How To Get A Finance Job From An Engineering Background

“It’s something very personal, a very important thing. Hell! It’s a family motto. Are you ready Jerry? I want to make sure you’re ready, brother. Here it is: Show me the money. SHOW! ME! THE! MONEY! Jerry, it is such a pleasure to say that! Say it with me one time, Jerry.”

-Rod Tidwell, “Jerry Maguire” (1996)

“If I’m an engineering major, how can I get into finance? Show me the money!”

I find myself answering this question a lot, possibly because I’m from a non-finance background myself. Or maybe just because everyone wants to get into finance.

How you can leverage your technical background to land a job in the jungle of finance? As a technical person right out of school, you have two ways of breaking in:

Get an investment banking analyst position in the technology or TMT (Technology, Media & Telecom) group of a bank. You will use none of your quantitative/analytical background and instead use your interest in the industry/work ethic to get in.
Get a quantitative job at a hedge fund or doing trading/fixed income at a bank. You will leverage your quantitative and probability skills to get in.
Of the two, the second is easiest for most engineers. Wall Street has never been more quantitative, and it’s only getting more quant-focused each day. Even with some recent problems in the credit market and some high-profile difficulties at prestigious funds such as Goldman Global Alpha, this trend will not stop anytime soon.

Hedge Fund And Related Jobs

On-campus recruiting for these positions is less common than it is for banking analysts, but it’s there if you seek it out. Citadel, one of the largest hedge funds in the world, does undergraduate recruiting for its rotational program, as does Jump Trading, based out of Chicago.

The good news is that if you’re an engineering major at a top university, you have a good chance of landing one of these jobs, even with no previous finance experience. If you’re in this position and go through on-campus recruiting, you need to emphasize your interest in finance because this is how they select candidates. Here’s a direct quote from a Citadel recruiter:

“To be honest, we know you’re all pretty good quantitatively… after all you got an engineering degree at one of the top programs in the country. You need to show us that you’re interested in finance because that’s what differentiates you.”

During interviews they will ask you quantitative questions but it’s crucial that you show them you have had a strong and consistent interest in finance. Have some good stories prepared, especially on personal investing and why you’re particularly well-suited to be a trader.

For trading jobs the “fit” part of the interview is even more important than it is for banking. If you don’t trade stocks in between classes and wake up early each morning to read financial news, gambling is a good hobby to mention. I was asked if I played video poker/online poker and other casino games when interviewing for hedge fund jobs. You want to emphasize hobbies/interests that show you can think about risk vs. reward.

No Thanks, I Really Want To Be A Banker

Full disclosure: you can do this, but the hours are going to be far worse than trading, the pay won’t be much better and you’ll have to do truly menial, low-value-add work. The advantage is you do have a wider variety of exit options – doing engineering and then banking sets you up very well for venture capital, for example. And the perks are nice.

As a technical person, you have several things going for you right away: no one will question your intelligence, and they probably won’t ask you brain teasers or math questions. If you can get a degree in Electrical Engineering, you can do Excel calculations in your sleep. And no one will question your attention to detail (or at least not as much as if you were an English major).

What you will need to focus on in recruiting and interviewing is demonstrating your 1) interest in finance and 2) ability to handle the hours/stress of the job, which are considerably worse than those of an engineering/tech company.

A few more specific tips: when you discuss your interest in finance you need to mention tech companies if you’re applying to a tech group in a bank. And don’t just mention Google or Facebook. These are the most visible tech companies by far, but anyone can learn about them by reading TechCrunch or by listening to friends.

You need to show real interest in the industry, which means taking the initiative and talking about less well-known companies. Before my interviews at tech groups in banks I made a list of less well-known startups/other companies I found interesting and had a story prepared around each of them. You should do the same.

As far as the second point about handling the stress/hours, as an engineering major you should have had many extended project classes… these are all good to mention, as are any internships where you launched a product that required “crunch time” at the end.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Can Engineers Opt For Finance Specialization in an MBA?

In almost all of the top business schools at present, you will find at least 25 % students are engineers. This is apparently somewhat astonishing. One might naturally question that why does an individual already trained in a particular discipline still want to be trained in something else? However, this trend clearly indicates a basic fact – if so many engineers are aiming for it, even at the cost of a couple of their valuable years, there must be some usefulness. So why are engineers increasingly going for an MBA degree? What specialization should they opt for when they are planning to do an MBA? In this blog we introspect a few such issues…

For the future of engineers in the modern competitive times, getting a post graduation degree is increasingly becoming important. There are certain specified matching sections for engineers in order to attain chartered status in their careers and one of them is management.

In addition, an engineer might start as a technical person at the beginning of his career, but it would be unjust to expect them to stay at the same capacity all through their career. In most cases they would aspire to rise to the top management level. And here lies the catch as to why engineers should also need an MBA degree. To rise above his initial level and become a manager, an engineer will also need to have some proven managerial skills. Getting an MBA degree will do exactly that and help him to progress faster in his career.

Moreover, if an engineer wants to start any entrepreneurial venture on his own, only his engineering training will not be sufficient. An MBA training will not only give him a more practical and analytical outlook towards every aspect of the organizational management, but will also make him street-smart and capable of handling any and every situation.

While doing an MBA and engineer can specialize in any stream be it marketing, finance, organizational behavior, operations, or human resource management. It is quiet understandable that an MBA degree in either organizational behavior, or operations, or human resource management might help him in managing his organization of which he is in charge of. Even if an engineer does MBA in marketing its is justified because when he starts off his own business, he needs to have marketing knowledge to sell his products. A specialization in finance too can be a great option. In fact there is a common misconception that only people with commerce background should go for an MBA in finance. However, contrary to popular perception even those that come with engineering background can also be the best when pursuing the specialization of finance in the tenure of their MBA course. Most financial consultancy companies and banks seems to prefer candidates who are MBA in finance and have an engineering background. This is probably because an MBA in finance makes one proficient in financial areas and the engineering training allows one to do logical and practical analysis of situations. A culmination of these two qualities definitely produces a finance manager with strong domain knowledge in finance and exemplary logical skills.

So if you are an engineer and planning to do an MBA you have made the right choice. Whatever be the specialization you choose, keep in mind that your engineering background coupled with the MBA degree will go a long way to establish yourself in your future career.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

What You Can Learn From a “Personal Finance for Engineers”

Just before the Twitter IPO, Adam Nash, the CEO of Wealthfront, gave a personal finance talk to Twitter’s engineers. While the presentation was geared toward young, tech-savvy high-earners, much of the advice it contained can be applied to anyone’s finances. Some of the best tips shared with Twitter’s engineers:

Manage Emotions When Investing
Studies show that many people, especially those who work in STEM fields, consider themselves more rational than the average investor. People think that they can beat the averages. But, the truth is that very few people can beat the market. And, those who do are more often lucky than smart.

Instead of playing hunches, work from an investment strategy with an end goal in place. As Nash said in the presentation: smart investing is boring. But, where it lacks thrills and chills, it makes up for it all in financial security.

Have an Emergency Fund
The most basic building block for financial security is an emergency fund. You can’t build for the future if you are constantly being set back by emergencies. The ideal emergency fund should contain three to six months worth of living expenses. If that number is too daunting, start smaller. First build an emergency fund that can carry you through one week’s groceries; once you reach that number, aim for a month’s utilities; then, climb toward even larger goals.

Save for Retirement
The sooner you start, the better. One thousand dollars put into an interest bearing account when you are 25 will grow to several times the size of the same amount put into the same account when you are 40.

Retirement can seem like a very abstract goal when you have so many other things demanding your more immediate attention. But, even a few hundred dollars a year put into an IRA will make things easier on you when you get older.

Maintain a Balanced Portfolio
Never keep all your money in one investment or in one type of investment. The best portfolios mix stocks, bonds, CDs and other instruments. This way, you have a balance of safer but less lucrative investments and higher risk ones that generally pay more over time. You should also change where you invest based on when you will need the cash. As you get closer to retirement or another large financial goal, start putting your money into safer investments.

Most of us will never be high-paid employees of a big-name start-up. But, we can all live better, more exciting lives by managing our finances in ways that maximize the benefits of the money we do have.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off

Judicious Use of Finance Assignment Assistance

Financial Accounting is one of the most popular and sought after courses. At the same time, it is quite difficult to study and master. The subject has a lot of elements that may leave a student perplexed and bewildered when writing statements and solving financial cases. Most of the times, the students are hard pressed for time and grapple with a lot of academic assignments simultaneously.

Online Help and Its Significance

When facing such an issue, the students can make use of online homework assignment help websites. Seeking help and guidance from these websites assist the students in submitting their work on time. They are saved from being penalized when there is a delay in submitting the assigned tasks.

Help Available for a Variety of Subjects

The online academic help websites offer expert assistance and guidance in a variety of subjects. Students pursuing subjects like Finance, Engineering, Accounting and more may need this help from time to time. The students can also enlist this help to write dissertations, thesis, and essays. The professional academic experts can guide the students in solving complicated case studies. Thus, this is a remarkable support system available for the students.

Judicious Use of Finance Homework Help

Having decided to seek finance academic help from a reliable and reputed academic portal, the students must keep below factors in mind-

1. Seek help only on a selected topic in which the students is facing a lot of difficulties. This way, they will not have to shell out more money. This help is beneficial only when a student is unable to complete an academic task due to lack of knowledge or time. Moreover, the students must try to finish the task themselves and only if they are not able to, they must approach a professional academic help website.

2. Look for a reliable and reputed academic help site. There is no dearth of academic portals making tall claims of offering high-quality services. It is always better to seek services from a portal that is known for providing quality assignment work completed well within pre-decided time. They must adhere to the quality and timely delivery commitments.

3. Check if the website allows the students to speak with the experts directly. Direct communication with the experts helps in minimizing the chances of any confusion or misunderstanding. This way, the task is completed as per the expectation of the client.

4. See if the online academic website also offers live tutoring option. The availability of this option is a further benefit to the student. They can reach out to the experts at any time of the day whenever faced with a complicated topic. The experts can tutor the students and help the students in getting an in-depth understanding of the topic.

It is vital that these online websites are chosen only to get an in-depth and a clear understanding of complicated concepts.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off