Today's blog is from the Michigan First What's Hot blog. I thought it would a great read for anyone considering working in Financial Services. Plus this advice is from our very own President and CEO Michael Poulos. Check it out!
Working in financial services can be a very rewarding career. Every day, you have the opportunity to transform people’s lives for the better – whether it’s helping them get a loan, resolve an account issue, or simply offering to listen to their problems and work toward a solution.
It takes a special kind of person to be successful in this field, but following some of the tips below can help aspiring financial service professionals achieve their career goals:
- Choose the right college major/class schedule. Accounting is a good choice – having in-depth knowledge of how numbers work is a huge asset. Economics, as boring as that might sound, is really essential because you get to see how the economy works when it’s supposed to work (and what happens when people don’t do the right things). A general business degree is also a very good selection. Financial services can be broken down into two basic purposes: supporting a business from the inside, and assisting a business from the outside. Knowing how businesses work is enormously helpful.
- Explore internships. Any position in a finance-related field will be an asset. However, the best finance people I have worked with are the ones who have spent significant time in the “business” part of the business, not just finance. Knowing where every penny is going and being able to recognize when something is out of whack is a useful skill. Real business experience is often better than sitting in a tax accountant’s office.
- Learn the soft skills. Curiosity is important. The numbers may be black and white, but the stories behind the numbers are grey. You have to be great with people and be an excellent interviewer – ask the right questions! That’s something we go over in our training program here at Michigan First.
Overall, simply having a love of learning will help you reach your goals in the financial services industry. Your education is essential, but experience is just as – if not more – important. Ask questions and find out as much as you can. Use experience gained in different industries to build a more robust skill set.
Most importantly, never assume that you’ve peaked or that you know it all – there’s always more to learn!
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Keeping it Fresh, Young and Free,