Landing an aspirational finance job during MBA placements is really difficult. The environment is highly competitive and often a lot of students lack the relevant skills that recruiters are looking for.
We interviewed Adarsh Anand to share his thoughts on what to do during an MBA to enhance your chances of scoring an aspirational role in finance.
Q) How did you prepare yourself for the placement season in MBA?
Our placement committee has a tie-up with a corporate. They collectively help us groom our CVs and prepare us with mock interviews.
FLIP certifications also helped me in the placement process. My aim was getting a job either in the banking or the microfinance industry. So I took the Corporate Banking course through FLIP National Challenge and scored an All India rank 5.
Both the certification and the rank added value to my CV and got me attention from banking and microfinance recruiters.
Q) How did the FLIP course and the FLIP National Challenge help you in the interview processes?
So I took the FLIP Corporate Banking course which covered everything about all corporate banking products and services.
Q) What are your top suggestions for your juniors aspiring to a finance job?
1) If you want a career in finance, always go for a finance internship.
Majority of finance internships are unpaid so students don’t go for them. But work experience in finance is extremely important to score a finance job. You need to know how to apply financial concepts in the real world. You will be told that internships in finance are not very important, but that’s not true.
2) Don’t go for CFA and FRM certifications blindly. They don’t add too much value to your CV.
These certifications are expensive and take a lot of time for preparations. You don’t even get the FRM certification until you have work experience and the CFA level I exam syllabus is the same as your MBA. It’s better if you go for short-term FLIP or NCFM certifications that equip you with the right knowledge.
3) Showcase your interest in finance however possible.
I showcased my interest in finance to recruiters by undertaking the responsibilities of the finance division of all clubs and committees I was a part of. Also, taking part in the FLIP National Challenge and scoring an All India Rank in it helped me highlight my competitiveness.
4) Good academics are crucial for those interested in finance.
In marketing and sales roles, if you are unique and have good ideas, you will be selected for roles. But for a finance job, you need to know the theory very well. You need to know what has been done in the past and improve on it. The best way to showcase this is by having a good academic record.
5) Choose your electives wisely
Your electives should help you gain the right skills and knowledge in the finance domain. As per me, there are three electives that every finance student should take:
1) Business Valuations
2) Financial Derivatives
3) Trading Strategies
Together, these subjects will give you the relevant skills that every finance recruiter prefers in candidates.
Q) So you scored an All India Rank 5 in FNC and won a PPI from ICRA Limited. What kind of questions were you asked in the interview?
First, I had an HR round. In this they ask you generic questions like, what was my internship, why am I interested in finance, why do I want to be a credit analyst, etc.
After the HR round, there were two technical rounds.
The questions of the first technical round were based on different financial concepts. I was asked questions like what are Contingent Liabilities; how should an analyst look at contingent liabilities; what is the future of the automobile sector? (Because my topic of presentation in one of my electives was the automobile industry); and how does rupee depreciation affect the automobile industry?
The second technical round comprises of practical application questions. I was asked to apply different financial concepts to the construction industry. They asked me what financial ratios would be important for the construction industry and why? How would you go about the problem if you don’t have all the data etc?
Q) So how would you suggest your juniors to prepare for such interviews?
In these subjects, each class is generally divided into ten teams. Each team is assigned an industry that they have to make a 20-minute presentation on.
Now, if you listen to all the presentations carefully, you will get a good idea of how to apply financial concepts to at least 10 different industries. You could also ask everyone to share their project at the end.
This is what will help you understand how each concept works in the real world in different industries.
Thank you, Adarsh. Surely everyone reading this right now knows exactly what to focus on to groom themselves to crack finance roles.