Welcome to College Confidential!

The leading college-bound community on the web

Sign Up For Free

Join for FREE, and start talking with other members, weighing in on community discussions, and more.

Also, by registering and logging in you'll see fewer ads and pesky welcome messages (like this one!)

As a CC member, you can:

  • Reply to threads, and start your own.
  • Post reviews of your campus visits.
  • Find hundreds of pages of informative articles.
  • Search from over 3 million scholarships.

Second year finance major with no work experience. Where should I start?

gurmeet97gurmeet97 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
I'm currently in my second semester in my second year with a 3.75 GPA. Throughout my last semester, my professors stressed the importance of building your resume for the future. Unfortunately for me, I've had no work experience whatsoever. Now, I wanted to know where I should start. Should I attempt to find a job at say a grocery store (paid) or try to find an internship related to my major (unpaid)? How much do companies stress work experience when applying for internships? I feel like I started too late when it comes to my work history but I am dedicated to work hard and try to find something to build my resume. I just need some advice on where I should start. I am from the NYC area if that helps. Thank you.

Replies to: Second year finance major with no work experience. Where should I start?

  • UCBUSCalumUCBUSCalum Registered User Posts: 845 Member
    You should get the related work experience even if it is unpaid, especially during the summer. The related work experience is very important. This coming summer still might not be late for an internship. Check the with the job placement office, your professors, friends, word of mouth, job ads/postings, any resources you can find, etc. Also, you still have next year's summer before your senior year and start early. Good luck!
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,425 Forum Champion
    edited January 2017
    If you can afford to go without the income for the summer, I'd go for the unpaid internship in your field. You may qualify to get college credit for an unpaid internship. Many interns come in without significant work experience and many people don't get meaningful work experience until after junior year. Have you met with an advisor at your school's career placement office? Have you looked online for internships? Have you spoken to people you/your parents know in the who might be able to help you?
  • philbegasphilbegas Registered User Posts: 2,997 Senior Member
    edited January 2017
    Damnit @happy1 , always saying exactly the same thing I wanna say.
    The other thing I would suggest is
    if you're a second year then I assume you've taken intro level accounting, business, and economics classes right? If so, you could possibly get a temp job or something like that working as an accounting/administrative assistant. Even if that's not your future, it's about as relevant as you can get with your knowledge level.

    Edit: Some schools offer shortened courses in things like quickbooks, which could give you a nice little exposure to accounting work.
  • gurmeet97gurmeet97 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Thank you all for the responses. I think, as you all have said, I should look for an internship, even if it's unpaid to build my resume. I'll start connecting with people on campus. I really haven't taken advantage of my school's career services center but I plan on doing so starting next week and hopefully find places to find an internships/jobs. Now my other main question is would it matter where I apply? For example would it be fine if I work at a small, private firm that is not well known instead of say Goldman-Sachs or Wells Fargo (big companies)? @philbegas I will definitely look into that job. I switched my major from accounting to finance because the major felt boring but I don't mind taking that job if offered since I will learn a lot from it.
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,425 Forum Champion
    It would be extremely unlikely that you could get an internship after soph. year at a Goldman type of firm. I'd take anything in the field where you like the environment and feel you could learn.
  • gurmeet97gurmeet97 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Yes, I feel Goldman is highly competitive and look at big schools like Columbia or NYU in NYC so it'll take me a while. So I should just find an internship at a place where I can grow and expand my knowledge rather than worry about the name of the firm/company right?
  • happy1happy1 Forum Champion Parents, Forum Champion Admissions Posts: 23,425 Forum Champion
    ^^That makes sense but don't decide now. First see what types of things are available. Again, there will probably be a better chance for a meaningful internship between your junior and senior year.
  • gurmeet97gurmeet97 Registered User Posts: 12 New Member
    Sounds good. Thank you so much for the help!!!
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,813 Senior Member
    @gurmeet97 one of the advantages of studying business is that career services is geared toward helping you guys find jobs and internships! Does your school have an internship fair or similar so that you can sign up for interviews or meet professional contacts? I'd definitely go that route. Also, stop in at the career services office and see how they can help you. Can you get counseling on building a resume? On how to interview? etc.

    I have an MBA and the resources are tremendous at the graduate level, of course. But my D is mulling over her acceptance to a well-known business program, and during a recent visit I was blown away by what they had available just for the undergrads! Regardless, whether I was a sophomore at an LAC or whether I was just about to start my MBA program, I did the same thing: walked into career services, got training on how to do my resume, got counseling on how to interview (I signed up for the cringe-worthy mock-interview videotaping which is very uncomfortable but INVALUABLE) and then used the resources and contact they had in order to find an internship and a job. Your tuition is paying for those resources so you might as well use them. Don't re-invent the wheel if you don't have to.

    One other tip: I read books on how to find a job. Books with pretty straightforward titles like "How to find a great job in finance" or similar. Those are extremely useful because they give you great tips on how to compose a proper and convincing cover letter for your resume (cover e-mail I guess now :) ) how to respond to uncomfortable or inappropriate questions (which, even today, still come up), how to dress, what kind of hairstyle, etc. (the latter were more pertinent to females in my day, but now with the guys wearing all sorts of styles of hair and clothing the advice pertains to them as well!). And of course, they emphasized how important it was to THANK your interviewer and FOLLOW UP. BION, here is where you can really clean up - you have no idea how many do NOT thank their potential employers and to whom a thank-you note is a foreign concept. Regardless of contemporary norms, proper manners are still crucial to landing a great job.

    Come to think of it, a book on etiquette is probably useful as well. Even most polite will pick up a point or two from the experts.

    Good luck!
  • JBStillFlyingJBStillFlying Registered User Posts: 5,813 Senior Member
    @gurmeet97 another thing I just thought of: if you don't have much business experience now, your resume will have to be more of a "skills resume". Your career counselors can help you compose one. You emphasize what courses you have taken and grades (A's in advanced calculus, a year of stats and regression analysis, Accounting sequence, etc.), what honors you have achieved/societies you are a member of (Business Honor Society, High School accolades etc.) and what activities you've done: (community service or varsity sports - even if in high school, etc.). No one expects you to be a CFO at this point - or even a financial intern - but they do expect you to present your skills so they can read them in like 10 seconds and figure out if you are right for the job.
  • prof2dadprof2dad Registered User Posts: 694 Member
    OP: you are not too late yet. For sophomore summer, most finance students would not get a big-name front office internship. Unless your school is something like Wharton, the usual best outcome is to have an internship with your local wealth management or asset management firms for non-URM males. With something like this, your resume sends out a signal of your interests in this profession. It then serves as a jumping board for junior summer internship. Among all internships, junior summer internship is typically the most important one. If you do well on that summer job and the firm has an opening for the coming year, you may have a full time job offer before your senior year begins.

    It is still not too late to search for a sophomore summer internship. Use your university and school's career development centers. You are lucky that you live in NYC area, right? Ask your family and anyone you know, relatives, friends, and whatever, and see whether they know someone who can forward your resume to the right person. Google your local wealth management and asset management firms. Call or e-mail them. Be proactive.

    Many big-name banks, think Goldman Sachs, Barclays, etc., have diversity internship programs for URMs and females. They take freshmen, sophomores, and juniors. But now it is too late since their deadlines are mostly in October-December.

    Nothing wrong with getting a summer job as a waiter/waitress or similar positions to pay for your college cost; it is a beautiful thing. But an internship in finance for sophomore summer will carry you further. Your professor is correct. You are in a professional school; you ought to think about your profession and career and prepare your resume. Good luck!
This discussion has been closed.