Careers in finance

Pursuing a career in finance is always lucrative at the same time comes with its own set of challenges unlike other areas. The intake into industry comes in two streams, where you have students of management with a specialization in finance and on the other hand professionally qualified cost accountants, chartered accountants, chartered financial analysts and risk professionals.

Students from b-schools in the country are generally taken in as analysts, to develop financial models, will be trained to deal with operations of financial markets and services and client relationship management in addition to the conventional profiles . It is observed by leading banks that the students from management schools are well trained. However, the opportunity in the PSU’s no longer exists and there exists a good potential with the private and foreign players in the sector. There are many other emerging areas like rural banking, collateral management, micro finance institutions, hedge funds, private equity etc.

It is very interesting to see that the leading audit firms are now open to take management students with finance specialization in areas like transfer pricing unlike earlier which was restricted only to professionally qualified. However students who would like to pursue careers in finance need to develop both hard and soft factors.

Hard factors

· Academic qualification

· Basic knowledge of accounting, banking, markets, laws of the land, economic factors, cost and its behaviors.

· Working knowledge of Software like MS office tool. Accounting tools like Tally or ERP systems knowledge will be added advantage

· Ability of creating relevant/dynamic Management information system which measure key business performance indicators

· Financial acumen and Analytical/interpretation abilities

· Have a mindset that an amount is BIG or SMALL based on the context and role being performed.

· Organization specific- understand org structures, polices thoroughly- many times Finance , in addition to HR are custodians and implementers of policies

Soft factors/Values

· High integrity

· High Stewardship

· Brevity in communication

· Ability to Build trusts in relationships

· Ability to wear multiple hats- Support, Control and Advisory roles

· Being direct and Assertive

· Maintaining principled approach and Parity

· Be cautious, conservative, prudent, and maintain minimum exceptions- exceptions create precedence

· Collaborative mindset without compromising on Organizational interests

· Having a process improvement mindset

The world is big and opportunities always exist for the deserving.

Dr. V Sridevi

Associate Professor- Finance