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CFA and the app process

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CFA and the app process [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 08:19
Guys,
In your opinion, what if any is the impact of the CFA on the application process? Right now I'm a level III candidate (taking in June 09), obviously passed I & II. I was wondering how much I should emphasize the CFA?
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 09:21
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smokedpotatoes wrote:
Guys,
In your opinion, what if any is the impact of the CFA on the application process? Right now I'm a level III candidate (taking in June 09), obviously passed I & II. I was wondering how much I should emphasize the CFA?


In my opinion, your CFA designation should only be used lightly in the essays while mentioning how CFA was first step in attaining your "dream" and MBA is the second stage (or anything like that).

Other applicants have PHDs, MS, and other advanced degrees on top of certifications. If you prepare your application AROUND CFA, then you are missing out a chance to show off your other traits and skills.

Personally, I have a master's degree in MIS, CPA, CMA, and CIA. I just listed them on my resume and application but barely mentioned them on essays. In my opinion, adcoms can clearly see them on my application and I don't need to advertise those designations. (as if it makes my application better. I think adcoms will be interested in other part of my application)

CFA certification is an amazing accomplishment. It will definitely help you. However, I think your work background (assuming you are in fin services) and other aspects of your application have heavier weight with adcoms. :-D
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 16:22
ninkorn,
Thanks, I def am not writing an essay focucing on CFA but I have mentioned it in a sentance on all why lt/st career goal essays. Like yoiu I also have a CPA and a masters in accounting so I'm not overly concerned about schools judging my quant abilities. What I'm wondering is if the Adcoms really know the diffuculty of the CFA program and if they give it the appropriate weight when looking at a candidate.


ninkorn wrote:
smokedpotatoes wrote:
Guys,
In your opinion, what if any is the impact of the CFA on the application process? Right now I'm a level III candidate (taking in June 09), obviously passed I & II. I was wondering how much I should emphasize the CFA?


In my opinion, your CFA designation should only be used lightly in the essays while mentioning how CFA was first step in attaining your "dream" and MBA is the second stage (or anything like that).

Other applicants have PHDs, MS, and other advanced degrees on top of certifications. If you prepare your application AROUND CFA, then you are missing out a chance to show off your other traits and skills.

Personally, I have a master's degree in MIS, CPA, CMA, and CIA. I just listed them on my resume and application but barely mentioned them on essays. In my opinion, adcoms can clearly see them on my application and I don't need to advertise those designations. (as if it makes my application better. I think adcoms will be interested in other part of my application)

CFA certification is an amazing accomplishment. It will definitely help you. However, I think your work background (assuming you are in fin services) and other aspects of your application have heavier weight with adcoms. :-D
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 18:13
Adcoms are aware of how tough it is to attain CFA certification. Remember, you are not the first CFA in bschool. :wink:

P.S. - I don't have MS in Accounting. I have MS in Management Info Systems. Also, you have MS in Accounting, CPA and Level 3 CFA (or about to)? That's insane.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 18:25
ninkorn wrote:
Adcoms are aware of how tough it is to attain CFA certification. Remember, you are not the first CFA in bschool. :wink:

P.S. - I don't have MS in Accounting. I have MS in Management Info Systems. Also, you have MS in Accounting, CPA and Level 3 CFA (or about to)? That's insane.


Yeah, I did the Master in accountng right after undergrad both at UM (so in esence 5th year). Then worked at PWC 2yrs (got CPA) then equity research..... This past year has been endless exams level I last dec level II this june, then GMAT, now apps. then Jan 3rd will start studying for level III.... Yes I'm going a little exam crazy, and work as been stressfull as well.... :boom . Fingers are crossed for my appy's
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 19:54
I'm also a CFA Level III Candidate. My use of it in the app was to 1) list it on my resume and (if applicable) the data forms, and 2) include it in 1 sentence in my goals essay (something along the lines of "the __ skills I've built at __ employer and my work towards the CFA designation have provided a foundation for my goals but I neeed ____ from your MBA program" or something generally along those lines. That was it. That's the full extent of my use of the CFA in my app. FYI my goal is to enter asset management.

As ninkorn has already mentioned (and there are long threads on this elsewhere but I don't feel like searching for them right now - you may want to try searching for it) the CFA is really not that important in the application process. Unfortunately, it holds very little weight. Your essays need to focus on leadership, teamwork, strengths AND weaknesses, blah, blah, blah because that's what the adcom is looking for. Don't talk about the CFA. Whatever benefit you're gonna get from the CFA you'll get it by listing it on your resume and giving it 1 sentence in your goals essay. Don't emphasize it any more than that (I don't think I even talked about it in most of my interviews except maybe for a second when we discussed goals, and often not even then).

EDIT: It looks like you already said this is what you're doing. Guess I should have read the whole thread :lol:. Anyway, if you're asking purely about the CFAs weight in the app process, I would say very little.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 28 Dec 2008, 20:25
Listen to this man. He's a Tuck admit....he knows what he's talking about :-D
Damn Tuck!

IHateTheGMAT wrote:
I'm also a CFA Level III Candidate. My use of it in the app was to 1) list it on my resume and (if applicable) the data forms, and 2) include it in 1 sentence in my goals essay (something along the lines of "the __ skills I've built at __ employer and my work towards the CFA designation have provided a foundation for my goals but I neeed ____ from your MBA program" or something generally along those lines. That was it. That's the full extent of my use of the CFA in my app. FYI my goal is to enter asset management.

As ninkorn has already mentioned (and there are long threads on this elsewhere but I don't feel like searching for them right now - you may want to try searching for it) the CFA is really not that important in the application process. Unfortunately, it holds very little weight. Your essays need to focus on leadership, teamwork, strengths AND weaknesses, blah, blah, blah because that's what the adcom is looking for. Don't talk about the CFA. Whatever benefit you're gonna get from the CFA you'll get it by listing it on your resume and giving it 1 sentence in your goals essay. Don't emphasize it any more than that (I don't think I even talked about it in most of my interviews except maybe for a second when we discussed goals, and often not even then).

EDIT: It looks like you already said this is what you're doing. Guess I should have read the whole thread :lol:. Anyway, if you're asking purely about the CFAs weight in the app process, I would say very little.

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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 08:57
Gentlemen,
Thanks for the input my lt/st goals essays have a sentence very similar to the one below. IHateTheGMAT, how are you finding the Fin & Acc classes compared to the CFA
thanks,
SP



ninkorn wrote:
Listen to this man. He's a Tuck admit....he knows what he's talking about :-D
Damn Tuck!

IHateTheGMAT wrote:
I'm also a CFA Level III Candidate. My use of it in the app was to 1) list it on my resume and (if applicable) the data forms, and 2) include it in 1 sentence in my goals essay (something along the lines of "the __ skills I've built at __ employer and my work towards the CFA designation have provided a foundation for my goals but I neeed ____ from your MBA program" or something generally along those lines. That was it. That's the full extent of my use of the CFA in my app. FYI my goal is to enter asset management.

As ninkorn has already mentioned (and there are long threads on this elsewhere but I don't feel like searching for them right now - you may want to try searching for it) the CFA is really not that important in the application process. Unfortunately, it holds very little weight. Your essays need to focus on leadership, teamwork, strengths AND weaknesses, blah, blah, blah because that's what the adcom is looking for. Don't talk about the CFA. Whatever benefit you're gonna get from the CFA you'll get it by listing it on your resume and giving it 1 sentence in your goals essay. Don't emphasize it any more than that (I don't think I even talked about it in most of my interviews except maybe for a second when we discussed goals, and often not even then).

EDIT: It looks like you already said this is what you're doing. Guess I should have read the whole thread :lol:. Anyway, if you're asking purely about the CFAs weight in the app process, I would say very little.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 29 Dec 2008, 14:17
Here's a post I made awhile back:

post501027.html#p501027
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 01 Jan 2009, 12:10
Doh! That sucks
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 18 Feb 2009, 14:56
Curious how Ibanks view the CFA when recruiting for associates from the top MBA programs?

Obviously the CFA is known more for Asset Management and Potfolio Management type roles and not so much in banking. But is there any value add of having the CFA if you want to give banking a shot?

I work in corp fin and have been pursing the CFA just because I am interested in the material, but I am thinking about going to a top MBA to break into banking. How is CFA viewed in those circles?
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 09:58
MrPink78 wrote:
Curious how Ibanks view the CFA when recruiting for associates from the top MBA programs?

Obviously the CFA is known more for Asset Management and Potfolio Management type roles and not so much in banking. But is there any value add of having the CFA if you want to give banking a shot?

I work in corp fin and have been pursing the CFA just because I am interested in the material, but I am thinking about going to a top MBA to break into banking. How is CFA viewed in those circles?


I've wondered the same thing but have never gotten a definitive answer. What I have heard is that IB folks have little to no respect for the CFA (some even laugh at it and call it a waste of time) and some have even said it could be seen as a negative because the banks will think that your true interest is in asset management and you're just looking to do a short stint in IB before transitioning to the buyside. I'd be really interested to see if anyone else has any insights on this topic.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 10:16
It really depends on where you want to be at a bank. If your going to be in a research role at an IB its very repescted. Also allot of traders have the CFA charter. On the flip side if your on a deal team having the CFA charter prob won't add much value.

IHateTheGMAT wrote:
MrPink78 wrote:
Curious how Ibanks view the CFA when recruiting for associates from the top MBA programs?

Obviously the CFA is known more for Asset Management and Potfolio Management type roles and not so much in banking. But is there any value add of having the CFA if you want to give banking a shot?

I work in corp fin and have been pursing the CFA just because I am interested in the material, but I am thinking about going to a top MBA to break into banking. How is CFA viewed in those circles?


I've wondered the same thing but have never gotten a definitive answer. What I have heard is that IB folks have little to no respect for the CFA (some even laugh at it and call it a waste of time) and some have even said it could be seen as a negative because the banks will think that your true interest is in asset management and you're just looking to do a short stint in IB before transitioning to the buyside. I'd be really interested to see if anyone else has any insights on this topic.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 10:28
That's true. I was referring to M&A/advisory
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 10:29
MrPink78 wrote:
Curious how Ibanks view the CFA when recruiting for associates from the top MBA programs?

Obviously the CFA is known more for Asset Management and Potfolio Management type roles and not so much in banking. But is there any value add of having the CFA if you want to give banking a shot?

I work in corp fin and have been pursing the CFA just because I am interested in the material, but I am thinking about going to a top MBA to break into banking. How is CFA viewed in those circles?


If you are NOT interested in IM or even a tangent to IM (e.g., portfolio management, credit risk, risk mgmt, treasury ops), don't bother with the CFA. If you are going to go to a top MBA Program, you will learn a lot of the material that is covered by the CFA exams (derivatives, statistics, corporate finance, fixed income, etc.).

To answer the question with regards to whether a CFA is valuable for banking, honestly I don't know. If you have the option of raising a GMAT score from 700 to 740 or getting an "A" in accounting instead of a "B," either of those options will provide more bang for your buck in terms of getting into banking.

If you want to pursue IM at some point in the future, a banking background and a top MBA should be sufficient to land a buy-side role. Once you get in the door, you can pick up the books again (and probably on the firm's dime). That's what I would do at least...
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 10:47
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
That's true. I was referring to M&A/advisory


In that case I would say that the work you must put in to pass all 3 levels isn't worth it if your looking to go into M&A or advisory (better brush up on powerpoint and excel :roll: )
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 10:50
smokedpotatoes2 wrote:
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
That's true. I was referring to M&A/advisory


In that case I would say that the work you must put in to pass all 3 levels isn't worth it if your looking to go into M&A or advisory (better brush up on powerpoint and excel :roll: )


Yeah I started the CFA process thinking that I wanted to do equity research. But now I want to go into IB and I'm sitting here as a Level III candidate with approved work experience and a stack of untouched Schweser books. What to do, what to do...

ryguy904 wrote:
If you want to pursue IM at some point in the future, a banking background and a top MBA should be sufficient to land a buy-side role. Once you get in the door, you can pick up the books again (and probably on the firm's dime). That's what I would do at least...


So you're saying I should quit (uhhh maybe I mean not start) studying for LIII :-D
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 11:01
No finish the program. You've come to far to drop it. CFA designation will add value. I thought you were just thinking about starting level I study. BTW I'm also a Level III candidate. At this point there's no way in hell I will quit. :wink:


IHateTheGMAT wrote:
smokedpotatoes2 wrote:
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
That's true. I was referring to M&A/advisory


In that case I would say that the work you must put in to pass all 3 levels isn't worth it if your looking to go into M&A or advisory (better brush up on powerpoint and excel :roll: )


Yeah I started the CFA process thinking that I wanted to do equity research. But now I want to go into IB and I'm sitting here as a Level III candidate with approved work experience and a stack of untouched Schweser books. What to do, what to do...

ryguy904 wrote:
If you want to pursue IM at some point in the future, a banking background and a top MBA should be sufficient to land a buy-side role. Once you get in the door, you can pick up the books again (and probably on the firm's dime). That's what I would do at least...


So you're saying I should quit (uhhh maybe I mean not start) studying for LIII :-D
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 11:13
IHateTheGMAT wrote:
ryguy904 wrote:
If you want to pursue IM at some point in the future, a banking background and a top MBA should be sufficient to land a buy-side role. Once you get in the door, you can pick up the books again (and probably on the firm's dime). That's what I would do at least...


So you're saying I should quit (uhhh maybe I mean not start) studying for LIII :-D


1) You "think" you want to IB as of today. It's mid-February, so there's 7 months for you to change your mind and decide that you want a real job (i.e., IM :)).
2) If you weren't so distracted with LA nightlife, I would say finish the darn thing off. However, you need to take advantage of the sunlight and the scenery before you get buried in 10 feet of snow in Hanover later this year.
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Re: CFA and the app porcess [#permalink] New post 19 Feb 2009, 15:23
I'm not too sure where I see myself post MBA - but being only a 2 years out of college and not planing to go back to get an MBA for another 2 years, I figured getting a few levels of the CFA done would give me more opportunities.

Having broad financial knowledge that the CFA affords can't hurt. If I end up getting into banking post MBA and only use 10% of what I learned in the CFA, so be it. It's always there as a fallback. On the other hand, if I shoot for AM type of gigs out of b-school I'll just be that more prepared I guess.

Not really sure here. I'm just trying to rationalize as a level II candidate why I am continuing to go for the charter. Curious to hear what other people in the same position (pre MBA, doing the CFA) have to say.

What type of AM gigs are recruited for from top finance programs?

Ryguy or Potatoes - So would you then leave your CFA designation off you resume if you decided to interview for banking? Is it possible the CFA could hurt your chances of getting into banking?

Many thanks
Re: CFA and the app porcess   [#permalink] 19 Feb 2009, 15:23
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