Hello fellow students,
Did you know that, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, Villanova School of Business is the 3rd best undergraduate business school for internships? One main goal of coming to college is eventually finding a job (maybe to pay your parents back for tuition). So, do you want a job? Read on and find out how you can start your career in as a Finance major at Villanova.
Today, I attended the VSB Career Paths in Finance presentation. This presentation was led by David Shaffer who is the Department of Finance Chair. He first explained what finance is, since many people, including myself, did not know. Finance is the study of how to make decisions and manage resources in an environment of uncertainty. The way we manage resources is by managing money.
Professor Shaffer helped lay out the courses a finance major will take. The first real finance class students will take is Financial Management and Reporting (FMR) during their sophomore year. Next, we have to take the 3 finance major courses which are
- equity markets and valuation
- fixed income markets and valuation
- intermediate corporate finance
It is recommended to take the first two classes junior year because they are a prerequisite for the finance major electives. Students have to take 3 finance major electives, in addition to the 3 finance major courses.
The most common double major in all of Villanova is finance and accounting, and many students in VSB choose this double major. However, Professor Shaffer warned us that you should only double major if you are doing so for the right reasons and not just to become more marketable to companies. Some companies he has talked to, like Goldman Sachs, say they do not always think a double major is impressive and sometimes view the double major as only a resume builder.
Finance is the largest major by far in VSB with 61% of students choosing finance as their major. Most finance majors (55%) end up working in Financial Services (ex: Wall Street) or in non financial corporations (ex: Apple). The number one recruiter of VSB finance majors is PWC, as the auditorium this event was held in was named after. Some of the other companies that recruit VSB finance majors are JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, Citigroup, Barclays Capital, EY, Vanguard, and GE. The average starting salaries of finance majors in 2014 was $59,332 which was second only to MIS which had an average salary of $64,374.
Students are also able to do internships and CoOps for credit. Professor Shaffer says that internships are an especially effective way to get a job on Wall Street. A company can get to know you and your work style through an internship and, if they like you, they can easily hire you. There are many opportunities for internships, and the more you take advantage of the better.
Two of the Finance department resources are the Applied Finance Lab and the MS in Finance. The Applied Finance Lab is a world class finance lab and trading room with 24 Bloomberg terminals, more than almost anywhere else in the country.
To pursue an MS in Finance, you can spend an extra year at VSB to obtain a masters degree in Finance. This rigorous program consists of 11 Finance classes.
Professor Shaffer’s office is in Bartley 2017. He told the audience that we can go to him with any questions about finance. If you missed the event, stop by and see him! Also, start looking now for opportunities to get immersed in the finance world. You can stop in the Clay Center to talk to advisors who can help you find opportunities suited for you.