February 7, 2018

Students on the Blog: Q&A - Lessons from a Financial Analyst Intern

I had the opportunity to interview an MS Finance student to find out more about what it's like to work as a Financial Analyst for one of the biggest e-commerce companies in the world. The perspective was interesting because instead of being a coder or a data scientist, like one would guess when thinking of a job in e-commerce, she worked as an Investment Management Analyst.

Tao Yang MS QMM
It does make sense, of course, that an e-commerce company would have an Investment Management arm. When you take a closer look at any big company, they often have an investment arm to capture profits generated by the liquidity of their operations.

Getting to the opportunity was a challenge for the student, as it sometimes is for many. She leveraged all the avenues to find the role, using as many channels available to her: GCMC, OCR, company websites and career sites like Indeed.com. On top of that, she networked with contacts from her undergraduate university as well as from Baruch. She asked for casual coffee chats and informational interviews every week, and found the Executives on Campus program Baruch offers to be very helpful. In the end, she found the role through a thread on LinkedIn.com and applied.

In her day-to-day, her job as an investment analyst is to look at real estate opportunities, syndicate deals here in America, package them, and market them to ultra-high-net-worth individuals overseas. There is a lot of due-diligence work to be done and her job is to help with the process. She reads presentations on investment opportunities, examines financial models, then communicates with her manager to see if these opportunities are worth to pursuit.

Where do the deals go? Her colleagues on other teams do the follow-up, since there is a lot more work to be done, such as risk assessment, etc., before they reach the marketing teams. 

Ultimately, investment management is certainly very challenging and exciting, requiring a high level of diligence and attention-to-detail. But the take-away is that the roles don't only exist in financial firms and banks, with opportunities in places one might never think - like an e-commerce company.

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