Undergrad AM/ER Certifications

jdog112's picture
Rank: Baboon | 147

Hey guys, sophomore undergrad interested in AM or ER for career. What certifications or exams are available to undergrads to bolster a resume? I already plan on taking CFA Level 1 but was wondering if someone could give the specs on FINRA series exams or other relevant certs.

Can i take the FINRA exams without being sponsored? Anybody have any recommendations, thanks in advance.

Comments (14)

Mar 2, 2011

Fuck the exams. Your time could be better spent on improving your GPA, interning during the school year, or networking.

Mar 2, 2011
za3212:

Fuck the exams. Your time could be better spent on improving your GPA, interning during the school year, or networking.

Yeah I hear you, but classes right now are a breeze and I figured I could try to fit some stuff in before I'm studying full time upper level classes and CFA material. Thanks. Been applying to internships but my resume's pretty weak I need some experience.

Mar 2, 2011

If you get into any firm that requires a Series 7, etc they will sponsor you and provide training. I would not waste your time with this in college.

However, passing CFA Level 1 is a very worthwhile thing to do while in school. It's a sign that you are serious about AM/ER to employers. Most of the material on the exam you will learn in undergrad business school. And if you wait to you are out of school and working 80 hours a week, it's gonna be hard to put in the recommended 300 hours of study time. Plus, a lot of the "academic" material that is now fresh, will be long forgotten in the real world.

BTW, the Series 7 is a walk in the park compared to the CFA.

Mar 2, 2011
tan86:

If you get into any firm that requires a Series 7, etc they will sponsor you and provide training. I would not waste your time with this in college.

However, passing CFA Level 1 is a very worthwhile thing to do while in school. It's a sign that you are serious about AM/ER to employers. Most of the material on the exam you will learn in undergrad business school. And if you wait to you are out of school and working 80 hours a week, it's gonna be hard to put in the recommended 300 hours of study time. Plus, a lot of the "academic" material that is now fresh, will be long forgotten in the real world.

BTW, the Series 7 is a walk in the park compared to the CFA.

Awesome, good info thanks.

Mar 2, 2011

Keep in mind that you can't take CFA Level I until you are a senior in college.... by which time you would ideally have a FT offer in hand so you can drink the year away.

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Mar 2, 2011

You definitely don't want to bother with any of the FINRA exams. They are only a small step above the written driving test at the DMV.

What you need to do is be able to show an interest in investing. Taking CFA Level I is one such step, but as noted you can't take it until your senior year. If your school has some sort of investing academic track - do it. Every school has some sort of finance/investment society - do that, too.

Mar 2, 2011
jqbuyside:

You definitely don't want to bother with any of the FINRA exams. They are only a small step above the written driving test at the DMV.

What you need to do is be able to show an interest in investing. Taking CFA Level I is one such step, but as noted you can't take it until your senior year. If your school has some sort of investing academic track - do it. Every school has some sort of finance/investment society - do that, too.

Ok sounds good thanks. I plan to take CFA level 1 Dec. of senior year, the earliest I can.

My school is small and non-target. It is AACSB accredited, but thats about it. So I'm trying to add as much as I can. I joined the Finance/Accounting Club and I am currently starting up an investment club with one other student. We don't have an investment track, but we do take Security Analysis, Money & Banking, and "Investments" so I'm making sure to take all those. Also taking three classes in Financial Reporting as I figured that would be solid to have for equity research and AM. Thanks again.

Mar 3, 2011
jqbuyside:

You definitely don't want to bother with any of the FINRA exams. They are only a small step above the written driving test at the DMV.

What you need to do is be able to show an interest in investing. Taking CFA Level I is one such step, but as noted you can't take it until your senior year. If your school has some sort of investing academic track - do it. Every school has some sort of finance/investment society - do that, too.

One great way to show interest in investing, besides classes and clubs, is build a paper portfolio account. Start documenting your trading (why you bought stock XYZ -- the model you built to buy it, your thesis, etc). You can talk about this (and even show it) to any ER opportunity.

Mar 3, 2011
tan86:
jqbuyside:

You definitely don't want to bother with any of the FINRA exams. They are only a small step above the written driving test at the DMV.

What you need to do is be able to show an interest in investing. Taking CFA Level I is one such step, but as noted you can't take it until your senior year. If your school has some sort of investing academic track - do it. Every school has some sort of finance/investment society - do that, too.

One great way to show interest in investing, besides classes and clubs, is build a paper portfolio account. Start documenting your trading (why you bought stock XYZ -- the model you built to buy it, your thesis, etc). You can talk about this (and even show it) to any ER opportunity.

Good to know. I currently invest on my own and we are also planning on having a paper portfolio for the investment club. I didn't know it would be appropriate to document and bring it in to potential employers. Great info thanks.

Mar 3, 2011

Tan86 has a good idea.

FYI--The CFA institute has a scholarship that will give you a refund/charge you only $200 for the level one. All u need is a CFA charter at your school to sign a form that u fax in (they can do 5 a year/per school i believe).

Once you get this scholarship, Schweser has a follow on that will give u the $1,000 study package with/class for $250. Other pacakges w/o class are even less.

I did both, and took level one for $450 w/study materials. It was great.

LMK if you want the link...it's not so easy to find.

Mar 3, 2011
sk8247365:

Tan86 has a good idea.

FYI--The CFA institute has a scholarship that will give you a refund/charge you only $200 for the level one. All u need is a CFA charter at your school to sign a form that u fax in (they can do 5 a year/per school i believe).

Once you get this scholarship, Schweser has a follow on that will give u the $1,000 study package with/class for $250. Other pacakges w/o class are even less.

I did both, and took level one for $450 w/study materials. It was great.

LMK if you want the link...it's not so easy to find.

Good info thanks. My uncle was in AM and he took Level 1 last year so he's sending me his full package of study materials. Would that be good enough or should I get the newest ones (if there are any, not sure).

Will check out the scholarships.

Also not sure what LMK means haha.

Mar 3, 2011

The paper portfolio is good, but it will be better received as part of the investment club as it lends greater credibility. I occasionally see resumes with ridiculous claims like "achieved 200% returns in 2 years." If you really are that good, then you don't need a job with me.

As tan86 noted, make sure you document your process. That's the most important part.

Mar 4, 2011
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