There are plenty of opportunities for financial analysts with a few years of experience, but getting that experience can be a struggle. Many young people worry whether they will like working in a financial career, and are unsure about entering a field they don’t know much about. However, there are plenty of opportunities for people who want to become financial analysts to test drive these responsibilities without locking themselves into a long-term career. If you’re considering a career as a financial analyst, try building your experience and knowledge base in these three ways.
Get an Internship
Internships are becoming one of the most popular choices for students to strengthen their work experience. Many companies create tailored internship plans where the student shadows multiple employees, works on projects that require all aspects of the business, and takes on responsibilities of their own. It’s a great way to learn more about the industry over three to nine months.
Many experts recommend treating your internship like a job. If you put as much work into it every day as you would an actual full-time position and still enjoy the field, then a career as a financial analyst is right for you. This is also a great way to get your foot in the door, as many companies hire the top interns full-time after their classes are completed.
Work for a Consulting Firm or Agency
It’s entirely possible that you would enjoy a career as a financial analyst; you just need to find the right industry. Instead of moving from the nonprofit sector to sports to retail, try working for an agency or consulting firm where you will have multiple clients at once. This will expose you to the unique challenges and opportunities that every industry provides, while changing up what you work on day-to-day. You may find that you like agency work itself, or you can move to an in-house analyst position in a field that you’re interested in.
Volunteer With a Nonprofit
Many nonprofits need an extra set of hands handling the marketing, accounting, and operations of the organization. While the local volunteers might be well-meaning, it’s possible that they lack the specialized skill set of a financial analyst. When volunteering for the nonprofit, you will make sure their 501(c)3 status is maintained, make sure donations are allotted to the proper sources, and create budgets and return goals for fundraising events.
Not only does volunteering help you give back to the community, it also boosts your resume and gives you experience working in finance. Furthermore, small nonprofits tend to have volunteers cross over multiple fields, so you may gain experience in volunteer coordination and event promotions – adding leadership, management, and project planning to your resume. These added skill sets can help you find a job you enjoy while making you a more valuable asset to employers.
Even if you don’t pursue a career as a financial analyst, the organizational and management skills that you will pick up during your studies will make you an asset to most companies and industries. People are always looking for someone who they can trust with money.