Finance

The field of finance is primarily concerned with the acquisition and management of funds by business firms, governments, and individuals. A business seeks financial advice when considering the purchase of new equipment, the expansion of present facilities or raising additional funds. Determining the value of financial and real assets and derivatives is a key activity in finance. The study of finance is designed to provide the student with both the theoretical background and the analytical tools required to make effective decisions.  Learn more about Finance careers here.

Asset Management/Financial Planning

Financial planners help customers put together a plan for managing their financial resources; investment advisors suggest specific investments. Much of the planning revolves around an income and spending budget, with advice about the types of financial investments suitable for the client. Asset managers and investment advisors recommend specific investments, sometimes to individuals but most often to managers of investment funds such as mutual funds. Investment advice is usually based on research, which can be of many kinds.

Banking and Investments

Commercial Banking - Commercial banks provide banking services to individuals, small businesses and large organizations.

Investment Banking - Investment banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities, and provide financial advice.

Venture Capital and Private Equity - The private equity sector is broadly defined as investing in a company through a negotiated process. Investments typically involve a transformational, value-added, active management strategy.

Consulting

Most consulting firms specialize in only one area of expertise or in a particular industry such as: information technology (IT), management, human resources (HR), marketing, process, logistics, litigation, or strategy. Management consultants provides advice to senior and middle corporate managers about the operations or strategic direction of various functions in the company. Technical consultants provide expert assessments in environmental, legal, scientific, and other areas. Most consulting jobs are project-oriented assignments or engagements. Consultants typically perform database analysis, financial modeling, general business analysis, research, and generate reports for the client or project team. In addition, consultants are actively involved in the application and transfer of specific skills and knowledge to the client.

Corporate Finance

Corporate/private finance involves helping a company raise capital needed for new projects and ongoing operations by compiling and analyzing financial information. The main activities are developing and executing financing programs and interfacing with the rest of the company via reports and presentations.

Insurance

Careers in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk problems. Additionally, firms are now looking at risk from a broader prospective known as enterprise risk management which encompasses liability risk, currency risk, interest rate risk, and property risk.

Real Estate

Careers in Real Estate include residential, commercial and property management. Residential real estate brokers bring buyers and sellers of individual properties together, assist them in setting a price, and arrange for appraisals, inspections, and other services. Commercial real estate brokers facilitate both the lease and sale of commercial properties, and frequently also provide ancillary advisory and appraisal services. Property management companies are involved with marketing, financing, and building operations.

Sales and Trading

Sales and trading involves buying and selling financial instruments such as: stocks, bonds, debts, futures, and options. These instruments are bought and sold in exchanges such as: the New York Stock Exchange, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange (CME) and NASDAQ. Both brokers and traders buy and sell. Traders work for an investment firm and buy/sell/trade large amounts of stocks or bonds using the firm's capital. Brokers sell on behalf of themselves or clients. Additionally, there are careers in trading commodities (such as oil) or future trading. Future traders do not actually buy anything but speculate on the future direction of the price in the commodity they are trading. This field of finance also includes asset managers and investment advisors who recommend specific investments, sometimes to individuals but most often to managers of investment funds such as mutual funds. Investment advice is usually based on research, which can be of many kinds.

 
 
 
 
 

Experience, Skills, and Personality Traits For Financial Roles

Research, organizational, and communication skills are crucial for this job.  Organizational skills are important when it comes to compiling and presenting this data. You should be able to clearly communicate ideas, both verbally when making presentations and on paper when writing reports.

The work requires strong analytic skills, so a knack for numbers and attention to detail are also helpful. An interest in solving problems will go a long way. It is important that a financial analyst be accurate and thorough in preparing financial statements.

You should enjoy reading and be able to retain what you read, since it is important to keep up with what's happening in the industry and take it into account when offering financial solutions to employers or clients.

  • a willingness to accept criticism and learn from one’s mistakes
  • the ability to perform sometimes monotonous tasks for long hours, day after day without complaint
  • being extremely hard working, responsible, and detail oriented
  • having strong analytical, time-management, and problem-solving skills
  • possessing excellent financial modeling/valuation and analytical abilities
  • being an excellent communicator and a good listener
  • being able to work independently and as part of a team
  • being proficient in the use of spreadsheets, graphing, and presentations with a basic knowledge of financial models
  • possessing strong interpersonal skills with the ability to interact with all levels of personnel.


How to Get a Job Using Your Finance Degree

Follow these steps to prepare for the job search process!

Use Keywords

When using job search platforms, such as Handshake, utilize keywords to find appropriate positions the industries you are interested in.

Below are titles Gies Alumni have had:

Account Associate

Accounting Rotational Business Associate

Advisory Associate

Analyst

Associate

Associate Financial Analyst

Assurance

Audit Associate

Business Advisory Consultant

Business Analyst

Business Operations

Business Technology Analyst

Client Specialist

Commercial Real Estate Analyst

Consultant/Associate Consultant

Consulting Analyst

Corporate Analyst

Corporate Banking Analyst

Deal Advisory

Deal Advisory Associate

Equity Options Trader

Financial Analyst

Financial Development Program

Financial Services Consultant

Forensic Services Associate

FSO Risk Advisor

Healthcare Consultant

Human Capital Analyst

Internal Auditor

Investment Analyst/Associate

Investment Banking Analyst

It Consultant

Loan Asset Administrator

Management Consulting Associate

Operations Analyst

Private Equity Analyst

Risk And Compliance Consultant

Risk And Financial Advisory Consultant

Rotational Development Program Associate

Strategy Analyst

Trading Analyst

Treasury Management Analyst

Underwriting Analyst

Valuation Analyst/Associate

Know How to Find These Opportunities:

A simple way to get started is by learning more about the companies that hired Gies students in the past. Once you have identified your target companies, follow these companies on Handshake to be informed about opportunities and info sessions, in which you can network with recruiters and professionals.

Below are employers who have hired Gies Finance students:

AbbVie

Accenture

AIG

Alight Solutions

Allstate Insurance Company

Anixter

Antares Capital

Aon

Arthur J. Gallagher & Co.

Avant

Ayco, A Goldman Sachs Company

Bain & Company

Baker Tilly Virchow Krause

Baxter

BMO Capital Markets

BMO Harris Bank

Boeing

Brown Gibbons Lang & Company

Brunswick Corporation

Busey Bank

Chicago Trading Company

Citigroup

CNA Insurance

Crowe

Deloitte

Duff & Phelps

Edward Jones

Enfusion

EY

Financial Technology Partners

First Midwest Bank

FTI Consulting

Galt & Company

GCM Grosvenor

Goldman Sachs

Grant Thornton

HealthScape Advisors

Houlihan Lokey

Huron Consulting Group

IBM

Jefferies

JPMorgan Chase

KPMG

Lincoln International

Mastercard

McKinsey & Company

Medline Industries

Moelis & Company

Morgan Stanley

Morningstar

Motorola

NISA Investment Advisors

Northern Trust Corporation

Ocean Tomo

PNC Bank

PNC Financial Services

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Protiviti

Prudential Capital Group

RSM

Societe Generale Corporate and Investment Banking

State Farm Insurance

Stout Risuis Ross

Teach for America

The Claro Group

The Kraft Heinz Company

United Airlines

W.W. Grainger

Walgreens

Wells Fargo

West Monroe Partners

William Blair & Company

Wintrust Financial Corporation

ZS Associates

Customize your Resume & Cover Letter

It’s important to customize your application documents for the industry/position you will be pursuing. Highlight your relevant experience by incorporating desired skills and qualifications into your application documents. How does your experience align with the skills the employer is seeking?

Some of the important skills you may want to highlight:

  • Problem-solving skills
  • Quantitative and Statistical Analysis
  • Communication
  • Accounting--Knowing how to read financial statements reports
  • GAAP accounting processes and regulations
  • Read SEC filings
  • Risk Analysis
  • Strategic Planning
  • Financial Modeling
  • Data Visualization (data storytelling), Tableau, Power BI
  • Leadership
  • People Management
  • Detail-oriented
  • Cash flow management
  • Decision-making
  • Technical Skills: Microsoft Excel, SQL, Quickbooks, SAP

Finance Job Boards

No one likes logging on a dozen different platforms to find job opportunities, so we recommend starting with the Handshake job board. Additional job boards can be helpful if you don't find what you are looking for.

Interview Questions for Finance Roles

General Behavioral Interview Questions.

For more information and resources on interviewing, click here!

  1. Why did you choose a career as ....?
  2. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  3. Why do you want to work for us?
  4. Describe a situation when you had to meet a tight deadline. How did it turn out?
  5. How would you handle a very unhappy (and vocal) internal customer during a business meeting?
  6. Tell me about a time when you were working in a team and your opinion was challenged.
  7. When you spot an inconsistency in a company’s financial records, what do you do?
  8. Which of your weaknesses hold you back?
  9. Which of your strengths serve you best?
  10. Can you tell me about your greatest accomplishment?
  11. What steps do you take to maintain collaborative and functional work relationships?
  12. Name a time when you identified strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions to problems. What was the impact?
  13. Please share an experience in which you presented to a group. What was the situation and how did it go?
  14. Provide an example when your ethics were tested.
  15. Provide a time when you dealt calmly and effectively with a high-stress situation.

Sample Interview Questions by Role