Finance

Explore a career in Finance.

The finance industry encompasses a wide range of companies, from banks and hedge funds to insurance companies and credit card firms. Jobs in finance also range widely, from financial advising and financial analyzing to trading securities and managing risk. Those who work in finance usually have good quantitative and organizational skills. Below is information on various industries and professions within finance, including typical responsibilities and candidate profiles, and companies/employers to target for each, as well as information on the following categories and subcategories. You can also check out our Banking Roadmap that shows what you could be doing throughout your four years at Rochester.

Types of Finance Careers

  • Commercial Banking

    Overview

    Commercial banks make loans to the full spectrum of borrowers, including private individuals, major corporations, and government agencies. These banks finance their loan activities by lending out money gathered from the funds deposited by individuals and firms. Finally, commercial banks come in several types:

    • Small independent banks, or “community banks”
    • Regional banking companies owned by a larger bank
    • Large money center banks and bank holding companies (Vault.com)

    Noteworthy employers: Bank of America, Capital One Financial Corporation, Citigroup Inc., ESL Federal Credit Union, Family First Federal Credit Union, Goldman Sachs & Co., HSBC Reliant Community Credit Union, Societe Generale, TD Bank, USAA, Wells Fargo & Company

    Candidate Profile/Recruiting

    Commercial banking offers a wide variety of career opportunities, including positions in management, sales, customer service, and technical support, and is flexible and not necessarily location-specific. Skills and knowledge are transferable and advancement opportunities are available.

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Heaviest recruiting typically occurs in September through fall semester
    • Several firms will fill most of their full-time roles with their interns from the previous summer

    Summer internships:

    • Recruiting deadlines typically occur in September through early spring
    • Many banks and financial institutions seek candidates for internships prior to the school year
  • Investment Banking

    Overview

    An investment bank is a financial institution that raises capital for individuals, corporations, government agencies and municipalities by underwriting or acting as the client’s agent when issuing securities. When looking at investment banks, there exists three groups:

    • Bulge-bracket
    • Middle-market
    • Boutique firms (Vault.com)


    Advisory Services—
    Investment bankers are charged with advising institutional clients and private equity sponsors on capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, buyouts, and company reorganizations.

    Sales and Trading—Sales and trading, also known as the trading desk, engages in the buying and selling of financial assets in any financial market, either for themselves or on behalf of another person or institution.

    Research—Research analysts are “industry experts” and cover a sector of stocks by analyzing financials, speaking with industry contacts, and projecting future growth and M&A. The work combines writing reports, analyzing and building out models, and speaking to institutional investors. Analysts also host both company specific and industry wide events.

    Noteworthy employers: Barclays, BlackRock, BNY Mellon, Deutsche Bank, Jefferies, JP Morgan, Moelis & Company, Stifel, TD Securities, UBS

    Candidate Profile/Recruiting

    All candidates interested in going into an Investment Bank should have a minimum 3.2 GPA (3.5 preferred), as well as knowledge and experience with technicals/modeling, accounting and financial statements, and market behavior.

    For a typical profile into advisory services, please visit:

     

    For a typical profile into sales and trading, please visit:

    For a typical profile into equity research, please visit:

    Recruiting Timeline

    To be competitive in any investment bank division, students must be prepared early (starting in beginning of Sophomore year), apply directly on firms’ websites, and utilize alumni and professional networks to establish connections within the industry. Networking is very important to breaking in and being successful in Investment Banking recruiting.

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Mainly filled through summer internships; limited full-time opportunities open up in August

    Summer internships:

    • Recruiting deadlines typically occur in August – early fall semester, many first round deadlines are in late August
  • Investment Management

    Overview

    Investment management is the professional management of various securities (shares, bonds and other securities) and assets (e.g., real estate), to meet specified investment goals for the benefit of the investors. Investors may be institutions (insurance companies, pension funds, corporations etc.) or private investors (both directly via investment contracts and more commonly via collective investment schemes e.g. mutual funds or exchange-traded funds). It is important to note that typically this industry is not entry-level but instead an area of advancement in your career.

    Asset management—Asset management is the direction of a client’s cash and securities by a financial services company, usually an investment bank. One key role within Asset Management is investment consultant. An investment consultant helps investors (public, private, foundations, and endowments) with long-term investment planning by formulating clients’ investment strategies in order to fulfill their needs and goals. See consulting for more information.

    Hedge funds—A hedge fund is an alternative/private investment vehicle available only to sophisticated investors (institutions and individuals with significant assets), involving sophisticated strategies such as selling short, leverage, program trading, swaps, arbitrage, and derivatives unavailable to mutual funds.

    Private equity—Private equity is capital that is not noted on a public exchange, composed of funds and investors that directly invest in private companies, or that engage in buyouts of public companies.

    Noteworthy employers: Bank of America/Merrill Lynch, BlackRock, Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank, Goldman Sachs, Jefferies, JP Morgan, Moelis & Company, Morgan Stanley, QCI, UBS

    Candidate Profile/Recruiting

    All candidates interested in investment management should have a minimum 3.2 GPA (3.5 preferred), as well as knowledge and experience with technicals/modeling, accounting and financial statements, and market behavior.

    Full-time hires should have one to two years experience in general, while having investment banking experience is a plus. For asset management specifically, increased opportunities may be available in banks; for summer internships, there are few returning offers but there are less-structured recruiting timelines.

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • It is atypical to work in investment management in a hedge fund or in private equity in a full-time role immediately following graduation. Thus, it is common to transition into these roles after working in investment banking for one to two years to gain experience.

    Summer internships:

    • Recruiting deadlines typically occur in September – March. With more structured programs, deadlines are earlier. Return full-time offers are rare.
  • Wealth Management

    Overview

    Wealth management is an area of finance covering all aspects of financial planning and private banking for high net-worth individuals with sizable assets.

    Banks, brokerages, and professional trust companies offer services including options for investment (portfolio) management, retail banking, accounting & tax services, estate planning and legal counsel, all from one office. These services are provided by wealth managers, who are financial advisory specialists holding credentials such as Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Chartered Strategic Wealth Professional (CSWP), or MBA.

    Noteworthy employers: Barclays, Citi, Monarch Wealth Management, Morgan Stanley, Prentice Wealth Management, Raymond James, RBC Wealth Management, Rochester Wealth Management, Wells Fargo, Wilmington Trust

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Recruiting deadlines range year-round on an as-needed basis
    • Several firms will fill most of their full-time roles with their interns from the previous summer

    Summer internships:

    • Recruiting deadlines typically occur in September – April; more prestigious and competitive firms have earlier deadlines
    • Many banks and financial institutions seek candidates for internships prior to the school year
  • Corporate Finance

    Overview

    People within corporate finance apply efforts to a company in order to manage the money for carrying out the business, enhance dealings with external relationships (customers, suppliers), project its future finance obligations, handle monetary activities. Some companies have corporate development groups, where they evaluate M&A opportunities (not to be confused with investment banking advisory).

    Noteworthy employers: Citizens Bank, JP Morgan, Manning & Napier, Wells Fargo

    Candidate Profile/Recruiting

    A typical candidate profile for corporate finance analysts includes:

    • Minimum 3.3 GPA, prior internship experience, strong knowledge of technicals, finance and accounting coursework or major
    • Knowledge of Financial analysis and developing budgets and plans

     

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Recruiting deadlines range from August – October; Fortune 500 companies recruit earlier
    • Several firms will fill most of their full-time roles with their interns from the previous summer

    Summer internships:

    • Recruiting deadlines typically occur in August – April
    • Many banks and financial institutions seek candidates for internships prior to the school year
  • Accounting

    Overview

    Accountants are responsible for four core functions:

    • General accounting
    • Auditing
    • Assurance
    • Tax

    There are also other specialized functions such as environmental accounting and litigation consulting. The number and types of services that can be offered by accounting firms can change as quickly as the overall business climate.

    Supporting accountants and auditors are a variety of departments and workers. Advanced accounting is typically handled by qualified accountants who possess designations such as Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

    Noteworthy employers: PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers) LLP, Deloitte LLP, EY, KPMG LLP, Grant Thornton LLP

    Candidate Profile/Recruiting

    States have different academic and experience requirements to become a CPA, but typically your educational requirement will extend beyond your bachelor’s degree to encompass 150 semester hours, with varying amounts of accounting classes. In addition, you will need to pass the CPA exam, which is administered by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). Since the requirements to earn your CPA vary widely it is best to contact your state board for details.

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Full-time roles typically have heaviest recruiting in September and October. At big four accounting firms, recruiting occurs even earlier.

    Summer internships:

    • Students seeking internships in accounting should be looking prior to the school year, with deadlines ranging from September – November
  • Overview

    Actuaries use statistical formulas and techniques to calculate the probability of events such as death, disability, sickness, unemployment, retirement, and property loss. Actuaries develop formulas to predict how much money an insurance company will pay in claims, which determines the overall cost of insuring a group, business, or individual. Increase in risk raises potential cost to the company, which, in turn, raises its rates.

    Actuaries analyze risk to estimate the number and amount of claims an insurance company will have to pay. They assess the cost of running the business and incorporate the results into the design and evaluation of programs.

    Noteworthy employers: The Travelers Companies, Inc., Liberty Mutual Group, Towers Watson, Milliman, Inc., The Hartford, CNA Insurance Companies, Allstate Insurance Company, Nationwide Insurance Company, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ISO

    Recruiting Timeline

    Full-time, post-graduate jobs:

    • Full-time roles typically have heaviest recruiting in August and September for candidates who have passed first two exams

    Summer internships:

    • Students seeking internships should be looking prior to the school year, with deadlines ranging from September – November
      Actuary

     

A How-to-Guide to Break into “The Street!”

Diversity Programs & Mentorship Organizations

Click here to learn more about diversity programs that companies offer and mentorship organizations that help provide technical training and internship opportunities to help students break into competitive professional fields. This document includes programs from the previous year. As new applications become available it will be updated. Check individual programs for more information.

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