New York city is well-known for a lot of things including its cultural diversity, wide range of tourist hotspots, and the opulent lifestyle that emanates from the heart of Manhattan. But one quality that’s spoken about more conservatively is New York city’s strong finance sector. In fact, the city is considered as the world’s leading financial hub, housing one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, NYSE and NASDAQ. It’s no wonder why a lot of aspiring finance experts, from hedge fund traders to stockbrokers, come to the Big Apple to take a shot at growing their career.
Move to the Right Area
While it makes sense to start out in neighborhoods that charge cheaper rent, like areas in Queens or Bronx, distance from the Manhattan area can slow down your career progress. Positioning yourself near the financial center, which is Wall Street, gives you opportunities to network with experienced financial analysts and bankers at massive corporations. Being around these vibrant and lucrative parts of the city will help you meet more relevant people and find more relevant job vacancies than living hours away from it. Living in downtown Manhattan, for instance, means you’re 10 to 15 minutes away from banks, trading desks, asset management institutions, and even the watering holes of financial experts from all directions.
Pursue Higher Education
From an expert’s point of view, an MBA degree, or Master of Business Administration, with a focus on Finance will equip you with the most holistic education in the field of Finance. It’s also suited for almost any career in the industry, whether it’s an auditor, controller, adviser, accountant, actuary, etc. If you are just starting out with your career in Finance, it’s best to establish a professional designation early on. For instance, in financial planning, the most widely recognized title is a Certified Financial Planner title, which is concerned with investing for individual clientele.
Find a Mentor
Part of what makes successful people like Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Mark Zuckerberg, and Warren Buffet billionaires and leaders in their respective fields is that they had mentors starting out. Find a mentor who doesn’t just walk you through a regular college curriculum with theory-heavy study loads, but someone who can actually teach you from their life experiences and whom you can bounce ideas off of. A mentor is an invaluable person to have in the hopes of growing your career in any industry, much more a career in Finance whereby many of the trade secrets must be experienced firsthand before it can be transmuted into desired results.
Use Free Time to Attend Seminars
New York city has a slate of seminars happening on a daily basis. Use your nights and weekends from work to attend seminars that talk about finance-related theories and models. What’s great is that many of these seminars are free of charge and it’s a good environment to meet potential mentors and colleagues who are equally passionate about Finance as you are. Sites, such as EventBrite and Stern NYU, are few of the places online where you can find these events.
David Milberg is a financial analyst in New York.