With the placement application process going on in full swing there are a plethora of career options available for the students. In this article, we explore once such option: Finance.
Goldman Sachs, WorldQuant, Deutsche Bank, Barclays, BlackStone, CitiBank, JP Morgan and American Express are some of the many companies that visit the campus each year, to recruit students in the Finance sector.
We interviewed three of the recent graduates working in this field: Suchakra Sah, a 2016 graduate in Electrical Engineering, working as a strategist at the Goldman Sachs. Aastha Agarwal, a student of 2017 batch in Textile Engineering placed as an analyst at JP Morgan. Sameeksha, with a major in Maths and Computing, was a financial consultant at American Express.
Although they had different motivations to join this sector: out of interest, to explore a new avenue or to have good exit options in case she changed her mind later on; all of them are working in some of the biggest and the most sought after firms.
BUILD YOUR CV
|CG||Important especially for shortlisting, but not the make-or-break factor for landing the job!|
|Courses Done||One can find relevant MTL, COL and MSL courses|
|Technical Skills||Analytical skills, MS Excel, ML, basic finance, basic programming skills are a plus|
|Extra Curricular Activities||Not >> academics|
Skill set Required:
Different profiles had different demands. Financial consulting requires good conversational and analytical skills. Along with these, basic programming skills (mainly Java based programming) are highly recommended. Sameeksha reveals, “My core maths courses were especially helpful in understanding many mathematical concepts in the financial sector. Financial Mathematics course is very closely related to my work here.”
For the job of an analyst, one has to be very good with MS Excel and know the basics of accounting principles, company evaluation, etc. Some of the courses like managerial accounting and financial management come in handy in cracking the interview.
In the case of a strategist, one should have a good handle on algorithms, probability, expectations and ML. In addition to this, it is recommended to have an understanding of basic finance prior to joining.
Apart from this, the selected candidates are trained to develop some job specific finance and other essential soft skills.
The selection procedure mainly comprises three components. The first step is shortlisting of CV among the CVs submitted. This usually takes place in the month of August. This is followed by a written test and then, a personal interview.
Content and difficulty level of tests are usually according to the profile and the company. Syllabus is generally mentioned or can be known by enquiring from company contacts.
In case of Goldman Sachs, the test consists of 3 sections that examine the candidate’s proficiency in algorithms and operating systems, probability, expectations and number theory, and data science and machine learning. Suchakra, on being asked about his method of preparation, revealed, “In my job sem, I had spent time preparing different puzzles and questions from books like 40 puzzles in probability, 50 puzzles in probability, cse blog, geeksforgeeks.com. They turned out to be very helpful.”
The personal interviews takes place in the month of December. “The best thing one can do is answer any questions asked through the interview calmly and clearly after thinking thoroughly, and come across as a pleasant personality.”, advises Sameeksha.
Importance of CGPA:
All three of them agree that CGPA was important, but it was not the make or break factor. Although CG does play a part in shortlisting candidates, the focus is more on their test scores and interviews.
Aastha believes, “More CGPA doesn’t mean one is intelligent, but it does tell about one’s perseverance and consistency. Therefore, one should just be putting in the continuous effort.”
Importance of Extracurrics
We asked Aastha for a piece of advice she would like to share with her juniors aspiring for something similar and she remarked, “A balance in life is essential, anything in excess is harmful. Extra-curricular is important, but academics should not be neglected. It is crucial for you to be technically proficient in your field. You may have a lot of POR’s, you may be good at handling events; but to be a good manager, you should have the necessary technical skills of the people that you are managing.”
It’s been more than a year since Suchakra has been with Goldman Sachs. We asked him how his experience has been and he responded ,”The experience so far has been pretty good. Everyone around is pretty smart and at the top of their work. Working and interacting with them on a daily basis keeps me motivated and on my toes every single day.”