Finance, Investment, and Banking Major
What You’ll Learn
Gain a holistic understanding of the finance industry and its many career paths. From Wall Street trading to the financial structures of startups and large corporations, learn how finance impacts the business world and society at large.
Topics, skills, and concepts
- Financial markets, investment analysis, valuation, financial modeling, trading, risks and returns, data-driven decision-making, financing and governance policies, corporate restructuring, forecasting, capital structure
- Analytics, accounting, financial planning, financial technology, history of finance, the impact of finance on business, society and sustainability
in the U.S. for undergraduate finance programs
—U.S. News & World Report, 2021
Go Beyond the Classroom
- Case competitions
- Pitch competitions
- Job shadow experiences
- Employer treks
- Technical skill training sessions
Join a Student Org
Capital Management Club
Economics Student Association
Fantasy Sports & Finance Club
Federal Reserve Challenge
Finance & Investment Society
Forex Investment Club
Investment Banking Club
Sales, Trading & Asset Management Society
Society of Personal Investments
Wealth Management Group
Women in Finance & Accounting
Private Equity Club
Prepare for Your Finance Career
Average starting salary
J.P. Morgan Chase, Robert W. Baird, General Mills, Goldman Sachs, Rothschild, Procter & Gamble, MorningStar, BMO Financial Group
Knowledge and abilities
- Excel; Python; other analytical, database, and financial analysis software
- Teamwork, attention to detail, problem solving, perseverance, communication, innovative/strategic mindset, relationship building, intellectual curiosity
Common job titles
- Financial Analyst
- Investment Banking Analyst
- Financial Planner
- Credit Analyst
- Risk Management Analyst/Underwriter
Common Career Paths
Corporate finance deals with the sources of funding and the capital structure of corporations. Managers use tools and analysis to allocate a company’s financial resources and increase the value of the organization to its shareholders. Professionals in corporate finance are required to perform forecasts, projections, and profit/loss models for long range corporate financial planning, potential acquisitions and asset sales. They may also analyze competitor performance in a market and assess internal product/service line performance. Short-term issues include the management of current assets and current liabilities and inventory control. Long-term issues include new capital purchases and investments.
Consumer banking refers to the division of a bank that deals directly with retail customers. Also known as personal banking, consumer banking is the visible face of banking to general public individuals while a commercial bank is a financial institution that provides various financial services to businesses and corporations. Professionals with roles in both types of banks work to build relationships with individuals (consumer) and businesses (commercial). They must also be able to analyze credit to administer accounts, loans, mortgages, money management, treasury services, currency exchanges, and other financial services.
Investment bankers advise client companies, governments and other entities on capital generating strategies. This may include adding businesses to their portfolio of assets, selling off divisions or subsidiaries they no longer want to own, and/or merging themselves entirely with another company. Investment banks underwrite new debt and equity securities for all types of corporations, aid in the sale of securities, and help to facilitate mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, reorganizations, fairness opinions and broker trades for both institutions and private investors. Investment banks also provide guidance to issuers regarding the issue and placement of stock (also known as IPOs). Investment bankers negotiate and structure deals by developing valuation models and pitch books, leading internal/client meetings, conducting due diligence, analyzing competitive markets, and participating in marketing and road shows.
- Asset Management: Asset Management is the oversight of all or part of a client’s portfolio by a financial services institution. Institutions offer investment services along with a wide range of traditional and alternative product offerings that might not be available to the average investor. Asset managers assist with investments, pension plans, fixed income, and real estate investments at the corporate level.
- Investment Management: Investment management is a generic term that most commonly refers to the buying and selling of investments within a portfolio. The term most often refers to portfolio management and the trading of securities to achieve a specific investment goal.
- Sales & Trading: Sales and trading is one of the key functions of an investment bank. The term refers to the various activities relating to the buying and selling of securities or other financial instruments. Typically an investment bank will perform these tasks on behalf of itself and its clients. People in these roles execute and manage exchanges in the securities, bonds, fixed income, municipals, commodities, derivatives, and FX markets. They also must serve as the liaison between buyers and sellers in the markets.
- Buy-side Finance: Buy-side finance refers to a market segment of investment firms that buy securities or invest in a business, manage that investment over time and generate a return or profit. Examples of buy-side finance functions include private equity, hedge funds, mutual funds, pension funds, and venture capital.
Wealth Management & Financial Planning: Provides wealth management and personal planning for high-net-worth clientele. Badgers in wealth management work in asset allocation, tax, estate, risk management/insurance, and philanthropic planning. Many professionals in the wealth management space pursue the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) certification.
Meet the Finance Team
Use Starfish to make an appointment with your advisor or career coach.
Student last name A – L
Student last name M – Z