Ever wondered what your finance friends do all day? Interested in breaking into the industry yourself? The wide world of finance is incredibly insular and uses industry vocabulary to isolate itself from the invading forces of other sectors. So here’s an inside look at what job titles *actually* mean in the practical world, and feel free to use this as a handy guide in learning what to avoid if applying for jobs.
Do you want to read page after page of detailed financial statements and pitchbooks? Consider being a credit analyst, who has to balance risk, reward and earnings expectations to assist your company in making smart decisions that also make bank … for the bank.
Assistant Vice President (AVP):
Every 25-year-old who works in finance. Do not be fooled by this job title. They hand them out like candy. Your Tinder match who includes this in their bio is not important at their company. At all.
Senior Vice President (SVP):
Code for rich person who can speak eloquently about country club culture.
The most generic term possible, and counts for approximately 120% of the finance jobs in Charlotte. Can range from the high-powered management consultants for the Big Four accounting firms to the IT consultants who love their jobs and are smarter than everyone else.
Term for the sales and trading staff who buy/sell positions and make ridiculous money for both the firm and themselves. Think Wolf of Wall Street with even more cocaine.
The operational side of the house. If you love reconciliations, exceptions reports, and getting yelled at by the Front Office for something that is not your fault, apply today!
This is the settlements and reporting arm of the company — underpaid, overworked and looked down upon. Don’t expect to work in a fancy trading floor or ever meet someone in management who knows your name.
You talk to rich people. You understand tax laws and are a nerd about earnings calls and financial planning, but you also have incredible people skills and know how to schmooze. You’ll make solid money, but it won’t feel that way compared to the fifth-generation unemployable heir whose hobbies you have to care about.
Wealth management without the pay or prestige. Your client base will be upper-middle-class to wealthy clients who care about college savings accounts or buying a second house.
Older, white man with excellent hair.
They give away a sum of money that is the exact amount that the bank will get tax advantages for. Good-hearted people who love nonprofits and work with Public Relations to make sure *that scandal* goes away through strategic check giving.
No one knows what they do in finance aside from tell you about your raise. If you want to get promoted, make fun of them relentlessly.
The entire cubicle farm is populated by people who got tired of public accounting and want some sort of work-life balance. Quarter- and year-end are hell on earth but at least it’s not 100-plus-hour weeks during the winter and spring like when you were at (fill in name of accounting firm).
Test a company’s controls to make sure everyone is doing the right legal thing. If you enjoy arguing with high-level management who hate you but legally have to accept your findings, this is the job for you. Pay is trash compared to the high flyers you’ll pretend to lord power over, but remember that they are also actively hiding things from you. Your inclusion at the end of this list is appropriate.