IAIP – Career Day & Felicitation Ceremony, Kolkata…

Kolkata, December 8th 2012

Passing CFA exam has meant that you have demonstrated your ethical mind set, persistence, tenacity and flare for analytics and the will to succeed. But is that all that is required to make a great career in the field of capital market? IAIP Kolkata organized a Career Day on December 8th 2012 to give young members guidance from experts which included senior industry leaders as well as head hunters. The event was well attended by members.

The session included presentations from Biharilal Deora, CFA, Director IAIP, Manish Bagaria, Global Head, Fixed Income Research, Futures First Info Services, Professor Dhiman, IIM Kolkata, and Deepak from Magma Fincorp. Also included were briefing by Amar Agarwala, CA & CS, Author of “Missing Varrun” and panel discussion comprising of Anirban Dutta, Director & Head of Research, Jetage Securities, Kaushik Poddar, Portfolio Manager KB Capital Markets, Sharad Awasthi, Head of Equity Research, SPA Securities, Akhil Saraf, Veeyu HR Consultants and session moderator Biharilal.

Manish Bagaria of Futures First took member through the prospective career choices for graduating CFAs. He enlisted quite a number of roles where quailed CFAs can fit in viz. analyst in KPO of Banks/ Analyst in KPOs, Consultancy Firms, Commercial and Retail Banking, Investment Banking, M&A Analyst, Roles in Treasury etc. Bagaria emphasised on the fact that qualified CFAs can add immense value in the role of Traders in today’s uncertain market conditions but due to lack of knowledge/ awareness CFAs don’t opt for this particular career choice. Traders need to be disciplined, posses number crunching skills, ability to handle and thrive under pressure, intellectual sharpness, risk taking ability etc.

Deepak from Magma started building from here, he tried to motivate the participants that they should judge themselves whether they can thrive under pressure, whether they can remain optimistic in adverse situations. He asked participants to take a psychometric test to assess ones problem solving skills, optimism, adherence to ethical behaviour & discipline, intellectual thinking etc. He mentioned that participants should have their own interest aligned with the company’s goals. Everybody should have a MISSION and a VISION to attain that. Participants should draft a career plan for the next five years and focus on that. He stressed that CFAs could create values in the role of Credit Analysts, Treasury, Ratings, and Securitization etc.

Prof. Dhiman from IIMC made a presentation on the top qualities which one should acquire apart from their domain knowledge to make themselves employable/job ready. He stressed upon the fact that these skills are equally important like our domain knowledge. Some of them are Analytical ability, Problem solving skills, Presentation skills, Marketing skills, Communication skills, Decision making skills, Leadership, Adaptability, Relationship building, Cross culture sensitivity, Team building, Ethical behaviour, Holistic approach, Persuasion skills, Initiative taking ability, Independent thinking etc. Prof. Dhiman stressed upon the importance of these skills and guided the participants to build these qualities within them, instil these attributes by working on their own as these skill-sets will be tested on any job which one takes. It is also that if you start your own venture a few years from now these qualities will make your way easy at that point of time.

Next Amar Agarwala enlightened the young gathering about the unconventional career choices which one can choose. He took through the example of legend like BEATLES who always focused on doing things which made him happy. He  spoke about the impatient attitude of young graduating CFAs and how they find themselves trapped in the midst of their career by making a few wrong decisions. He motivated the participants to think before one starts, discover area of interest, consult parents, close ones, mentors to rediscover oneself and then take a decision. Agarwala stressed upon manifestation of attributes, qualities to make the right choice of your careers. He enlisted a few untapped and respectable career opportunities which Finance professionals of our country should take up now. Some of those are administrative officers, roles in politics, event management, teacher, entrepreneur etc.

This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Biharilal Deora CFA who asked the panellist on what were the other qualities recruiters look in a candidate apart from their technical expertise before hiring them. Kaushik from KB Capital Markets spoke about passion. He stressed upon the candidate’s passion for that particular role. If the candidate is passionate about that particular role he will be able to bring a lot on the boards. Sharad Awasthi from SPA Financial Advisors built upon this by adding that young CFAs should not remain under the impression that passing all the exams has given them all the knowledge they need to make into the industry rather it gives them an edge and thus leaders expect them to capitalise on their learning and apply those expert knowledge in practice. Again Dutta from Jetage Securities enlightened on the fact  that candidate should carry a positive attitude and keep themselves open to learning from the industry leaders. It is such that they have sound theoretical knowledge but it is equally important to keep themselves open to learn from the dynamics of this ever changing industry. Leaders look for that attitude in a candidate that he/she is open to continue learning. Lastly Akhil Saraf from Veeyu HR Consultants added that candidates should not create hurdles for themselves by quoting themselves too high or not accepting relocations, rather look for the roles which interest them and grab the right opportunities to lift their careers.

Contributions from: Abhinav Jaiswal, Abhishek Shah, Richa Sethia and Vinay Bagri, CFA all IAIP Volunteers

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