What Job Would Allow Me To Perform The Following Duties?

Hi,

So I've been doing some reflecting over my spring break about what I really enjoy about finance based on what I've been exposed to and I was wondering if there is a job or career track that would eventually lead me to doing these kinds of activities on a regular basis. I feel like I'm all over the place in terms of what I like, so that's why I'm seeking this forum's help in narrowing down what job function I seem to be aiming for. Thanks in advance!

I would like a job that involves (listed in order of preference):

-Using financial models to analyze and create operational/strategic plans or set long-term goals for an organization
-Forecasting Sales, Costs, etc. for products (I know I want to work for an industry company eventually) in order to decide what projects to invest in, which products to develop, markets to enter, etc.
-Using Sales Forecasts to see if financial goals are being met and altering strategic plans when things aren't going according to plan.
-Hedging against currency risk
-Determining how to finance said projects/products
-M&A and Joint Ventures formation and valuation
-Doing SWOT/Due Diligence on the company, competitors, and the industry in general to decide what strategies to implement.

Now I doubt, particularly at the junior levels, that my job will involve ALL of the following, but based on this, is there a job function that seems more suited to my interests?

Also, I actually enjoy accounting to some extent, but I just don't want my job to be PURELY constructing financials, adhering to GAAP, and preparing closing entries. I enjoy forecasting and modeling the most, so I'd definitely tend toward a job that allows me to do a good amount of that.

Comments (13)

Apr 27, 2014

.

Mar 27, 2011

sounds like Corporate Development = it has a bit of everything you mentioned.

Do what you want not what you can!

Mar 27, 2011

Sounds like you're looking for a combination of 3 well-known categories of finance: FP&A, Treasury, Corporate Development/Strategy.

-Using financial models to analyze and create operational/strategic plans or set long-term goals for an organization
-Forecasting Sales, Costs, etc. for products (I know I want to work for an industry company eventually) in order to decide what projects to invest in, which products to develop, markets to enter, etc.
-Using Sales Forecasts to see if financial goals are being met and altering strategic plans when things aren't going according to plan.

= Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis (FP&A)

-Hedging against currency risk
-Determining how to finance said projects/products

= Corporate Treasury

-M&A and Joint Ventures formation and valuation
-Doing SWOT/Due Diligence on the company, competitors, and the industry in general to decide what strategies to implement.

= Corporate Development/Corporate Strategy

For reference, I work at in FP&A at a large company. Keep in mind that larger companies, you will likely be asked to specialize, not only in one of the above categories, but something specific within the categories. For example, I work in corporate FP&A, but I only forecast costs for Engineering/IT/Product Management within one particular business unit of my company (another analyst does revenue, another one forecasts costs for Sales, and so on). Lucky for me, my boss has also given me some exposure to other aspects of the business as well.

It is unlikely that you will be exposed to everything above, especially at a large company. In terms of selectivity, Corporate FP&A and Corporate Treasury are relatively easy gigs to land, whereas Corp Dev/Strategy will usually require some years working in Investment Banking or Management Consulting before they will consider you.

Best of luck.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Mar 27, 2011

forgot to mention... there are many Fortune 1000 companies that have rotational programs where they cycle you through FP&A, Treasury, and Corp Dev. Might be worth looking into.

also note that the smaller/newer the company, the less likely it is that they will have clearly defined roles, and the more likely you will get exposure to more than one of the above categories.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Mar 27, 2011

Hmm if the first few are indeed FP&A, then that's probably what I should look into as those are my most desired duties. How do you generally liking your FP&A gig? Are you looking to get out or are you enjoying your time? Also, I gotta ask, what are the exit opps/potential senior positions this can lead into and would accounting or "finance" knowledge be more important for this field?

EDIT: Forget the exit opps question, I should probably search for myself on that

Pretty women make us BUY beer. Ugly women make us DRINK beer.

Learn More

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

Mar 27, 2011

FP&A is cool. while I'm enjoying my time here and the general nature of the work, I hope to make a move within the next two years to ibanking or corp dev, because they seem more interesting to me and the pay is much better. my favorite part of my job is the generally enjoyable nature of the work combined with low hours. i've hardly had a 50-hour week, which has given me the opportunity to pursue professionals/personal endeavors outside of work.

exit opps are generally pretty limited in the traditional sense. it's not like investment banking where you're in a feeder program for private equity or corporate development. however, if you make the effort to network, people in FP&A can have the flexibility to move around into different roles. in terms of career path, people in FP&A could potentially become CFO, but that's obviously not the case for everyone.

in terms of accounting versus finance knowledge for FP&A, i would say accounting is more important. the forecasting doesn't really require advanced financial knowledge, and you will likely be asked to make journal entries for closing purposes. in fact, many higher-ups have CPAs (though some have MBAs too).

good luck. feel free to PM me for more info.

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Mar 27, 2011

Just an additional thought, some companies offer rotational programs that let you do just about everything you mentioned. Microsoft is a really good example that I'm familiar with from personal experience.

You go through four six-month rotations in different groups. Your first year will be in FP&A for a business division doing what you mentioned above. Second year has some flexibility and you can choose your group. Example: rotate through MSFT's private equity unit and work on a project increasing the fund's exposure to European real estate. Strategy & corp dev is also a popular rotation. Ask around at these types of large companies and I'm sure you'll find some good stuff.

Mar 27, 2011

jesus...wtf. why do you know this shit. obviously you are in undergrad. get a fucking lif, join a fraternity, get shitfaced, make mistakes, do something you regret. DON'T HAVE YOUR LIFE PLANNED OUT. fucking GDIs

Mar 27, 2011
any143:

jesus...wtf. why do you know this shit. obviously you are in undergrad. get a fucking lif, join a fraternity, get shitfaced, make mistakes, do something you regret. DON'T HAVE YOUR LIFE PLANNED OUT. fucking GDIs

Frat frat frat bro bro frat!

Mar 27, 2011
any143:

jesus...wtf. why do you know this shit. obviously you are in undergrad. get a fucking lif, join a fraternity, get shitfaced, make mistakes, do something you regret. DON'T HAVE YOUR LIFE PLANNED OUT. fucking GDIs

agree with the above poster that having a life and planning your career early are not mutually exclusive. here's a reality check: the vast majority of my friends at non-targets who didn't plan out their career, try different jobs, and experiment while they were still undergrads are very mediocre and hate their jobs. on the other hand, some of the most social people i've met at school are also some of the most successful professionally, because they made professional success a priority.

any123, if you really think it's so pathetic to plan for your career while in college, why did you join an online community geared towards kids trying to plan their career while still in college?

Money Never Sleeps? More like Money Never SUCKS amirite?!?!?!?

Mar 27, 2011

Thinking about what kind of job you want after undergrad and having a life aren't mutually exclusive. Coming from a non-target, those of us with good jobs lined up right now generally seem to have the highest quality of life anyway.

Mar 27, 2011

drunk posts only...

Apr 8, 2011
Comment