Graduated from Target five years ago. Trying to move into finance now...

lazaruslurcel's picture
Rank: Chimp | banana points 15

Hey guys,

So five years ago I graduated from a mid ivey and have been working in marketing since. I've worked for a few startups and am currently at a F500 but really want to transition into the finance sector if possible.

Is there anyway for me to get an entry level position to work my way up the industry without getting an MBA? For a number of reasons, the MBA route just isn't possible. I am completely fine starting at the bottom if I can get a shot.

Keep in mind, my degree was in English so I don't have a STEM based background.

Is there any point sending applications out to boutiques near where I live or attempting to hit up my local alumni network? Or, realistically speaking, it won't get anywhere?

Thanks so much for your help! Just trying to understand this process better.

Comments (9)

Jan 31, 2019

Applications never work, and I am saying that from experience. Network with every firm, large and small, to get as many responses as you can.


Feb 1, 2019

MBA time maybe?

Most Helpful
Feb 1, 2019

It's not going to be an easy transition without an MBA and no internship in finance.

Why do you want to transition to finance? Is it the work or the money? And when you say finance, do you mean IB?

If you want to move to IB without an MBA at this stage, I would suggest reaching out to people from your class working at boutiques (they would be experienced associates by now if they're still in banking). They will also be most likely to answer and can tell you what you can leverage from your profile.

You may need to show some quantitative skills as well, so, although not extremely helpful, a CFA level 1 and/or strong GMAT can be of use.

    • 2
Feb 2, 2019

To what extent is the CFA of value? I always figured it was more geared towards people working in some sort of AM.

CFA Level alone is the same exact stuff they teach in undergrad college coursework. How do upper level CFA exams work?

Feb 1, 2019

With your profile, you are getting two valuable things from CFA Level 1: knowledge and showing interest in finance.

Knowledge, because, since you majored in English, I assume you won't have a good finance base. Also, even though CFA Level 1 is similar to an undergrad level in finance/economics/accounting, you still need to work for it. Plenty of finance majors fail CFA exams.

Interest in finance. You need a way to signal you have already begun your transition into a finance career. Without a degree, an MBA or work experience, it could look as if you heard the money was good, so why not give it a go. People interviewing you might think you're just a chancer who potentially can't even solve a first degree equation.

CFA level 2 is more advanced valuation and security analysis, and CFA level 3 is more portfolio management/asset allocation. If you like it, sure, go ahead and do all levels. I did CFA a few years ago and it's useful knowledge for a lot of finance roles. But it will take you 3 years at least and you need finance/investment experience to get the charter anyway. So not that useful if you're looking to transition to finance in the next year or two.

    • 2
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Feb 5, 2019

Mostly for the money, if I'm being honest. I work in corporate right now and it's difficult to get anywhere salary-wise climbing the ladder.

Jan 31, 2019

good advice by S Reaper, would give out an SB but dont have and WSO credits.


Feb 2, 2019

Dun it for you. Have you considered getting a foot in the door at a place like NorthWestern Mutual. It is a scam but you can get a series 6,7 and 63 which can be used to leverage your interest. It may be a roundabout less efficient way of doing things, but it might help. I was recommended a similar path on this forum.

Feb 2, 2019

just google're welcome