Breaking into ER, Seeking Career Advice

Cheering_Chimp's picture
Rank: Chimp | 13

Hi Everyone,
I'm a recent graduate from a non-target school. Currently I'm waiting for my CFA lv2 result. I have 80% confidence I can pass that.

I always have a strong passion on equity research but I couldn't find one after graduated from the school and I ended up working in a public life science company for a year as a corporate finance role. I thought finishing CFA lv2 could be a stepping stone to help me break into ER (maybe) even a investment related role I would be satisfied.

I think the major problem for me is that I have zero investment related experience. I only have a small amount personal investment portfolio, I guess that's the only investment experience I could talk about.

Would anyone recommend me to start with a non-ER role first? If so, what kind of positions could be a good start?
I also heard that data science and machine learning are today's high demanded jobs for investment companies. Do you think that whether is worth to take a intensive boot camp on that?
Many people said networking is the first thing I need to do now, but anyone has any suggestion for me on that? I don't know anyone who is working as a related position. And I feel like no one would be interested in talking to a corporate finance person. Anything else, you guys think is worthwhile for me to do which could help me get my foot in the door?
Thank you for your time and suggestions.

Comments (6)

Jul 14, 2018

Does your current firm's treasury department handle their own investments or do they outsource it to a bank and just choose funds?

Jul 14, 2018

I also worked at Treasury department, they just simply invest their excess cash into some money market fund. I don't know how they handle their pensions. Do you suggest me to find a treasury role where the company has its own investment vehicle?

Jul 14, 2018

Firstly, know that I am also in a corporate finance role but am looking to transition into an ER position. However, I have written about five ER reports through my school's student run endowment. It might be a good idea if you were able to secure a job in treasury with a firm that is well known or has a lot of cash/makes their own investment decisions in house. The CFA is a huge time commitment but I actually just saw a job posting yesterday for William Blair in Chicago searching for an equity research analyst. Under the requirements it listed that a CFA candidate was preferred so that might be a good idea as well.

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Jul 14, 2018

I appreciate your personal insights from your own experience. Making transition is tough but you seem well prepared for that. I don't have any written report yet but I'm currently working on that. CFA is very helpful, not only the things I learn but also it helps me get few interviews.

I have few Quant friends, they all told me that learning data science and some basic programming skills could help me get my foot into the door but I don't know what's the ER analysts' opinion on that one.
Did you start make connection with people who are working as ER role yet? And how does that go?

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Jul 14, 2018

I'm glad to help! We are all in the same boat. From what I have searched online, and my understanding of the ER industry, programming/data science skills would be better suited to trading or for a hedge fund type role. However, depending on the company you are covering, having data science analytics in your tool kit may help you analyze the firm at a deeper level than a typical industry group coverage analyst who does not have the ability to run data analysis and who only uses Bloomberg and basic stats to determine a price target for a firm.

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Jul 15, 2018
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