CFA or Graduate in 3/3.5 years - Target with a 4.0

BigRedAEM's picture
Rank: Baboon | 155

I'm in the process of choosing my classes for next semester and it would be possible to graduate in 3 years, and definitely graduate in 3.5 years. When I was talking to my alumni mentor, he recommended that I try and complete the CFA Level 1 during my senior year. My ultimate goal is to end up in either PE/HF immediately after I graduate but I'm not entirely sure how that will work.

My question is whether it would be worth it to stay an extra semester or possibly an entire year to get my CFA.

I'm at a target with a 4.0 GPA, but nothing official lined up for this summer except a one week externship at a southern investment company. I would have to take a summer course in order to take upper level Finance courses but that wouldn't be too bad.

I've already talked to my advisor about it, but he wasn't too helpful, so all input is greatly appreciated.

Thanks

Comments (19)

Apr 18, 2011

Why would you need to stay in school longer to take the CFA?

Apr 18, 2011

Leaving college in 3 years is like leaving a party at 10

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Apr 18, 2011

I finished school in 3 years and, if I had to do it over again, would take the full 4 or 5.

Apr 18, 2011

Thanks for the input so far. Staying an extra year would be nice but I'd also like to help save my parents some $.

I guess I could graduate in 3 years and do CFA level 1, but it would just be pretty difficult, but not impossible, to balance all of that work.

Apr 18, 2011

Honestly L1 material isn't that hard, especially if you're studying finance now. Certainly easier to balance it with a college courseload than a finance job.

Apr 18, 2011
Kenny_Powers_CFA:

Honestly L1 material isn't that hard, especially if you're studying finance now. Certainly easier to balance it with a college courseload than a finance job.

Second this. I took L1 in school and studied September through Dec. 5 and was fine. You won't be able to take L2 the following June (you have to have a completed bachelor degree to register for L2), but it will help in the application process. Balance your time and take L1 in December. Enjoy 2nd semester senior year and you will hopefully have a leg up in the application process by passing L1.

It will only get harder after you graduate. I played sports year round and thought I was busy during school. My hours are not bad at all by Wall Street standards (50-60), but that is still more than class/sports took up in college. Trying to study for L2 after already looking at financial statements for 12 hours is no fun.

Apr 19, 2011

Thanks, I didn't know that the CFA only took 6 months. I guess what I could do is Study abroad junior spring, come back do CFA/Graduate senior fall and then travel again before I start working.

Apr 19, 2011
BigRedAEM:

Thanks, I didn't know that the CFA only took 6 months. I guess what I could do is Study abroad junior spring, come back do CFA/Graduate senior fall and then travel again before I start working.

The CFA doesn't "just" take 6 months... it takes however long it takes for you to study and pass the exam. This can be 2 weeks (if you're a genius and don't sleep), 3 months or 1 year. If you mean that the CFA level 1 is offered every six months, then yes it "takes" six months.

Apr 19, 2011

Dude I hope you are getting what people are saying above. What do you mean by "Thanks, I didn't know that the CFA only took 6 months." Is that a sarcastic comment?

Apr 19, 2011

I mean: thank you, I didn't know that.

Apr 21, 2011

If you have a 4.0 - you should have a scholarship... Also, do you have a social life? A lot of PE/HF shops value people who are well-rounded

Apr 21, 2011

Unless you're really financially strained, there's no reason to graduate in 3 years. You may think it sounds really impressive, but it's not all too big a deal. You're a finance major after all. Enjoy what little freedom you have left. As eager as you may be to start your career, it gets old really fucking fast. Here's my advice: graduate in 3.5 years and use those 6 months off to travel, study for the CFA and, in general, just do the things that you'll probably never have a chance to do again. Also, while you may have your sights set on PE/HF right out of college, getting into a good firm is going to be difficult. Doing banking first will make the transition a lot easier. My biggest piece of advice to you: slow the fuck down and enjoy your youth.

Apr 23, 2011

No merit scholarships at Cornell

Yeah, I'm in a couple of clubs and pledging a fraternity now

Thanks for the input everyone. This is my temporary plan. I'll graduate in 3.5 years and use my senior fall to finish up and try for the CFA, senior spring to travel and basically do whatever I want and still have the opportunity to study abroad junior spring.

Apr 23, 2011

Get in the work force, experience trumps the CFA

Apr 23, 2011

Why would you have to stay an extra semester to complete the Level 1? You can do it alongside your courses. Trust me, it'll be much harder than doing it when you're in the workforce.

If you're trying to get into HF, it is not a bad idea at all and shows initiatives over just school academics. Plus you'll already be a 1/3 of the way there.

Here is a current breakdown of what CFAs currently do as a profession. http://www.newcfa.org/?intCamp=homepage_banner_cha...
They say do CFA if you want to get into Portfolio management but 78% of CFAs aren't even in Port. Mgt.

Apr 23, 2011

You do realize that you can't "get" your CFA until you have 4 year of qualifying work experience right? You can't take Level II until you graduate from college anyway. Knock at Level I, which since you have a 4.0 at a target shouldn't be that bad. It's best just to knock it out early, because studying for these tests is a pain while working ft.

Apr 23, 2011

Right, I meant Level 1. I guess I wouldn't have to stay another semester but I wouldn't do it if I graduated early.

I meant graduate in 3/3.5 years vs 4 years with a CFA.

Thanks for the help so far

Apr 23, 2011
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