Specializing Your MBA Degree in Finance – By Biswajit Behera
Specializing Your MBA Degree in Finance
After writing three articles on various topics, I was thinking on what subject I have to write and suddenly FINANCE word struck my mind and I decided to write on same subject which I had taken as specialization subject during MBA.
I am neither a career consultant nor a financial advisor. I am a MBA (finance) graduate.
Doing MBA is not tough job but choosing specialization after second semester is toughest job for students. When the time comes for you to determine the value of the specialization you are interested in, the first question to answer is, “What do you want to do with your life?” I have asked few of my non-commerce friends, why are you choosing finance as specialization and the reply I used to get, – “Boss at least we will be getting desk job, handsome salary at month-end without targets and tension”.
Specialization should be something that you are deeply interested in. Owing to the demanding nature of MBA degree programs, choosing a specialized course of study that you can delve into without scratching your eyeballs out is essential. If accounting looks tempting due to the likelihood of a good job, but you simply cannot stand book-keeping and crunching numbers, the accounting job is probably not right for you. The most vital aspect of choosing what to concentrate on when attending an MBA degree program is finding what best suits your skills and desires both as an individual and as a professional. If finance irritates you, don’t specialize in finance.
‘I want to build a career in Finance’, I have heard this statement umpteen times from Graduates and even CA/MBA students.
Financial Sector is a vast area with a wide variety of career options suiting each person’s interest and skills. There may be some that look glamorous, and some less so, but what matters finally is where you fit in best.
The objective of this article is to help you match your profile to the career options in finance sector.
Financial Sector: Where do you want to be?
Financial sector can be subdivided into the broad areas listed below:
• Risk Management (Credit Risk, Market Risk etc.)
• Capital Markets (Trading, Research, Operations etc.)
• Investment Banking (Mergers, Acquisitions, Merchant Banking, Valuation etc.)
• Corporate Banking (Trade, Credit, Project Financing etc.)
• Retail Banking (Loans, Deposits, Branch Operations etc.)
• Wealth Management (Personal Finance, Financial Advisory, Portfolio Management etc.)
Each of the above areas can be classified into:
1. Front Office roles
2. Middle Office roles
3. Back office roles
Now let’s find out which group you fall in:
Front Office Roles:
These roles involve interacting with clients, investors, partners etc. You can be a hot-shot investment banker interacting with the CFO of RIL or a Financial Advisor recommending investments to an HNI etc.
Mid Office Roles:
Mid-office roles often need strong analytical skills and problem solving ability. You can be a
Credit analyst in the corporate banking division or might be preparing equity research reports on a particular sector.
Mid-Office often acts as a support system to the front office. For example a relationship manager (on front end) would be advising clients on the basis of recommendations forwarded to him by the research team (at mid-office).
People with a flair for numbers, ability to understand financial statements, and inclination towards reasoning tend to do well here.
Back Office Roles:
Most of the work happening at back office is operational in nature. Thus, one needs to be systematic and highly process oriented, to perform well here.
You might be preparing, processing documents here or working with huge databases. It also requires comfort with technology.
Back office often acts as a backbone for an organization by maintaining operational efficiency and processing loads of information. One has to have a high attention for detail to sustain here.
Thus, analyze what kind of a person you are, and start preparing accordingly for a role that best suits your interest and skills.
I hope it will help you!!!
Merry Christmas ‘N Happy New Year!
Certified Equity Research Analyst