Simon School CFA Preparation – an alum perspective

Guest Blog: Gurpreet Singh Bedi, class of 2009 – Associate at Goldman Sachs

I worked in the semiconductor industry for three years before I decided to go for an MBA at the Simon School of Business in 2007. Coming with an open mind to explore various industries and understand various job roles was really helpful in deciding where I wanted to see myself down the line.  I clearly remember a conversation with an alum who was working as an Equity Research Analyst for one of the leading investment banks – covering the Technology & Media sector.  I asked him what he would have done differently while in B-school to strengthen his candidacy to interview with banking firms, and he helped me see the picture from recruiters’ side.  He suggested that if you are targeting the Investment Management Industry, one should take the CFA while in school.  This can easily improve your chances when interviewing in this industry with firms. This conversation alone helped me take a giant step towards my dream career.

The CFA Preparation program at Simon helped tremendously in keeping me focused and committed. The School had excellent logistics to help me prepare for the program, but it also provided a platform to study in groups and constantly reminded me of my target amid a busy MBA schedule. I remember Super Bowl Sunday during the course;  70 students still turned out for the lecture! A highly qualified instructor flew in from New York City every other weekend and covered the entire CFA Level I and Level II curriculum.

Dean Mark Zupan has been instrumental in making this program available at Simon. He coordinated with Alumni to provide funding and make it available to students free of cost. Simon’s relationship with the CFA chapter of Rochester also helped a few selected students to obtain exam sponsorship.

The CFA Program @ Simon also provided an excellent opportunity for students to network with Simon Alumni and Friends of Simon in the Investment Management Industry.  Many senior alumni visited Simon, and gave insight on how to write a good Equity research report and analyze companies. I received great career guidance and ultimately cleared CFA Level I & II while pursuing the MBA.

Being part of this program has helped to shape my post-Simon career.  I encourage those who are part of the MBA now and those who are still looking to view this program as a great asset within Simon.

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