Employer's expectations for new employees.
September 15, 2008 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Employer's expectations for new employees.

Hi people, I am 21 currently in my second last semester in my university. I am doing an Economics and Finance Degree. Lately, I have been wondering if my passion is really in this field. But I know its a bit too late for me to change my degree as my family had forked out a huge sum of money for me to study abroad.

I am just wondering how is life after university? What are the expectations of the finance company? I intend to work in a bank probably the Citibank Group in its finance department.
posted by red_rika to Work & Money (7 answers total)
If you don't want to work in finance, don't. A degree in economics is incredibly versatile. What are your interests? If you were starting college right now, what would you want to study? If you could choose any career in the world, what would it be?
posted by decathecting at 10:59 AM on September 15, 2008

If you're set on working at a bank, but are questioning your passion, be prepared for a rough ride. About 15 years ago, I worked in one of the training groups at Citibank, and every year, a new crop of Junior Associates (or whatever your particular bank calls them) would float through, fresh out of college. They're put through a rigorous, well-tuned program designed to separate the wheat from the chaff. I doubt much has changed in that time other than the regulations and the products you work with. If you're not willing to put in the hours (and there will be many of them), you're going to suffer. If you do put in the work and the hours, the money is there (though increasingly less so these days), and you need to decide whether the tradeoffs are worth it.

Also, how much of your malaise is tied to the current state of the economy? Frankly, it's a shitty time to be going into banking. But, if you take the long view, and your priority is financial gain, big banks have existed and will continue to exist for a long time. Everyone needs money.
posted by mkultra at 11:07 AM on September 15, 2008

That's why they call it "money".
posted by timeistight at 4:13 PM on September 15, 2008

I intend to work in a bank probably the Citibank Group in its finance department. You have a wide range of employment choices - big and small banks, investment companies, consulting companies, government (local, national), etc., not to mention different types of work within each of these. Your university almost certainly has a career center, with counselors paid by the university exactly for the purpose of helping you find a job that you'll like. And consider, when you start applying for jobs, picking three or four different types. When you get to the interview stage (hopefully), you can ask them what type of people (in terms of strengths and interests) that they think will fit well into the positions that they are trying to fill.

In short, don't limit your options. And if your first job turns out not be enjoyable, don't assume that all jobs for which you're qualified are the same (not enjoyable), and thus that your education was a waste. Keep in mind that plenty of liberal arts majors find interesting jobs, and that for a large number of jobs, you're better qualified (by virtue of your degree) than they are.
posted by WestCoaster at 5:26 PM on September 15, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so far for the answers. But I would like to know as well, are we required to show all our knowledge in university upon graduation in our job? Because I am not a very good student and I am afraid I do not meet up to all of my future employer's expectations.

I do not mind putting in hours into my work but i am just afraid I am not up to the task. =(
posted by red_rika at 7:50 PM on September 15, 2008

Don't worry about it- better to try and fail than not try at all. They will put you through your paces and figure out if you are right for them. Maybe they will recognize your talents and shortcomings and have a position available that's perfect for you?

I would imagine that, as a self-described poor student, you've had to work harder to get where you are than many of the other applicants have had to. College is a system that can be gamed, and in my experience, having a talent for memorizing and regurgitating facts will lead to a successful college career. Doesn't matter if you understand the material or not. On the other hand, if one attempts to actually learn the material but is not good at memorizing the minutia, they will struggle in maintaining good grades. But the end result after graduation, when you actually have to apply what you've learned, will be that the "understander" will have been better trained in the subject at hand. The "memorizer" can talk a good game, but will not stand up to scrutiny.

Here's a simple math example that's in a lot of the standardized tests. The formula for the area of a rectangle is length times width, right? The memorizer can remember that easily and knows how to fill in the . But what happens when he is faced with analyzing how it works? So the next question on the test is "the area of a square is one square foot. what is the area in inches?" The memorizer will multiply that by twelve, because there are twelve inches in a foot. The understander will know that it doesn't work like that and answer correctly. Or maybe even incorrectly, unable to remember how many inches in a foot. In real life, the understander can look that up and get it right. The memorizer cannot, because he doesn't know how it works.

Depending on who you are in this (overly simple) dichotomy, you will succeed or fail.

(Personally, all my academic and following real-world successes and failures can be traced to this dichotomy. Many of my academic failings were based on some (as yet unknown) missing building block of knowledge, that I was unable to figure out, and any concept that depended on that was doomed to failure. I think it was graphical algebra.)
posted by gjc at 6:39 AM on September 16, 2008

If you're not into it, there are loads of post-graduate diploma programs for people with degree X who want to get into field Y. My art history methodology seminar has people with psych, econ, commerce, and pure science degrees who are doing a one-year diploma program before going on to an arth masters.

Definitely finish what you're in now and remember that a degree is a stepping stone that can get you into myriad different careers and not necessarily a life sentence to do exactly what you studied.
posted by rhinny at 11:21 PM on September 16, 2008

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