Careers in finance span many different types of organizations, from big investment banks to smaller private equity firms, insurance companies, boutique wealth management and hedge funds. It is a competitive, fast-paced field. 

Gaining experience

Many of the finance organizations and their recruiting activities are highly visible to Princeton students since they hold information sessions, interview on campus and post jobs and internships on Handshake. However, there are other options that are less visible, like fintech, social impact investing, insurance and finance positions with boutique firms.

A Master of Business Administration (MBA) or a Master of Finance (M.Fin.) may improve your ability to advance in your career, but is not required for entry for many entry-level roles within the field. For more quantitative roles, a Ph.D. in a discipline like finance, math or financial engineering can be an asset.

If finance interests you but you aren't interested in trading or analyst roles, you can find positions in marketing, human resources, corporate and legal affairs.

Hiring process and timeline

Large investment banks recruit actively on campus, and conduct information sessions targeted to sophomores and juniors. Recruiting frequently begins as early as the spring for internships and jobs that begin in the summer of the following year. The junior summer is very important as it is used by companies to evaluate interns for full-time post-graduation positions. Companies often recruit sophomores for targeted diversity internship programs and specific sophomore programs.

Small investment banks, hedge funds, wealth management firms and other financial services firms often start recruiting in early fall, but can continue recruitment through the winter. These types of companies are willing to recruit seniors without previous finance internships. Networking with alumni is an important step of the exploration and application process when considering these positions.

Professional organizations and associations

Professional organizations and associations are membership-based groups comprised of people working in a similar field. They can be helpful resources for students to learn more about a field, develop connections and discover related opportunities. You can search for related organizations and associations using a database provided by the Princeton University Library.

Princeton Alumni