On 19th January 2013, the Delhi chapter organised its first Career Day at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The occasion was also utilized to felicitate the new charter holders who joined the CFA community in year 2012. The event was well attended by around 60 participants, which included member charter holders as well as candidates.
The event started with Biharilal Deora (or BD as he is popularly known), Director – IAIP, welcoming all participants and giving them an overview of the event. He then introduced the first speaker of the day, Arvind Mathur of Private Equity Pro Partners, who has broad experience with various organisations including World Bank and Citigroup. Though he started off with introducing participants to various kind of job opportunities available in the Private Equity, Investment Banking and Corporate Finance industry, the discussion moved on to what all a job aspirant can do enhance his career. He emphasized the importance of ‘networking’ and how it helps in enhancing one’s job prospects. He also highlighted the importance of having the right ‘mentor’ and elaborated on how one should go about choosing a mentor. According to him a person who has ‘walked that path’ can be a good mentor. The session was an interactive one with all round participation from the attending audience.
Post lunch, the first session was taken by BD, who gave a presentation on ‘Accessing and using CFA institute Jobline and Career Centre’. Through this presentation, he shed light on various career resources available for the CFA aspirants, candidates and charter holders. He introduced Jobline – a job board, which can be accessed by members for free, whereas candidates may gain access though a member society. He also told participants about CFA Career Centre, which can be accessed by all members and candidates for free. He also told participants how they can access articles, pod casts and webinars on career management and job search.
The next speaker was Zeenat Shah of eFinancialcareers, one of the leading job portals for financial services professionals looking for job opportunities. She touched upon latest trends in the global job market for financial professionals, and other insights from the company’s experience with financial services companies and job seekers. In addition to this, she threw some light on the soft skills needed to land a job of one’s liking. The emphasis was to take job search as a ‘process’ rather than an event. This process entails preparation for the job, showcasing the skills, interview and networking. This holistic approach can be beneficial for skill enhancement of an individual in the long term.
After this the floor was thrown open for queries and general discussion. The audience participated by fielding a variety of questions and doubts to the speakers including where should one start, which locations offer best job opportunities, how should one network etc.
The participants had an opportunity to network during lunch and tea as well. Participants included CFA charter holders, students from MBA institutes, working professionals at various stages of CFA curriculum. There were lots of interesting discussions by participants which showed their enthusiasm, anxiety and curiosity to know ways to excel in the financial world. Someone emphasized on learning a new language to advance in the field. Another wanted to pursue a PhD in finance in addition to CFA charter. Candidates learnt from charter holders on the difficulty level of various stages of CFA exams. Opinions were sought on learning various technological tools like SAS, SPSS and also on the type of roles being offered by various employers.
All the speakers had a common message – that there are lots of opportunities out there There are opportunities available in various kinds of organisations ranging from KPOs, AMCs, venture capital, sovereign funds, quantitative finance, consultancy etc. All one is required to do is keep eyes, ears and mind open to such opportunities. Network a lot and last but not the least – take initiative.