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From civil service to banks

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Old 28-07-2010, 11:34 PM
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Default From civil service to banks

Hi all

I am currently in the gov sector, fresh grad. I am ultimately interested in the world of finance and banking, and I would prefer to work in that sector.

Before you all chide me for thinking of jumping so soon, I just want to know if there is anything I should know if I want to make the transition to the banking/investment world. I don't have good qualifications, just a 2:2 paper. As such I would believe that most graduate programes are probably out of my league?

does experience in the civil service mean anything to the banks? how long before I should try my luck in the finance sector, before i get too old? Any people who transitioned from civil service to banks here?

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Old 29-07-2010, 01:18 AM
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hi. a little more background will be good. What's your current job like. What's your knowledge of finance. Why do you want to work in the finance industry.

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Old 29-07-2010, 08:16 AM
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my current job is related to strategic research and corporate planning. well i dont know the very nitty gritty details about finance, i took 1 finance module, and am an economics major that's all, but i am trying my hand at investing, and learning how to read the annual reports.

out of all the industries, finance and investment is the one that attracts me the most. i like numbers, i like doing research and analysis, and i like the cash

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Old 29-07-2010, 04:29 PM
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Do your CFA
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Old 01-08-2010, 12:58 AM
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On the contrary, i don't think you should do your CFA. Rather, i think you should just apply to any financial institutions. They will sponsor your CFA anyway if need be. Because you are a fresh grad, banks will train you from scratch. But the difficult part is getting in.

If you like analysis, it's best to get into risk management or research. Everyday is spent looking at industries, companies and analysing each aspect of the business. A fresh grad in a good offshore bank can earn a pretty good starting salary.

Go apply to the different banks, do your homework by looking at forums and websites about different banks, cultures and what the jobs are like. Last but not least, make sure you keep up to date by reading bloomberg, financial times and the financial pages of the newspapers.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:15 PM
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but it seems the banks only want people with financial background or financial working experience, both of which I do not have in my current work.

is there any other way to market myself to make my resume more attractive? should I ask for projects within my job now to work on my qualitative and analysis part rather than the others?


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Old 02-08-2010, 01:07 AM
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You can either keep applying for their MA programs or get a Master in Applied Finance from an overseas university.
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Old 05-08-2010, 12:36 AM
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It may be easier to first get into the bank to do operations or something less analytical.
Most research or risk positions require the person to have a finance background. Otherwise, it will be very tedious just trying to learn the ropes.

Read up finance on your own or take a Masters in Finance. That seems to be the better way.
However, it is costly and time consuming. Otherwise, you can start off in a smaller bank and work your way up. Either way, it is going to take alot of time and effort. At the end of the day, you must ask yourself if this is what you really want. Money and prestige is not everything in the world, my friend.
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Old 05-08-2010, 03:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unregistered View Post
Money and prestige is not everything in the world, my friend.
Better to be poor, but proud.
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Old 06-08-2010, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysnforever View Post
Hi all

I am currently in the gov sector, fresh grad. I am ultimately interested in the world of finance and banking, and I would prefer to work in that sector.

Before you all chide me for thinking of jumping so soon, I just want to know if there is anything I should know if I want to make the transition to the banking/investment world. I don't have good qualifications, just a 2:2 paper. As such I would believe that most graduate programes are probably out of my league?

does experience in the civil service mean anything to the banks? how long before I should try my luck in the finance sector, before i get too old? Any people who transitioned from civil service to banks here?
I used to work for the government but now in a finance-related field. (VC/PE) took me a while to get there, through a combination of luck and lots of perseverance. Here's what I did.

1) I did my CFA and took a distance learning MBA.
2) I look for jobs within the government sector that gave me relevant 'business' experience or anything that requires me to deal with the private sector directly.
3) I did not complete my distance learning MBA as the degree was not recognized and hardly matter to my promotion and future job prospect. It did however, gave a good grounding on the key business knowledge that I lack as a non-business admin graduate. More importantly, it helped me fine tune what I was looking for.
4) I managed to switch to a relevant sector, did quite well and was sponsored to do another MBA from a better university in US. (hint: at Boston)
5) I eventually work for a large bank based out in HK.

my only advice to you is to clarify what you are looking for. Buy-side or sell-side? do you want to be an analyst? investment banker? private banking? private equity? debt? quantitative analyst? risk management? etc If you start with a vague idea and simply being drawn by the allure of the finance/banking sector, chances are, you will be wondering in the dark for a while and makes it more difficult to get there.

All the best!
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