My Top Four Finance Soft Skills

Written by: Claudia Cabrera, MS in Finance ’24

Over the past few years, we have seen how technological advances are driving unparalleled change. While talking with peers from different schools within UB, I realized that there is a misconception that both accounting and finance jobs mainly involve “number-crunching.”  

Although some finance jobs are centered on a transactional approach, “here is what the numbers say,” the finance industry has been moving towards a more analytical and influential approach, “what do the numbers convey for the business and the future industry?” In fact, according to McKinsey research, more than 34% of a financial manager’s time can be automated by adapting current technologies which will allow finance professionals to concentrate on more strategic activities. This change will mean leaders and teams will require a unique set of soft skills to be efficient and successful in the finance world. Below are the top four soft skills I believe every finance professional should possess.


“Who do you think is the person who gets the job promotion, the one who comes up with the financial strategy or the one who can explain it?” That was one of the questions my derivatives professor asked during class this semester and it made me think.  

Today, communication plays a critical role in the finance industry. It is crucial to be able to communicate technical information in a way that engages, informs, and influences the audience. You could build accurate forecasts and projections, but it is necessary for you to be able to describe the outcome; in other words, be capable of telling the story of your reasoning in a way that influences your receptor.

Critical Thinking 

Finance professionals must be able to develop meticulous critical thinking when they are evaluating different scenarios. For example, if you want to evaluate the performance of a stock, you need to know the implication of the economic factors, as well as the ratios utilization, etc. Financial decisions are crucial for any company since a poorly calculated decision could lead to potential losses. Critical thinking involves being able to use your analytical skills to dissect financial statistics, pull apart raw data, and convey meaningful information.  

Presenting Your Findings 

I previously mentioned the importance of communicating ideas to influence your audience. However, it is not only a matter of being able to “tell the story,” but also backing up your findings with clear data visualization tools. As a finance professional it is important to know how to display information in a clear, sharable, straightforward manner that allows people at different levels within the company to make informed decisions. At UB, I had the chance to enhance my data skills by taking courses such as Data Visualization and Predictive Analytics which helped me present my data in an easy-to-understand manner. 


In almost every type of job, from finance or the health industry or manufacturing, working in teams is inevitable. Throughout my journey at UB, I have learned the value of leadership skills, but more importantly getting to know my leadership style. As a servant leader, I like to get to know the abilities of my teammates and encourage them to use their strengths while achieving a common goal. My leadership style not only allows me to build trust and an overall good relationship with my teammates but also gain the respect of my peers, traits that are essential for any finance job position. 


Bio: Claudia Cabrera is originally from Arequipa, Peru. While she spent most of her childhood in her hometown, Claudia also had eye-opening experiences through exchange programs in Germany. She majored in economics and business administration, with a focus on data analytics and finance during her undergraduate years. Currently, Claudia is pursuing her graduate studies in quantitative finance, working towards her master’s degree. Outside of academics, Claudia enjoys traveling to different countries, and immersing herself in new cultures and experiences. She also likes dancing and playing the piano.

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