List of Transferable Skills in Corporate Finance

Angelz629's picture
Rank: Baboon | 129

Last week, I posted this article "Should I reconsider an O&G career due to low oil prices?" regarding whether or not you should reconsider a corporate finance career in oil and gas given the current environment of low oil prices.

This week, I want to take that topic a step further and assume that you DO want to switch industries. The reason for this topic is because the thought of switching has crossed my mind several times. My internship in college was at an oil and gas company. A month after graduation, I joined a F500 oil and gas company and have been there since. It's all I've ever known. I breathed oil and gas for 8 years - it was my bread and butter.

However, deep down I knew that I couldn't see myself in the same industry forever. I was always curious about other industries like tech companies such as Apple and being able to contribute to amazing, groundbreaking, one-of-a-kind products they release and see people incorporate them into their daily lives...or CPGs like Procter and Gamble so I can walk by the aisles of a grocery store and know that I played a pivotal role in the marketing/packaging strategy of the products. Yes, I drive by tons of gas stations every day; I use electricity everyday, but it just didn't feel the same....to me, at least. But, I'm also afraid to throw away all those years I've invested in oil and gas....

Anyway, I wanted to list out all the transferable skills within corporate finance that you can take with you regardless of industry. It would help me out and give me the confidence I need if I do decide to make the switch one day. It'll also help other readers who are considering the same. Thus, please mention any others that I may have missed. This would also be helpful for resumes, cover letters, and interviews.

1. Forecasting, budgeting, and variance analysis - can't avoid this in most corporate finance roles

2. Presentation and communication skills - being able to tell a story in a clear, concise manner.....on powerpoint slides

3. The ability to sift through large amounts of data and draw out key, insightful messages

4. Influencing skills - sometimes you need to be able to influence others to do your bidding

5. Analytical skills

6. Accounting/finance skills -

7. Leadership skills, team player/collaborative, ability to work with others

8. Desire to learn

9. Ability to work under minimal supervision; takes initiative

Are there any other transferable skills?

Comments (12)

Jan 6, 2016
  1. An understanding of office politics
  2. Appreciating your time away from the job
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Jan 6, 2016

@Angelz629 good, short post. I am in a similar position as you in that, I have a Finance and Supply Chain background I am currently in the O&G industry looking to transition to Investment Banking or being part of a major bank working within Reserve Based Lending or Loan Syndication (currently a Business Development Analyst).

You covered this but its worth mentioning that one of the biggest strengths we have is our ability to understand the dynamics of our industry AND have the finance skills needed to perform analysis and model investment opportunities, utilize data to project revenue, etc. This is in contrast to someone who has the finance skills and works in Investment Banking but may not truly understand the O&G industry from a non-Finance perspective.

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Jan 6, 2016

Should be renamed to "list of useful attributes."

Jan 6, 2016
  1. Technical skills - the ability to build your own models and workbooks in excel, manage data flow, write VBA, etc (sort of goes along with #1 and #3 I guess but I feel like modeling in excel is probably the most important/transferable skill I have gotten out of Corp fin)
    • 1
Jan 6, 2016
curiousgeorge1429:

12. Technical skills - the ability to build your own models and workbooks in excel, manage data flow, write VBA, etc (sort of goes along with #1 and #3 I guess but I feel like modeling in excel is probably the most important/transferable skill I have gotten out of Corp fin)

Maybe if you want to be a first year analyst your entire career...

Learn More

Side-by-side comparison of top modeling training courses + exclusive discount through WSO here.

Jan 6, 2016

I don't know, I feel like modeling skills are fairly important transferable skills. I agree it is more important at the lower levels, but I would say depending on the work it is still relevant for SFAs and even mid-level management. Especially if you are trying to switch career paths at lower levels to consulting or IB.

Jan 7, 2016

This is extremely relevant for myself too. I am looking transfer into an investment analyst position at a fund or AM firm. I currently work in corporate finance at a financial services firm. I would definitely like some honest feedback around this subject too.

Jan 7, 2016

sounds like you are not truly passionate about O&G, as you know, other "similar" non-technical gigs at P&G or the Aerospace industry or pretty much anywhere else will not pay you as well as O&G does for about anything; so make sure you are ready for a paycut. If you are comparing Gas Stations and Supermarkets, well nm.

Consulting may give you some variety? Best of luck either way.

Most transferrable skill you need to show you have is flexibility, if you are flexible and can do a variety of roles or prove that you wore many different hats for 8 years successfully, you should be good to go

Jan 7, 2016

Ability to take shit.

I'm not even kidding. The amount of shit that one has to take from bosses and clients in this industry is un-fucking-believable. If you can handle that, you can handle anything.

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Jan 11, 2016

+1

  • Anonymous Monkey
  •  Jan 8, 2016

You're going to need more than excel modeling skills to hack it in tech. Even for a senior capacity, systems, tools, time/cost, initiatives, understanding the technical capacity. Have to be informed on what's working and what has value, beyond the hype and unicorn farts.

    • 1
Jan 8, 2016
Comment
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