Career in Finance - but also lots of time to travel

stephb5215's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 12

Hello.

I'm a 3rd year student at University of Toronto in Rotman Commerce and I'm looking into a career in finance (IB, PE, HF all great). I interned last summer for 10 weeks at Goldman here in Toronto and really enjoyed it. I've been thinking more about what specifically I would like to pursue and I began doing research and talking to my professors.

Quite honestly, the biggest criteria for me as I explore my opportunities is vacation time. I absolutely love to travel and have been doing it my whole life. I'm fortunate to have the financial means to travel frequently and it's not something I look to stop. I travelled extensively as a child and in my teens with my family, visiting 53 countries by the end of high school. I continued my travel through university, taking a ~1 month (between 4 and 5 week) trip in the summers, and smaller trips during Christmas/New Years and in the Spring.

So far:
1 month in Vietnam
1 month in Sri Lanka
1 week in the Seychelles
2 weeks in Brazil
1 week in Turks and Caicos
1 week skiing in France
Lots of long weekend mini-trips (LA, SF, Cabo, Vancouver, Montreal, Aruba, St. Lucia)

What suggestions do you have for me when it comes to job types or companies to look into keeping in mind that I'd like to continue travelling. In an ideal world, 4 weeks off each summer, 1-2 weeks at Christmas, and 1 week of other vacation days spotted throughout the year.

A few details: I'm Canadian and would prefer to stay in Canada. Would also consider New York City, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong, and (maybe) Singapore.

TL;DR I am a Canadian undergrad student looking for a career in Finance that allows me to continue doing what I love most (travel) while also being able to be competitive when climbing the corporate ladder towards better positions within a company.

Thank you!

Comments (11)

Jan 13, 2019

-bump

Any help anybody? I was really hoping there would be more people to give some advice.

Jan 14, 2019

Banking you won't have any of this opportunity. You should look into S&T where they have the mandatory 2 weeks which you can use for travel and also many consulting shops are generally good with PTO and using it

Jan 14, 2019

My first thought was consulting. You might be able to find something along those lines that will let you work remotely, but I wouldn't really consider this "competitive" and the salary will most likely take a hit. Let me know if you find what you're looking for though.

Jan 14, 2019

Sorry dude, taking 6-7 weeks of vacation will not allow you to climb the corporate ladder, at least not at a good pace. You need to decide what's more important to you. Traveling is awesome, but I don't know of any great finance jobs that allow that kind of time at the entry level.

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Jan 14, 2019

Agreed. There aren't many opportunities in finance where you have a lot of continuous time off to go do whatever you like. If you don't mind doing short bursts of travelling, stick to Europe or Asia (HK/Singapore/Shanghai).

Consulting is another option, though you don't necessarily have enough time to fully experience the location and also you're in that working/business mindset still. Another option is to relocate your office at work once you're 2-3 years in, to another country.

You also travel a lot and that costs money. Personally I would keep it to 2 long trips a year (July-Aug and Nov-Feb), and maybe one short trip during an extended weekend holiday.

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Jan 13, 2019
PEConsultant:

Banking you won't have any of this opportunity. You should look into S&T where they have the mandatory 2 weeks which you can use for travel and also many consulting shops are generally good with PTO and using it

I've been doing a bit more research and I'm considering France, as they have 25 days mandatory PTO. Ardian, possibly. The issue is salary in PE in France is 1/4 of the salary in the US and 1/3 of the salary in Canada.

MMBanker14:

Sorry dude, taking 6-7 weeks of vacation will not allow you to climb the corporate ladder, at least not at a good pace. You need to decide what's more important to you. Traveling is awesome, but I don't know of any great finance jobs that allow that kind of time at the entry level.

Yah, that seems to be in line with everything I'm finding. What about finance jobs with lots of travel that is part of the job. I'm thinking something with maybe 3 weeks vacation but a job that involves lots of travel (possibly NYC, SF, or Toronto based with lots of travel to Shanghai/HK/Singapore). Any ideas?

CorporateSellout:

Agreed. There aren't many opportunities in finance where you have a lot of continuous time off to go do whatever you like. If you don't mind doing short bursts of travelling, stick to Europe or Asia (HK/Singapore/Shanghai).

Consulting is another option, though you don't necessarily have enough time to fully experience the location and also you're in that working/business mindset still. Another option is to relocate your office at work once you're 2-3 years in, to another country.

You also travel a lot and that costs money. Personally I would keep it to 2 long trips a year (July-Aug and Nov-Feb), and maybe one short trip during an extended weekend holiday.

Any industries/companies where there would be lots of opportunities for travel as part of work that you would suggest I look into?

Also, is unpaid time off a thing? For example, if I get a job with 2-3 weeks PTO, could I choose to take another 2 weeks off but unpaid? I would definitely be open to doing that, if that is allowed anywhere.

Jan 13, 2019

bump

Jan 17, 2019

As others have said IB is a 100% no.

S&T / Consulting would offer you the best options.

I know you are trying to match the job to your passion but you also might want to match your passion to your job. Listen, I get it, I'm in a big family and we take one long vacation during the summer and another one in the winter with a few smaller trips in between. Coming in FT, I had to compromise. Maybe I would join my family for 9 days of their 2 week vacation (M-F off, both weekends). That way I can take a solid trip and only use 5 of my 15 PTO days. Another thing people do is take, for example, tomorrow off since Monday is a holiday and turn that into a 4 day weekend for trips.

For Christmas week most people work from home / remotely during the week. Like I said... there are options but you need to embrace the reality that the 4 week vacations won't be cutting it anymore, regardless of what job you have.

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Jan 13, 2019
FinancelsWacc:

For Christmas week most people work from home / remotely during the week. Like I said... there are options but you need to embrace the reality that the 4 week vacations won't be cutting it anymore, regardless of what job you have.

I asked this previously but didn't get a reply: Is unpaid time off a thing? I'm seeing that 4 week PTO won't happen, but if I have, say, 2 weeks PTO, is it realistic to be able to talk to my boss and take another 2-3 weeks off throughout the year but without pay? Would that be a bad decision? I would honestly not mind going 2-3 weeks without pay in order to travel, but I'm not sure if that would be allowed.

Jan 17, 2019

It depends. I suppose for something that is an hourly paid job you can work less and be paid less. But most jobs in finance (especially early on and at BB / EB banks) tend to have analyst programs. These are more structured and you can't really take unpaid time off. So I suppose it would be more dependent on the company, but as far as I can tell there is no unpaid time off in finance, where almost every employee is utilized / depended on regularly. This even includes professions like consulting, where technically you bill based on billable hours but you're still locked in at a salary.

Jan 19, 2019
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