dakofsta
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#1
Report Thread starter 5 years ago
#1
Hello,
I was previously set on doing dentistry in university but due to my interests, I am being advised to do finance by many people. Could I please have the following explained to me:
- What is finance?
- What sort of jobs are there in finance?
- What are the hours like (do they tend to be the average 9-5 or is it a lot longer?)
- Do people like the course and associated jobs?
Thanks!
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username738914
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#2
Report 5 years ago
#2
(Original post by dakofsta)
Hello,
I was previously set on doing dentistry in university but due to my interests, I am being advised to do finance by many people. Could I please have the following explained to me:
- What is finance?
- What sort of jobs are there in finance?
- What are the hours like (do they tend to be the average 9-5 or is it a lot longer?)
- Do people like the course and associated jobs?
Thanks!
1 + 2. Finance is huge..

There are a couple ways to look at it, there's high finance and regular 'finance' (in other words, management accounting).

High finance is split into sell-side and buy-side.

Sell-side:
- IBD
- S&T
- Research

Buy-side:
- Asset Management
- Private Wealth Management (or Private Banking)
- Hedge Funds (LOADS of hedge fund strategies: event driven, global macro etc)
- Private Equity (LBOs, Venture Capital, growth equity)

Regular finance, (which is what this board is about mostly) is a corporate function within a wider organisation. So say, Goldman Sachs might be classed as a sell-side finance firm (with buyside arms too) itself, but it has a finance department within it. P&G, L'Orèal, Amazon etc, you name it, any corporation or legal entity will have finance teams. These departments may go by the name: 'Corporate Finance', 'Finance', 'Group Finance' etc..

Typical subdivisions include:
- FP&A (Financial Planning and Analysis - this is where all the budgeting and forecasting is done)
- Treasury (Tasked with managing the cash reserves and operating capital of the organisation, they may also issue debt, trade in the money markets and come up with hedging structures to counter-act risk
- Corporate Strategy (Setting overall company strategy and dealing directly with Execs to solve management problems - think internal consultants)
- Corporate Development/Internal M&A (Basically internal investment bankers)
- Internal Audit
- Financial Control
- Risk
- and a few more that vary from firm to firm

The way most people choose where to work is based on industries. Because finance departments are everywhere, you have to segment large companies into different industry brackets and choose which type of industry you want to work in. Some tend to pay more than others (esp. financial services, technology and Oil and Gas) but the type of work is usually uniform.

2. High finance as you know from the other thread ranges from I-bankers grinding out 70-100+ hour weeks as juniors to markets folks mostly pulling in 55-65 hours a week.

Corporate Finance is usually a 9-5pm, 9-6pm or 8-6pm job, you rarely work late into the night like you do in IBD or PE or rise incredibly early like you do in most markets (HF, S&T, Research) roles. BUT, this is only true for FP&A, Internal Audit etc.., Corp Dev and Corp Strat roles (these usually only recruit ex-IBD or ex-consulting professionals) can have some periods of intense hours.

3. As you know, course is irrelevant. Study whatever want as you'll get trained by whichever company you join on their grad scheme. University brand matters a LOT for high finance but not really at all for regular or corporate finance

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