A Job in Finance

By, 07/21/2011

A job in Finance...

As a Finance major and Econ minor, I always assumed I would land “a job in finance”. It wasn’t until I started my personal job search as a senior that I realized the world of finance is so much larger than I thought, yet all the “jobs in finance” seemed to be analyst positions. I interviewed with some companies, but since it was the middle of the bear market in 2002, the prospects weren’t bright. I wasn’t even sure that an analyst role was the right opportunity for me. Even though I wanted to learn those skills I wasn’t sure I wanted to dedicate my career path to that one goal of eventually becoming a portfolio manager. How surprised I was to come across Fisher Investments – an innovative firm that was hiring at the time for roles that included not only analyst opportunities, but many more. There is no set career path at our firm, and the skill set you develop is purely based on the opportunities you choose to challenge yourself with as you navigate through different responsibilities and even across departments. It is a firm based on meritocracy, so you are judged on your performance – not your pedigree. Having spent almost nine years at the firm, I now know that I truly have experienced a job in finance much different than what I thought was possible.

Working as a corporate recruiter, I many times spoke to candidates who right out of the gate told me they are looking “for a job in finance”. Part of me smiles when I hear this term because I know what they are encountering in their job search. I try to spend some time explaining how Fisher Investments is different; sometimes the candidate understands, but sometimes he or she has a closed mind. I can only hope that they realize before too long that a title doesn’t dictate a “job in finance” – it is the experience and skills you develop that do.