What's entry-level work like in finance at an F500?


I'm looking to get some input from those of you who work or know people who work in Finance for a Fortune 500...I want to get an idea of how the skills and experience I'm gaining are stacking up.

Right now, I work for an F100 and hate my job. I'm getting paid decent money (just over 65k all in and this is my 1st year), but my work is boring as shit and I'm afraid I'm not getting the experience or skills that will help me get into a better job and then into a decent biz school. Couple that with the worse than expected hours (8-6,7) and I'm losing morale fast.

Basically, my work involves updating excel spreadsheets and putting together a slide or two for presentations to corporate (i work in a satellite office and dont present myself). There is basically NO financial analysis in this role...no NPV, DCF, etc. Just numbers being plugged in for the company's records and controls. My title is "financial analyst" but in reality I'm a data monkey. The only "analysis" i do is asking manager's if they expect the budget for next year will resemble last year's budget (~4 mill) and then updating a file to reflect that. I don't work with the full company's numbers or PnL at all.

So, what are you guys doing on your jobs? Should I hang in here or am I fucking myself over by staying?

*BTW, if it matters as far as b-school prospects, I went to a non-HYP Ivy and graduated w/ a 3.4.

Comments (11)

Oct 9, 2011 - 6:22pm

What you're doing is about on par for a first year analyst. So keep your head up and keep working hard.

A few pieces of advice:

1) This is going to seem obvious, but make sure that you do your work impeccably. Specifically, make sure that it is done ahead of stated time due, and well above expectations in every way. Again, this seems obvious but it will tie in to later points.

2) Once you build up a solid reputation among your manager's of doing excellent work, start to ask for projects and responsibilities that are more "analytical" and more on the level of what you think you should be doing. This will only be possible/a benefit if you do your actual work very well, though.

3) If at all possible, try to transfer to headquarters so that you can network with other groups, get some more face time with managers for promotions, etc.

4) If you are doing your work well, don't be afraid to try and work with other groups that you may eventually want to work for and do special projects for them and try and build a reputation as a smart, hard worker within your company.


Of course, I would just buy in scales.


See my WSO Blog | my AMA

Oct 9, 2011 - 9:01pm


To add to what Simple As replied with, take it upon yourself to learn modeling techniques like DCF and apply your own personal FP&A spin on the numbers you work with. Who gives a shit if it wasn't asked of you? You have access to the data, do what you want with it to help make YOU better.

But listen to Simple As when he says make sure you are doing your actual job beyond 100%.

You're born, you take shit. You get out in the world, you take more shit. You climb a little higher, you take less shit. Till one day you're up in the rarefied atmosphere and you've forgotten what shit even looks like. Welcome to the layer cake, son.
Oct 9, 2011 - 9:40pm

Well, guess what - there's no real financial analysis in most 'finance' jobs either. Unless you are in something related to IM, DCF is the most complex it gets. And it's not like DCF is something super interesting. All entry level jobs are like this - you put numbers in a spreadsheet and then you put them in ppt and then your boss tells you to revise the numbers and that 50 times until you get to a result no one cares about. The difference is that in some jobs you do that for 8-10 hrs a day, while in others for 14-16 hrs. If you want something more intelectually stimulating or creative, you should become a philosopher, a poet, or a painter.

Oct 9, 2011 - 9:42pm

Simple As hit it on the head.

In addition to what Simple As posted, what is your future like at this company? Will there be other opportunities presented to you or are you in a small office with no room for advancement?

If there is potential in your office or by moving to hq....keep your nose to the grindstone and listen to Simple As.

If there really isn't any advancement potential then I'd try to get a new (better) role somewhere else after a year.

twitter: @CorpFin_Guy
Jul 16, 2013 - 8:00am



Thanks for the advice guys.

lol, dude. you can't just reply to this post 2 years later and not update on your situation. comeon man.

Haha true.


Of course, I would just buy in scales.


See my WSO Blog | my AMA

Sep 21, 2013 - 10:55pm

Now I'm curious, wth...

"You stop being an asshole when it sucks to be you." -IlliniProgrammer "Your grammar made me wish I'd been aborted." -happypantsmcgee
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