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6 Things You Can Do If You Want a Career In Finance (Even if You Don’t Have a Finance Background)

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Between exams, early morning lectures, and engaging in social life, it can be easy to forget that one of the most important parts of the college experience is preparing for your career. And while you’ll learn a lot about your chosen field from professors and advisors, it’s your responsibility to take steps that will set you up for success after graduation.

Thinking about pursuing a career at a finance company, but don’t have a finance background? Don’t worry, finance companies like Goldman Sachs are looking for candidates with diverse experience and interest areas. Of course, preparing for your career early will pay off in a big way down the road. 

Here are six things you should do now to help you secure a job in finance in the future:

1. Revamp Your Resume

Often, your resume serves as your first “introduction” to potential employers, and it’s important to make a great impression! This is your chance to show off your relevant experience, skills, and other qualities that make you stand out. 

Having an updated resume is crucial, whether you’re applying for post-grad jobs or searching for a summer internship. Take some time to look over your latest draft, add any new courses you’ve taken or positions you’ve held, and ensure everything looks clean and professional. 

If your school has a career center, it can also be helpful to sit down with an advisor who can review your resume and provide constructive feedback based on your career goals.

2. Explore Your Options

Interested in a specific industry, but not 100% sure what type of career is right for you (or if you have the right experience to pursue it)? While you might think your options are limited in certain fields, each industry offers a wealth of opportunities you might not be aware of!

Roles in finance can act as a catalyst to help make things possible in all industries. For example, at Goldman Sachs, you can work on pioneering the financial cloud and write code at the speed of markets as a part of our engineering division or work on investing in the planet, shaping the music industry’s future, or structuring sports franchise deals as part of other divisions throughout the firm who have had a hand in making these things possible.   

With so many options to explore, it’s best to find an internship that offers a variety of roles throughout the organization. That way, you can choose a department that fits your background or try a new one that you’re interested in learning more about. Students who apply for Goldman Sachs’ Summer Analyst Program can choose from all of their different divisions, from engineering and operations to asset management and consumer and wealth management and more! Learn more about the program here.

3. Stay Up to Date with Industry News

You know the old saying, “knowledge is power,” and when it comes to your career, that couldn’t be more true! A great way to stand out from the competition when you’re interviewing with a company is to have a solid grasp of the ins and outs of their industry. If you’re majoring in the same field or a similar one, you’ll likely learn a lot of this in class. However, it’s also a good idea to subscribe to relevant blogs, newsletters, and social media accounts to stay on top of the latest headlines. 

Finance can lead to a wide variety of areas of work and you will likely be able to work on projects that interest you once you’ve secured a job. Stay up to date with news that you’re interested in and think about how a career in finance can help make change possible in those areas. 

4. Join Clubs on Campus

Want to gain experience, but don’t have time to get an internship just yet? Look for on-campus organizations that focus on the industry you want to work in! Often, clubs will host networking events, presentations from industry professionals, and other valuable opportunities that can help you on your path to your dream career.

If your school doesn’t offer an industry-specific club, you can look for other types of related experience. For example, if you’re interested in applying to a finance company, run for a financial position on another school organization’s executive board or apply for a part-time job with the university finance department. 

Keep in mind that you don’t need to have a background in finance to work for a financial company. To share a few examples, many finance companies are looking for candidates who have experience with coding, interests in environmental sustainability, and those who have a passion for turning small ideas into big opportunities. 

5. Network, Network, Network

In virtually every industry, who you know can be just as beneficial as what you know. That’s why it’s so important to network with people from a variety of industries whenever you have the chance! Attend your school’s annual job fair, keep in touch with internship supervisors, or check with your campus career center to see if there are alumni you can reach out to — no matter how you do it, making connections with the right people can help you as you work towards your post-grad career.

6. Intern for a Company You’re Interested In

Of course, one of the best ways to gain hands-on experience (and boost your resume) in any field is to get an internship. Internships let you test the waters, grow your skills, and learn more about your potential career path. Plus, you’ll meet so many awesome people you can add to your list of professional contacts!

If you’re not sure where to start in your search for an internship, Goldman Sachs has a great program that will help you jumpstart your career. Check out their summer 2022 internship hub to see what they are making possible. 

Take your next step at Goldman Sachs — head to their career site to find resources and the right program for you! What will you make possible?

Katy Gioeli

U Conn '18

Katy is a Branded Content Editor at Her Campus Media. She graduated from the University of Connecticut in 2018, where she studied communication and was a College Fashionista Community Member. When she’s not dreaming up new branded content ideas, you can find her trying new restaurants, taking hundreds of pictures of her cat, Willow, or enjoying her latest romantasy book obsession and an iced matcha latte.