Industry Highlight: Finance

Finance is a broad industry that includes many different niche areas. Investment banking is one of the primary areas of employment for new college graduates interested in finance. The general function of an investment bank is to act as an intermediary between potential investors and those who seek capital (capital = money). Companies need cash to grow and expand their businesses. Investment banks sell securities to public investors in order to raise cash. Securities can come in the form of stocks or bonds.

Investment bankers work in bulge bracket, middle market or boutique firms. Different areas within investment banking include:

  • Sales: market securities and other products to investors and maintain the firm’s relationship with clients.
  • Trading: buy and sell securities in a specific sector. More product-oriented than client-oriented.
  • Research: analyze securities markets.
  • Corporate Finance: mergers and acquisitions, underwriting.

In order to better understand these different divisions, Eric Morales, ’01, created this Finance industry exploration matrix (PDF).

There are a variety of sectors outside of investment banking including government agencies, nonprofits, corporations (both large and small) and many financial services companies that offer services related to personal or organizational finance. If you think about it, every company and organization can use someone with a set of finance skills so this can be a great opportunity to combine your technical skills with other interest areas.

Students hearing from alumni during a breakout session at Deconstructing Wall Street 2011
Students hearing from alumni during a breakout session at Deconstructing Wall Street 2011

Does this career path sound interesting to you? Want to learn more? On Saturday, November 9th we will be hosting our annual “Deconstructing Wall Street: Career Opportunities in Finance” program where you can continue to learn more about career opportunities in finance. This is an exclusive opportunity to learn about major areas and career paths in finance from alumni representing several prominent firms. This program will take place from 8:00 am – 1:30 pm in Queally Hall and you must RSVP through SpiderConnect  by November 3rd.

There will be several information sessions to include an overview of the major areas of finance and this event will also include reflection panels involving finance faculty and seniors who participated in relevant summer internships, as well as a networking lunch.

After attending these programs we encourage you to come into the office and speak with an advisor about your interests in consulting and how to create an action plan to pursue this industry. One of our career advisors, Frank Allen, focuses on working with students who are interested in finance and to schedule an appointment please call us at (804) 289-8547 or stop by our office on the 3rd floor of the Commons.


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