Finance

 

Quick Facts

2014 Median Salary
$60,000 (Bachelor)

As juniors, finance students are invited to enter the Finance Academy, a highly selective enrichment program.

2014 Top Hiring Employers
Northern Trust Company
GE
The Private Bank and Trust
Bank of America
Wells Fargo
BMO Financial Group
Abercrombie & Fitch
JP Morgan Chase

full list

 

What do Finance majors do?

The field of finance is primarily concerned with the acquisition and management of funds by business firms, governments, and individuals. A business seeks financial advice when considering the purchase of new equipment, the expansion of present facilities or raising additional funds. Determining the value of financial and real assets and derivatives is a key activity in finance. The study of finance is designed to provide the student with both the theoretical background and the analytical tools required to make effective decisions.

What kinds of jobs do Finance majors get?

 

Asset Management/Financial PlanningBanking and InvestmentsConsultingCorporate FinanceInsuranceReal EstateSales and Trading
Financial planners help customers put together a plan for managing their financial resources; investment advisors suggest specific investments. Much of the planning revolves around an income and spending budget, with advice about the types of financial investments suitable for the client.

Asset managers and investment advisors recommend specific investments, sometimes to individuals but most often to managers of investment funds such as mutual funds. Investment advice is usually based on research, which can be of many kinds.

Sample Financial Planning Full-Time Posting
Sample Asset Management Internship Posting

In 2014, 24% of Finance graduates started their careers in Banking with an average starting salary of $54,167 for Commercial Banking and $67,000 for Investment Banking.

Typical careers in the field of banking include:

Commercial Banking: Provide the full range of commercial, treasury, and asset management services
Investment Banking: Run valuation analyses, perform complex financial modeling, conduct industry and company research and analysis, develop client presentations, write internal and external marketing memoranda, and support client relationships and business development
Venture Capital and Private Equity: Invest in a company through a negotiated process
In 2014, 17% of Finance graduates started their careers in Consulting with an average starting salary of $64,400.

Most consulting firms specialize in only one area of expertise or in a particular industry such as: information technology (IT), management, human resources (HR), marketing, process, logistics, litigation, or strategy. Management consultants provides advice to senior and middle corporate managers about the operations or strategic direction of various functions in the company. Technical consultants provide expert assessments in environmental, legal, scientific, and other areas. Most consulting jobs are project-oriented assignments or engagements.

Consultants typically perform database analysis, financial modeling, general business analysis, research, and generate reports for the client or project team. In addition, consultants are actively involved in the application and transfer of specific skills and knowledge to the client.

Sample Consulting Full-Time Posting
Sample Consulting Internship Posting
In 2014, 38% of Finance graduates started their careers in Corporate/Private Finance with an average starting salary of $55,520.

Corporate/private finance involves helping a company raise capital needed for new projects and ongoing operations by compiling and analyzing financial information. The main activities are developing and executing financing programs and interfacing with the rest of the company via reports and presentations.

Sample Corporate Finance Full-Time Posting
In 2014, 5% of Finance graduates started their careers in Insurance and Enterprise Risk Management with an average starting salary of $53,750.

Careers in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk problems. Additionally, firms are now looking at risk from a broader prospective known as enterprise risk management which encompasses liability risk, currency risk, interest rate risk, and property risk.

Sample Insurance Full-Time Posting
Sample Insurance Internship Posting
Careers in Real Estate include residential, commercial and property management. Residential real estate brokers bring buyers and sellers of individual properties together, assist them in setting a price, and arrange for appraisals, inspections, and other services. Commercial real estate brokers facilitate both the lease and sale of commercial properties, and frequently also provide ancillary advisory and appraisal services. Property management companies are involved with marketing, financing, and building operations.

Sample Real Estate Full-Time Posting
Sample Real Estate Internship Posting
Sales and trading involves buying and selling financial instruments such as: stocks, bonds, debts, futures, and options. These instruments are bought and sold in exchanges such as: the New York Stock Exchange, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and NASDAQ. Both brokers and traders buy and sell. Traders work for an investment firm and buy/sell/trade large amounts of stocks or bonds using the firm’s capital. Brokers sell on behalf of themselves or clients.

Additionally, there are careers in trading commodities (such as oil) or future trading. Future traders do not actually buy anything but speculate on the future direction of the price in the commodity they are trading.

This field of finance also includes asset managers and investment advisors who recommend specific investments, sometimes to individuals but most often to managers of investment funds such as mutual funds. Investment advice is usually based on research, which can be of many kinds.

Sample Trading Full-Time Posting
Sample Trading Internship Posting

 

 

How do I get a job in Finance?

Landing a great internship and full-time job in finance is a process and preparation begins from your very first semester as a College of Business student. Your first step is to plan ahead using the charts below. Then you want to make sure you are proactively preparing yourself to secure an internship on your way to your future career. Everyone’s college experience is different, but below are typical job search sequences for finance majors.

Traditional 4-YearTransfer (2nd Year)Transfer (3rd Year)
1st Semester Apply for BCS Job Shadow
Begin completing internship checklist
2nd Semester Apply for Career Exploration Opportunity*
Summer Work a part-time job for experience and/or take summer classes
3rd Semester Apply for second BCS Job Shadow
Apply for Career Exploration Opportunity* and/or summer internship
4th Semester Apply for Career Exploration Opportunity* and/or
summer internship and/or
winter internship (to be done in 6th semester)
Summer Summer internship or
Part-time job or
Classes (if you will have a winter internship your 6th semester)
5th Semester Apply for summer internship/co-op
6th Semester Apply for summer internship/co-op
Participate in winter internship (if applicable)
Summer Summer internship
7th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)
8th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)

*Here is some additional information to consider as you plan your job search:

  • Career Exploration Opportunities are programs or conferences that companies host to expose students to their company and industry. These events can run for one to several days and typically take place in the summer, although some one-day programs are held during the school year. Since they are short-term, you may be able to participate in one in addition to having a summer internship or part-time job. Career Exploration Opportunities are posted in Handshake and can be found by searching for the Career Exploration Opportunity position type.
    Sample Career Exploration Opportunity
  • Your priority should be getting an internship. Some companies have structured internship programs that are designed with the possibility of being offered a full-time position following a successful internship. Other internships may not be designed to lead to full-time employment. Experience gained as an intern is highly valued by recruiters interviewing for full-time positions.
  • Some companies offer “co-op” experiences, which are internships during Spring or Fall semester. Since you will be skipping a semester of school, you should work with your academic adviser to plan your classes so that you can still graduate on schedule. The College of Business offers summer classes, if needed.
    Sample Co-Op Posting
  • Recruiting for spring semester internships/co-ops takes place one year in advance, e.g. in Spring 2015 for internships/co-ops starting January 2016.
  • The timing for internship recruiting varies. Some companies recruit for summer internships during the preceding fall semester, others will recruit in the spring.
3rd Semester Apply for BCS Job Shadow
Apply for Career Exploration Opportunity* and/or
summer internship/co-op
Begin completing internship checklist
4th Semester Apply for Career Exploration Opportunity* and/or
summer internship and/or
winter internship (to be done in 6th semester)
Summer Summer internship or
Part-time job or
Classes (if you will have a winter internship your 6th semester)
5th Semester Apply for summer internship
6th Semester Apply for summer internship
Participate in winter internship (if applicable)
Summer Summer internship
7th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)
8th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)

*Here is some additional information to consider as you plan your job search:

  • Career Exploration Opportunities are programs or conferences that companies host to expose students to their company and industry. These events can run for one to several days and typically take place in the summer, although some one-day programs are held during the school year. Since they are short-term, you may be able to participate in one in addition to having a summer internship or part-time job. Career Exploration Opportunities are posted in Handshake and can be found by searching for the Career Exploration Opportunity position type.
    Sample Career Exploration Opportunity
  • Your priority should be getting an internship. Some companies have structured internship programs that are designed with the possibility of being offered a full-time position following a successful internship. Other internships may not be designed to lead to full-time employment. Experience gained as an intern is highly valued by recruiters interviewing for full-time positions.
  • Some companies offer “co-op” experiences, which are internships during Spring or Fall semester. Since you will be skipping a semester of school, you should work with your academic adviser to plan your classes so that you can still graduate on schedule. The College of Business offers summer classes, if needed.
    Sample Co-Op Posting
  • Recruiting for spring semester internships/co-ops takes place one year in advance, e.g. in Spring 2015 for internships/co-ops starting January 2016.
  • The timing for internship recruiting varies. Some companies recruit for summer internships during the preceding fall semester, others will recruit in the spring.
5th Semester Begin completing internship checklist
Apply for summer internship
6th Semester Apply for summer internship
Summer Summer internship
7th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)
8th Semester Apply for full-time jobs (if not already secured)

*Here is some additional information to consider as you plan your job search:

  • Career Exploration Opportunities are programs or conferences that companies host to expose students to their company and industry. These events can run for one to several days and typically take place in the summer, although some one-day programs are held during the school year. Since they are short-term, you may be able to participate in one in addition to having a summer internship or part-time job. Career Exploration Opportunities are posted in Handshake and can be found by searching for the Career Exploration Opportunity position type.
    Sample Career Exploration Opportunity
  • Your priority should be getting an internship. Some companies have structured internship programs that are designed with the possibility of being offered a full-time position following a successful internship. Other internships may not be designed to lead to full-time employment. Experience gained as an intern is highly valued by recruiters interviewing for full-time positions.
  • Some companies offer “co-op” experiences, which are internships during Spring or Fall semester. Since you will be skipping a semester of school, you should work with your academic adviser to plan your classes so that you can still graduate on schedule. The College of Business offers summer classes, if needed.
    Sample Co-Op Posting
  • Recruiting for spring semester internships/co-ops takes place one year in advance, e.g. in Spring 2015 for internships/co-ops starting January 2016.
  • The timing for internship recruiting varies. Some companies recruit for summer internships during the preceding fall semester, others will recruit in the spring.