Specializing Your MBA Degree in Finance – By Biswajit Behera

Specializing Your MBA Degree in Finance
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 about what subject I had to write, and suddenly FINANCE word struck my mind and I decided to write on the same subject that I had taken as a specialization subject during my MBA.

I am neither a career consultant nor a financial advisor. I am an MBA (finance) graduate.

Doing an MBA is not a tough job but choosing a specialization after the second semester is the 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 a few of my non-commerce friends, why are choosing finance as their specialization, and the reply I used to get was, – "Boss at least we will be getting desk jobs, handsome salaries 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 bookkeeping 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 the finance sector.

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Financial Sector: Where do you want to be?
The 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 analysts 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 the front end) would be advising clients based on recommendations forwarded to him by the research team (at mid-office).

People with a flair for numbers, the ability to understand financial statements, and an inclination toward reasoning tend to do well here.

Back Office Roles:
Most of the work happening at the back office is operational. 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.

The 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 to detail to sustain here.

Thus, analyze what kind of a person you are, and start preparing accordingly for a role that best suits your interests and skills.

I hope it will help you!!!
Merry Christmas 'N Happy New Year!
Biswajit Behera
Certified Equity Research Analyst

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