningful, should I apply to a grad school, but, I guess, not so much, when applying for a job
* Advanced proficiency in Excel, Access, VBA and some familiarity with C#, MySQL, MatLab, Bloomberg terminals
* Some irrelevant administrative work experience
* I'm about to move to NYC next month (I have a green card, so no work authorization is required), but I'm ready to move wherever I can find a job I'm looking for

From what I've learned reading WSO, at this point my chances of breaking into ER (which seems to be a perfect match to my interests) are next to zero, at best. And the same goes for IBD and AM. But I'm curious, what about other fields of finance?

In order of preference, other fields I'm considering include: credit analysis, fixed incomes, corporate finance, middle/back office.

So, what I will be very interested to learn from you, guys, is: which of the aforementioned areas do you think I stand a chance of getting into, considering the profile I've outlined? And if you have any suggestions as how to improve my profile or what other jobs I may find interesting, I'll be glad if you share.

Thanx and sorry if I was to wordy

Comments (12)

Jun 24, 2011

Nice article on seekingalpha. If you get that in front of the right person, you will get an interview. Maybe some ER guys can comment on that. If that doesn't work, then depending on your financial situation, an MSF or internship would let you break in. You are in far better shape than most undecided recent grads. Good luck, and next time you post an article, I suggest linking to it here - enough professionals here that can help you if they like your work.

Jun 24, 2011

Dr Joe, thank you for your comment. I was somewhat in the dark as to whether the blog was even worth putting on the resume, although it seems very useful to me as means of detecting and eliminating gaps in my analytical skills as well as professional writing. So I'm really glad you found it relevant to the job search.

As for the internships: do you see internships in ER / AM / IB as realistic options in my case or did you mean the less competitive ones (e.g., corp.fin., credit analysis)?

Jun 27, 2011

Your case is not as bad as you seem to think it is. You went to an unknown school, have a perfect GPA (I assume you meant 4.0/4.0, not 4/4 which could be a 3.5/4.0, right?) and it seems that you can write and have some technical skills. An internship in ER/AM/IB should be possible, with networking of course. Do you have a job lined up in NYC?

Assuming that your GPA is actually a 4.0/4.0, and if you can do well on the GMAT, you would also be a very strong candidate for top-10 MSF/MFE programs given your technical skills, assuming you have the math pre-reqs. Is this an option for you? It would nearly guarantee you a job in one of the preferred fields you described, as long as you interview decently.

ER monkeys - can someone comment/help this guy out with an internship?

Jun 28, 2011

Yes, I meant 4.0/4.0, sorry for the ambiguity. No, unfortunately I have no job lined up at this point. The reason I'm moving to NYC is for the abundance of financial jobs and the fact, that I have a relatively inexpensive place to stay.

I'm considering doing post-grad (maybe even Ph.D.) later on, but for the time being I don't feel particularly enthusiastic about spending another 2-5 years in academia. At this stage of my life I feel compelled to prove myself that my skills are marketable and I can provide for myself (preferably doing something I like) without parents' assistance or loans. In a year or two, yes, I would very like to do post-grad and not only for the sake of career advancement, but not right now.

And thank you for the tip-off about the possibility of internship. I will look closer into it.

Aug 28, 2011


I'm finally back in NYC. For now my plan looks as follows:
1. Getting my resume and linkedin profile in shape
2. Monitoring BBs' and MMs' websites as well as job search engines for entry level positions in ER, AM, Fixed incomes, Risk analysis/management, Credit analysis, Back/Middle-office
3. a) If applying to those positions results in interviews for ER, AM or fixed incomes, I focus on them
3. b) If I only get response for positions in less competitive fields, I prepare for interviews in those while intensifying my networking
3. c) If the search gets me nowhere, I switch to positions in corp fin, accounting, software development, lawn mowing or whatever that is where my skills are in demand

Any suggestions will be sincerely appreciated.
It would also be great if someone took a look at my resume. I'm afraid, it might appear too dense and, perhaps, pretentious, so your opinions will be really helpful.

Resume: (ignore the formatting -- for some reason they can't properly display it)


Aug 2, 2011

I wouldn't refer to your work experience as "administrative assistant"-that means secretary in the US and sells your experience short.

Aug 3, 2011

Thanks for your comment.

Which of these do you think would fit better: reporting assistant, reporting analyst (sound to fancy, perhaps), data analyst?

Aug 22, 2011

I don't think Financial Analyst would be a stretch for your title based on your responsibilities. Also, you mention VBA/Excel in both bullets - I would suggest revising to only have it once. Get rid of punctual under skills. Get rid of "for evaluation purposes". Also, "reporting to the manager" is not a responsibility. If you mean that you put reports together for him/her, then phrase otherwise. Under education, get rid of "most" in front of "Most relevant coursework". Capitalize the courses. As you acknowledged, the formatting sucks in the google version - hope the real one is much better. Feel free to post after/if you revise - will take another look.

Do you really not have any work experience before 2010?

How is the job search going?

Aug 27, 2011

Dr Joe, thanks, that's the kind of input I was looking for. I will revise it.

No, unfortunately, no relevant experience before 2010.

It looks like I have already found what I was looking for - I got an offer for a job in financial services that provides some exposure to capital markets and chance to get into fixed income sometime down the road. Unless the job turns out to be completely different from what they have described, I am pretty happy with the result of my search.

Aug 27, 2011

congrats dude

Aug 28, 2011

Hey blacksea,

Glad to hear you got an offer. Care to share specifics? I don't want to stereotype, but some thoughts come to mind in reading your description. Feel free to PM me if you prefer to not post on here.

PS - on your resume link, your last name shows up. Might want to remove that.

Aug 28, 2011