Finance is a popular degree in Australia, and universities from Monash to Macquarie all offer finance-related courses. Given that financial skills are helpful in all sorts of jobs, meanwhile, it’s easy to see why so many students take up places on these schemes. In order to make the most of the experience, though, it’s important to have the right tools at your fingertips. From financial information feeds to mathematical equipment, there’s a lot of preparation to do.
Doing your sums
It may seem somewhat obvious, but it’s surprising how many finance students avoid making investments in basic mathematical equipment. There’s no getting around the need for calculations and arithmetic as a finance student, so it’s worth buying items such as calculators upfront. Even if you don’t need a complex calculator yet, it may be worth getting a scientific one anyway just in case not having one holds you back in the future. Remember, there are also websites online – such asDesmos – that can carry out complex calculations for you if you’re really stuck.
While the raw maths will be important, a finance degree is focused on the application of maths in situations involving the inflow and outflow of resources. For that reason, you’ll inevitably spend some time analysing companies, sectors and whole industries as part of your degree. A subscription to the Australian Financial Review may well be a good idea for a Christmas present from your family as this publication has a range of opinion pieces and investment news in it. In terms of keeping up to date on a day-to-day basis, the feed from Hammerstone provides integrated and relevant information from a range of leading sources – and you can visit them here.
The point of a finance degree is, usually, to successfully acquire a job at the end of it – either in finance or in a field in which financial skills can be used. For that, one of the most important resources that you’ll need is your network. By attending sector events, updating your LinkedIn profile, or even just checking that your CV is in good shape, you’ll give yourself the best possible chance of securing an internship at a bank or financial institution. This, in turn, will hopefully lead to employment once you graduate. Remember, don’t be afraid to share details about your modules and dissertation when speaking to people at events or sending out a CV: it shows that you’re passionate and interested, and it helps you to make the most of the resources that you’re using.
Studying finance, then, is a great career choice for many people. Not only does it demonstrate a commitment to learning about the rigour of the markets, but it also gives great transferable skills that will be useful in many different jobs. By making the most of the many financial tools available both on the internet and in real life, you’ll be able to give yourself the best chance of success.