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
Northwestern Mutual
Representatives offer guidance, relationships and solutions to help clients meet financial goals and objectives. They offer exclusive access to insurance products from a top-rated company, Northwestern Mutual, and an array of quality investment choices. Supported by training programs and mentoring opportunities, they have access to the resources, products and assistance they need to help clients and build their practices. Representatives are also supported by a network of specialists who together provide guidance on: Asset and Income Protection, Personal Needs Analysis, Investment and Advisory Services, Comprehensive Financial Planning, Estate Analysis, Trust Services, Education Funding, Retirement Solutions, Business Needs Analysis, and Employee and Executive Benefits.
Sample Asset Management Internship Posting
AAM (Asset Allocation & Management)
AAM’s internship will be a rotational program with exposure to: fixed income, insurance strategy and accounting, security research, sales/marketing, and operations/trading. The internship is project-oriented (i.e., researching municipal and corporate investments), assisting in various modeling projects (peer analysis) and trading related functions, and analysis of AAM’s competitors.

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
Commercial banks provide banking services to individuals, small businesses and large organizations. A common position in commercial banking is a Credit Analyst. A Credit Analyst evaluates business and consumer loan applications made to the bank including projecting a company’s future cash flow and evaluating its current financial soundness, the capacity of the borrower to repay debt, financial analysis of the borrower’s operations, calculation of the borrower’s probability of default as well as bank loss in the event of default, and reporting of current trends in the borrowers’ industry.
Sample Commercial Banking Full-Time Posting
Analyst Program at JPMorgan Chase
The objective of the program is to prepare you to understand and identify credit risks so that you can act as a consultant to our clients on making informed lending decisions. On the credit track, you will learn how to appropriately assess and manage the risk in your portfolio. You will be a partner to the bankers in the market, striving to balance sales and credit quality goals. You will learn how to utilize excellent credit skills to author well thought out and concise analysis of relationships using appropriate structure and identifying key risks. On the banker track, you will learn how to grow, manage and retain profitable relationships, which is accomplished by delivering value added solutions to our clients/prospects that helps them attain their goals and maximize our revenue. Additionally, you will learn how to identify cross sale opportunities, to coordinate the interaction of clients with product partners, and how to execute all “know your customer” and compliance requirements.
[_/su_spoiler]
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
Investment banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities, and provide financial advice. Investment bankers 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.
Sample Investment Banking Full-Time Posting
Investment Banking Analyst at Duff & Phelps
Analysts will act as banking generalists, working as a part of our global investment banking team on a variety of engagements. Responsibilties include: Working directly with client senior management teams, board members and stakeholders throughout all phases of transaction advisory and execution. Preparing financial models and analytical support for merger & acquisitions, restructuring & special situations, and transaction opinion deal teams. Drafting situation analyses, pitch materials, information memoranda, investor presentations and term sheets. Performing company, industry, market and competitor research and due diligence. Contributing to the development and communication of proposals and advice to current and prospective clients.
[_/su_spoiler]
Venture Capital and Private Equity: Invest in a company through a negotiated process
The private equity sector is broadly defined as investing in a company through a negotiated process. Investments typically involve a transformational, value-added, active management strategy. Private equity investments can be divided into the following categories:

  • Venture capital: An investment to create a new company or expand a smaller company that has undeveloped.
  • Buy-out: Acquisition of a significant portion or a majority control in a more mature company. The acquisition normally entails a change.

Entry level careers in these areas will include performing financial analysis and due diligence of potential investments, building financial models outlining various capital structures and case scenarios for the purpose of financial analysis and cash-flow projections, and researching company-specific and industry data.

Sample Private Equity Full-Time Posting
Private Equity Analyst at Walton Street Capital
Analysts will act as banking generalists, working as a part of our global investment banking team on a variety of engagements. Responsibilties include: Working directly with client senior management teams, board members and stakeholders throughout all phases of transaction advisory and execution. Preparing financial models and analytical support for merger & acquisitions, restructuring & special situations, and transaction opinion deal teams. Drafting situation analyses, pitch materials, information memoranda, investor presentations and term sheets. Performing company, industry, market and competitor research and due diligence. Contributing to the development and communication of proposals and advice to current and prospective clients.
[_/su_spoiler]
Sample Private Equity Internship Posting
Equity Research Analyst Internship at Baird
The Equity Research Intern plays an integral role in the research process. Interns typically join a focused industry group and work closely with Analysts. Equity Research Interns provide quantitative support for industry- and company-specific research and assist with field research.
[_/su_spoiler]
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
Financial Consultant – FTI Consulting
Our Forensic and Litigation Consulting (FLC) practice helps organizations anticipate, illuminate and overcome complex challenges for the short- and long-term benefit of their business. Primary duty is to apply business, accounting, finance, and analytical skills to various client situations and practice disciplines including, but not limited to, reviewing and analyzing financial statements and projections, financial modeling, accounting treatment in financial statements, reviewing and understanding ratio and comparable company analysis, assessing business plans, and creating work product that is flexible, understandable, and usable by others.
Sample Consulting Internship Posting
Consulting Intern – Mercer
As an intern, you will work closely with senior consultants, partnering with client companies, in the design, financing, pricing and administration of their health and welfare programs. You will review current plan designs, contribution strategies and funding arrangements, and conduct benchmark studies to develop short- and long-term strategic goals that meet your client’s benefit and financial needs. You will develop an awareness of the insurance vendor marketplace, plan designs, health care cost factors, and the renewal process for health and group benefit programs. You will also collect, analyze and interpret health care claims and utilization data from vendors/carriers for reporting to the client, including cost projections and evaluation of vendor renewals.
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
Allstate – Financial Analyst
A financial analyst position in the Treasury and Planning department, within the Corporate Finance team will assist with rating agency, capital markets, and corporate structure related responsibilities including modeling of capital adequacy, communication with internal and external parties, and analysis supporting corporate finance decisions and corporate structure projects. Specific responsibilities include: modeling of rating agency capital standards, performing quarterly analysis of capital adequacy of Allstate legal entities utilizing rating agency capital models, assisting internal parties (Business Unit, Investments, Tax, Legal, Accounting) with communication to rating agencies, coordinating annual rating agency data submissions and Allstate’s responses to ad-hoc surveys and inquiries, interacting directly with rating agencies and investment banks regarding capital adequacy modeling, and assisting with corporate structure evaluations including, but not limited to, subsidiary formations and dissolutions.
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
CNA – Underwriting Trainee Program
CNA’s underwriters are responsible for selecting and pricing risks that have profit potential. The process requires underwriters to evaluate a business by reviewing industry, business and government data, then deciding whether to accept or decline the risk. The underwriter is also responsible for pricing, as well as maintaining a steady flow of new and renewal business.
Sample Insurance Internship Posting
Country Financial – Claims Intern
Claims interns work as a Claims Representative in our Central Claims Office where they will experience a fast-paced environment handling auto claims by coordinating appraiser inspections and investigating coverage to determine fair settlement.
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
Real Estate Analyst at Duff & Phelps
Responsibilities: Provide clients with research and valuation analysis to determine the value of their real estate assets. Perform in-depth industry, market and competitor research. Perform local, national and international real estate market analysis on a wide range of public and private entities. Design financial models for discounted cash flow, Comparable Property Sales Models and Construction Cost Models. Independently gather data pertinent to the engagement through direct client interaction, including personal & telephone Interviews with Brokers and Property Managers. Review industry surveys and benchmarks, economic and demographic trends. Assist with preparing and presenting the results of our analysis in a clear and concise manner.
Sample Real Estate Internship Posting
Intern at Brown Commercial Group
Responsibilities include: providing customer service for clients through the creation of property summaries, scheduling tours, assisting with the creation of marketing pieces, and facilitating spec sheet creation through photos, measurements, and research. Interns will also develop sales skills by completing tenant verification, participating in Broker/Client meetings, and observing all of the functions of the Commercial Real Estate cycle.
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
Trader Development Program at BP
Your work in different rotations may include: Market analysis – gather and structure industry data; analyze market information to support trading benches. Exposure management – assist trading analysts in maintaining daily exposure models; gather, validate and input data, check and verify positions, assist in analysis and presentation of exposure results and trading performance. Managing physical movements – schedule movements of crude oil or products from source and/or to destination; manage and enhance refinery product optimization.
Sample Trading Internship Posting
Trading Assistant Internship at Chicago Trading Company
Trading Assistant Interns can find themselves working in an electronic trading environment, on an exchange floor, on a risk management desk or in a more quantitative role supporting a trading group. As a TA Intern on the floor or in an electronic trading environment, you will play a vital role in identifying trading opportunities and communicating with teammates, traders and risk managers in various locations throughout the trading day. In a more quant focused TA Intern role, you will support a trading group through dynamic problem solving, trading strategy formulation and back-testing, statistical analysis, prototype application design, and modeling and pricing of traded financial derivatives.

 

 

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
    John Deere – Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference
    The John Deere Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference will give students a look into how John Deere Financial manages risk through analytics. As a participant of this full-day, interactive conference you will: Learn how a financial services company uses analytics to compete in business, Hear from John Deere Financial senior leaders, Speak with recruiters during a networking lunch, Ask questions when you meet with John Deere employees – from management to new hire.
  • 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
    Johnson & Johnson
    The Co-op Program is a six-month program focused on providing college students with practical business experience. Co-op program participant roles include financial accounting and analysis, sales & marketing finance, operations finance, research and development finance, and internal audit. Specific responsibilities may include budget support, capital budgeting, financial consolidation, month/year end closing procedures, sales reporting and analysis, account reconciliation, and inter-company accounting.
  • 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
    John Deere – Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference
    The John Deere Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference will give students a look into how John Deere Financial manages risk through analytics. As a participant of this full-day, interactive conference you will: Learn how a financial services company uses analytics to compete in business, Hear from John Deere Financial senior leaders, Speak with recruiters during a networking lunch, Ask questions when you meet with John Deere employees – from management to new hire.
  • 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
    Johnson & Johnson
    The Co-op Program is a six-month program focused on providing college students with practical business experience. Co-op program participant roles include financial accounting and analysis, sales & marketing finance, operations finance, research and development finance, and internal audit. Specific responsibilities may include budget support, capital budgeting, financial consolidation, month/year end closing procedures, sales reporting and analysis, account reconciliation, and inter-company accounting.
  • 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
    John Deere – Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference
    The John Deere Financial Risk Analytics Career Conference will give students a look into how John Deere Financial manages risk through analytics. As a participant of this full-day, interactive conference you will: Learn how a financial services company uses analytics to compete in business, Hear from John Deere Financial senior leaders, Speak with recruiters during a networking lunch, Ask questions when you meet with John Deere employees – from management to new hire.
  • 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
    Johnson & Johnson
    The Co-op Program is a six-month program focused on providing college students with practical business experience. Co-op program participant roles include financial accounting and analysis, sales & marketing finance, operations finance, research and development finance, and internal audit. Specific responsibilities may include budget support, capital budgeting, financial consolidation, month/year end closing procedures, sales reporting and analysis, account reconciliation, and inter-company accounting.
  • 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.