By: Hedieh Kianyfard
When I started my first job as a financial modeler, I remember people telling me that this was going to be a stepping stone for higher managerial positions. But as I was moving forward in my career, I couldn’t get enough of these vast and fascinating fields of project appraisal and financial modelling. I soon realized that I didn’t want this is to be stepping stone for me, but I wanted to go deeper into this field instead.
If you’re starting out as a financial modeler and you see the potential to become captivated by the work,you might find this strategy helpful:
Find your niche
Experiment with modelling different types of financial transaction e.g., project finance, corporate finance, mergers, leveraged buyouts, funds, etc. See what you prefer by experimenting with as many of them as you can, while remembering that you don’t need to be an expert in them all. In the meantime, also try to get exposure to financial modelling in different sectors, including transport, utilities and start-ups, for example.
Eventually you’ll want to focus on a very narrow area of expertise and develop your own profile within it.
Wear different hats
Try to switch jobs as often as you can and diversify your experience by working in funds, development companies, the engineering, procurement and construction sector, government agencies, etc. This will enable you to see the world from different perspectives, so that if you later wish to work for yourself (or for a consultancy) then you’ll be comfortable with clients from different worlds. Furthermore, you’ll be a great at understanding what each party is looking for. Combined with developing your self-confidence and social skills, this experience will help you to become an effective negotiator.
Being a financial modeller doesn’t mean that you should become an Excel mechanics (spreadsheet engineer). If you are working in a team, make sure to let your supervisors and your team know (with sensitivity) that you need to be involved and aware of all aspects of the project. Also make sure that you are involved in the missions and site visits. It makes so much difference when you see things close up and have a tangible vision of the project. Then when you model the different aspects of the project, you’ll have greater clarity and agency to get things done. Therefore, make sure you have this discussion with your team and give them the above arguments as to why you need to be kept up to date on all aspects of the project.
Think outside of the box
First, familiarize yourself with the box from all angles and then you can start to think outside of it. The fact that something is regarded as an established norm does not make it correct. Question everything (again, with sensitivity). Even rules, standards, norms and commandments.
However, if you don’t feel any passion for financial modelling after following these steps, move on and don’t let it become a dead-end for you.
Turn your #passion into your #profession
For more finance related fun stuffs check out www.finexmod.com.