5 free resources to learn about careers in finance

Written by Mentesnot Andarge Adamu, MS Finance ’24:

For many students the finance career paths we’re familiar with are limited to investment banking, asset management, private equity and a few others. And “familiar” could be an exaggeration since most do not know the career tracks within each of these fields. This blinds many of us from successfully exploring all of the opportunities the finance world has to offer. 

Choosing a career path can be a challenging endeavor. It takes a lot of self-reflection and scrutiny, research and networking. It can be daunting to find reliable resources that broadly explore these fields and career opportunities.  As I continue to explore and learn more about the finance world, I have compiled a list of five resources that I found to be helpful in my journey. 

  1. WallStreet Oasis 

WallStreet Oasis is one of the largest finance communities on the Internet. Whether you have a specific question about an industry, a company or a role, or you want to learn more about careers in finance, this is your community. There are over a million posts detailing the experiences of individuals in the finance and banking industry, and of those who are trying to break in into this world. If you are just starting to learn about career paths in finance, you could start here.  

This site also arms you with the information and resources you need to navigate the job search, application and interviewing process. In addition, people from the industry discuss topics you won’t get for free from other sources, this includes things like interview questions and experiences, compensation and bonuses, an insider look into the structure of a firm, company culture, work-life balance, etc. Finally, this forum has a library of relevant information on financial service companies which comes in handy while preparing for an interview. 

  1. Reddit 

 Yes, Reddit is a great resource to learn about career paths in finance. Primarily because you can easily find a community of people in the same position as you. Oftentimes there are multiple threads of answers given by an expert, or an individual working in the field, that match your position and answer your specific questions. 

You can  post your questions and expect to get an answer back from random individuals. I highly recommend joining r/FinancialCareers. This community has numerous threads of advice and tips about finance career alternatives, strategies to breaking into these fields and interview and resume tips.  

An interesting feature of Reddit communities is roast my resume!  To participate, post your resume along with a description of the field you are trying to break into and a bit of your background, but make sure to blur or remove sensitive personal information. Ask the community members to roast your resume. Aside from the usual silly comments, you could receive many valuable recommendations from individuals working in the industry.  

3.  Mergersandinquisitions.com   

If you are inclined to enter the corporate finance or banking industries, this site gives you detailed insight into those opportunities. There are many detailed articles about different career paths in corporate finance and how to break into each. My favorite thing about this site is the feature to explore articles by category. Based on the career path you want to explore, you can get valuable insights into the field, resume and interview preparation, networking tips, etc. If you are considering a career in investment banking or private equity, this is your go-to resource, after Wallstreet Oasis. 

4. Information Sessions and Career Fairs  

Information sessions might not have the same value they had a decade ago but are still a good way to network and learn more about a company or a specific career track.  

Career fairs also provide a great opportunity to meet recruiters and expand your network within the industry. Many of the leading finance companies also have a series of virtual information sessions that broadly discuss the departments, career paths and opportunities available within their firm, posted in the events section of their websites. In addition, companies hold information sessions, known as “technicals” and employer sessions on campus. This is a good opportunity to interact with people from the industry and get answers to your questions. 

 5. The UB School of Management Career Resource Center  

The Career Resource Center (CRC) is a very helpful resource on campus. The office is filled with great faculty determined to help you meet your career goals. If you feel overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information available online and you need a more reliable and personal approach to finding something that suits your needs,  you should consider visiting the CRC. Not only do you get valuable advice on where to begin and which resources to explore, but they  also help you make use of the vast alumni base to further expand your network and get an insider look into a career track from a professional.  

The above five aren’t the only resources, of course. As the saying goes, “If you know how to look and learn, the door is there, and the key is in your hand.” I encourage you to keep looking and wish you the best in your journey ahead.  

BIO – Mentesnot was born and raised in Robe, Ethiopia. He grew up in a small family of four, with his little sister and his parents. He then went to Addis Ababa institute of technology to pursue an electrical engineering degree but soon realized his passion lay elsewhere. Mentesnot developed an interest in the finance world from watching TV shows like Billions. He says with every episode he felt a need to understand each conversation and got to see there is a whole new world of opportunities to be explored on the other side of the world. In 2019 Mentesnot withdrew from the engineering program and moved to India to study finance. The same love and interest for the field are what brought him to the MSF program at UB. Mentesnot enjoys classic literature, talking about the market, learning about new cultures, meeting new people, and having deep conversations about current affairs with friends. 

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