Following are the points that I concluded for you after conducting interviews in Lahore. You people need to realize them today before it is too late:
1. Lack of experience is a curse in this age.
Try to get it in any possible way. No matter how hard you study, no matter how higher you have studied, you need to have practical exposure if you want some return on all that you have invested. Please try to get some experience. Try to get internships at reputed places even at no stipend. Consider it a part of your education.
2. Its a great irony if you have a good qualification in your pocket but the fact that you are not good with your spoken and presentation! You are expected to have at least average proficiency in the English language if you have studied your qualification in that very language. Most of the work in the financial industry has to do with selling your idea. So how do you expect anyone to hire you if they know that you are not capable to communicate effectively.
3. Relevant experience is all that matters.
All the interviewers were astonished to hear that people with 3-4 years experience in audit and assurance services were now pursuing a finance certification and wanted to move into the financial industry. How on earth can you think to waste such valued experience by moving into financial industry after spending so many years as Accountants. In addition to this, they expected to be paid well.
I regret to say but the justified salary for such people was only PKR 5000 above a fresh graduate since they did not have the relevant experience. The world has broadened up that one needs to realize that there is hell of a difference between accounts and finance. You will waste a precious period of your life by switching industries after having pursued a good qualification in one industry, then moving into another after pursuing a good qualification in the latter.
4. Qualifications and certifications only help you to be short listed.
If you don’t have the exposure, if you don’t have the relevant knowledge, if you don’t know how things are in practical life, you have nothing to be proud of. This is the culture prevalent in developed markets and the same is now witnessed in Karachi as well. People do give you credit if you have a qualification like CFA with you, but they really don’t care if you don’t have the experience. There is noting to be over confident about having a good certification because you don’t know the use of it unless you are in the field.
5. As analysts, you are expected to know at least about the major economic indicators of your country.
If you don’t even know the major indicators, how on earth can you claim to be an analyst. This is more important than having a certificate with you.
6. You need to know about the major happenings and shortcomings in your part of the world.
If you are too blind to observe and question, you are too numb to be considered as an analyst. Analysing is all about observing and questioning.
All these points are extremely important and were quite obvious to all the interviewers. The foreigners were literally astonished to see that most of the candidates were over qualified with little or no experience.