Industry Recruiters Share Insights to Help MBAs Decide
Do you have a knack for meeting new people and developing strong relationships with them? Are you energized by keeping multiple balls in the air, without dropping one? Do you welcome challenges and have a track record of going above and beyond? Do you love finance, hearing about the markets, or reading financial news for personal interest?
These are all qualities financial services recruiters seek in MBA graduates, regardless of your prior professional path. Financial services represent a wide variety of roles, as well as sub-industries such as investment banking and investment management.
MBAs are needed for many of these opportunities—and top women candidates are in demand. By joining now, you can stand out as firms work to bolster the number of high-caliber female professionals and leaders in their ranks.
KEY CAREER BENEFITS
It’s important to choose a field that leads to a rewarding job—and a career—after you earn your degree. The financial services industry consistently hires top graduates during a time when the job market overall has been challenging for some fields. Plus, regardless of how market dynamics may shift, the work remains interesting.
Additionally, working in financial services upon graduation builds a solid foundation that will benefit your long-term career. Having financial knowledge—whether it’s in capital structure, investment, or beyond—will help you in virtually any industry you decide to enter.
Last but not least, financial services careers can help you make your mark.
“The financial services industry has significance around the world because it’s a critical part of any country’s infrastructure,” explained Deb Bertan, Director of the Graduate Recruitment Team at Citi. “Promoting sustainable and inclusive finance, providing loans to people and companies that need them, enabling companies to merge or divest, and financing infrastructure projects in cities are all critical contributions that the financial services industry helps to make possible.”
This career path can even answer a call to give back.
“PIMCO is proud of the difference it makes in the lives of its investment management clients, which can include retirees, teachers, firefighters, non-profit organizations, pension plans, and endowments,” said Stacie Sasaki-Glass, Vice President & Global Head of Campus Recruiting at PIMCO. “We strive to attract those who have a passion for helping others because our clients depend on their investment returns to support important endeavors such as providing a healthy retirement or enabling the growth and survival of a non-profit organization.”
“A key difference between MBA and undergraduate financial services candidates is that MBA graduates need to have a clear understanding of what they want to do in the industry,” advised Deb Bertan of Citi.
Traditional banking options for MBAs may include investment banking, corporate banking, and global consumer banking. Investment management firms also hire MBAs for investment professional roles.
“For those interested in investment management, it’s important to understand that the industry relies upon a variety of roles and skill sets to thrive, not just the equity research opportunities some students limit themselves to in their job search,” added Stacie Sasaki-Glass of PIMCO. “Our professionals must be analytical. Our account managers, for example, have to understand their clients’ portfolios inside and out, the variety of products that we offer, as well as macro-economic drivers in order to effectively advise them.”
Candidates should focus on the functional skill sets jobs require, because the meanings of titles can vary across firms and industries.
QUALITIES IN DEMAND
Industry recruiters also emphasize that firms supplement the fundamentals taught in business school with on-the-job training about the position and organization more specifically.
As a result, the soft skills and diverse perspectives you bring become critical success factors to landing a job, as long as you possess a clear commitment to working in the industry. Examples recruiters offered include communication skills, people skills, intellectual curiosity, a results orientation and strong work ethic, a desire to collaborate, and the ability to grasp financial concepts.