With combination of my good standing academic grades, my campus involvement, and my recently concluded internship program at Prudential Assurance, I am perfectly poised to commence my career journey swiftly. All though the field of finance has recently recorded extreme levels of competition for graduates, with thousands of candidates graduating every year, the huge demands by the public and the private sectors offer excellent opportunities for fresh graduates to succeed. Like a company applies SWOT analysis technique in business decision-making process and evaluating its strategic position in the market  , the strategy is applicable when doing a personal assessment to determine own competitiveness. The following is a thorough SWOT analysis of my career preparedness.
Having majored in a business degree and minored in finance at UCLan, I have attended various forums on Finance and Economic issues, which have grounded me with the field. My considerably good standing GPA in the business school: 3.55 on the scale of 4.00; places at strategic position should any openings arise from the recruiting agencies. My strong analytical knowledge in finance increases my chances of success in aptitude tests and interviews.
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With less than 5months before I graduate, I have been working part-time for over two years in several departments in the university. I have been trained into three honor societies and obtained recognition letters and awards from the Vice president of UCLan University. Last semester I concluded my 3 months paying internship at Prudential Assurance where I worked as credit and mortgage advisors in the organizationââ‚¬â„¢s Investment and Credit department. I posses strong college training and leadership skills; and on in addition to my computer skills I am familiar with financial applications such a Sage and NetSuit-financial.
My close contact with my professors backs up my referee portfolio. With most of these professors sitting in several Board of Governors in some financial firms, puts UCLanââ‚¬â„¢s reinforces recommendations to securing entry positions to these firms. Another key strength I have is on my excellent communication and presentation skills. My oral communication is commendable having won twice public speaking changes organized by the university PR club. My college mentor has also asserted that this is one of my key strength. I addition to this I possess strong work ethic, self-discipline, ability to work under pressure, creativity, optimism, or a high level of energy , teamwork, keen to details.
My part time training in Spanish and French is another advantage I have. Some of the foreign and international companies consider candidates with proficiency of these languages. Having worked with UClanââ‚¬â„¢s Alumni office, I have key personal contacts with the alumnus in senior positions in companies; these networks are very handy when looking for place to begin a career.
Though I posses the mentioned strengths, none of the strengths can be a substitute for years of relevant work experience. I lack solid relevant work experiences in the financial industry. In this field, real job experiences and getting equipped with the technical knowledge are the most fundamental factors of success in careers search. All though I posses and relevant industry training for an undergraduate, candidates with professional training such ACCA or CFA holds much more technical knowledge than a degree holder. My lack of specific career goals and poor knowledge of specific jobs put me at a disadvantage. I am not equipped with excellent interpersonal communication, leadership and job hunting skills unlike my fellow colleagues.
With the recent influx of foreign investment in the region, the industry is expanding creating more opportunities for graduates. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job market in the Financials and Economic industries are both expected to grow by more than 25 percent by 2012. Analyst professions such as investments, credit, and risk positions are some the most sought after qualifications in the industry. With salaries and benefits relatively high for these skills, there is an imbalance between supply and demand of highly qualified professionals.
Obtaining professional and graduate qualifications such as ACCA, CFA, or MBA would present me with more opportunities. Non-financial institutions in within and outside the industry require finance professionals or graduates. The career path I have chosen therefore provides unique opportunities. Using the contacts and strong networks I have built with potentials players would also open up other opportunities. The cordial relationships between the university and professional organizations have allowed students of UCLan to obtain some exemptions in some units for certifications upon graduation. This will shorten the period and lessen the cost I will need to obtain ACCA and CFA certification.
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Competition for the few arising positions in the financial industry is my major threat in my career journey. Some of my cohort of college graduates has better grades and qualifications, superior skills, experience, and knowledge. While some of these graduates went to schools with better reputations, others already have professional certifications as well post graduate diplomas.
The recent great keen reporting of the expansions, FDI and other developments by media coverage, the field has attracted more people to enroll in enroll programs that would qualify them to opportunities coming with these trends. The finance industry has recently been realizing negative trends in your field: low absorption rates for graduates, some potential employers are downsizing. Companies especially government, which is the biggest employer, is not hiring people with your major/degree.
Marketing Plan: MY STRATEGY
Having evaluated both my internals and external environments, it is imperative to develop my career searching strategy. The strategy is comprised of my long-term career objective, my SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Timely) goals, and action programs.
My long-term objective is to become a Financial Director. Although specific roles differs from company to company, the most common and primary role is managing corporation risks. Persons with this qualification titles are also responsible for financial planning and reporting to higher management such as Chief executive officers and board of directors. Financial Directors are sometimes referred to as Chief Finance Officer in some companies especially in the USA  . However, there no formal qualification required for one to become a Financial Director, strong financial and accounting background is key. In addition, MBA qualification is also essential.
My self-SWOT analysis would be of no value if I have no SMART goals and strategies. The first phase of my action programs will be to come up with strategies that will enable me capitalize my strengths on the opportunities, work on my weaknesses, and convert the threats into opportunities. I will advance my job hunting skills at least to obtain a relevant position in firm that would equip me with relevant work experience. I can utilize the UCLan career services to get connections that would eventually open new entry opportunities such internships or trainees positions in my field of studies. With the relevant training for an undergraduate, I will then enroll for the immediate examination for professional certifications beginning with the first part of ACCA then pursuing CFA after. Will this strategy not only equip me with knowledge that is more technical but also position me better for any relevant opportunity. To enhance my interpersonal communication I will consult with UCLan career advisors regarding this issue.
The second phase of my strategies will focus my major marketing efforts into four major areas: determining the top companies for finance professionals; examining the potential of employment opportunities with non finance companies; discovering employers whose corporate cultures much my personal values; and enhancing my networks.
As part from my action program, I will have identify at least top one hundred companies absorbing professionals in the field of finance using webs search engines, periodicals, journals or referees. These will form my primary targets in my job hunt. I then will research the names and title of the hiring managers and try to make contacts with them. I will then collect all relevant information of these companies pertaining to their corporate cultures by visiting theirs websites or getting the profiles in the print and electronic media. I will schedules to obtain at least companyââ‚¬â„¢s details per day. Finally, I will dedicate my self to developing, building, nurturing, and growing at least three network contacts per week.