CFA CFA General References: which one and what strategy ?

References: which one and what strategy ?

  • Author
    • Avatar of IggyAzaleaIggyAzalea
        • CFA Level 3

        Hello guys,

        Just wanted to pick your brains on this:
        So basically I graduated in 2017 and went on to pursue a finance career, unfortunately in January 2020 I was laid off because of… let’s say mental health and self love issues. So I worked about 2.5 years in French banks but more on shitty and useless trainee/interns type of shit. So yeah I got fired and then corona happened. Couldn’t find a job because A/ no real experience and damn sure no real skills B/ A job dismissal basically puts you on a red list.

        So I took whatever I found and that was audit. Now I’m on my way to be promoted to Junior 2 because of course audit is hard work but it’s definitely not as intellectually challenging as finance.

        But I passed my level 3 back in august 2018, so now I’m not gonna claim my charter. Do you think I should ask for references from my audit supervisors ? Or that I should ask guys from the valuation/Corp finance  department ? But they’ve never heard of me, only thing is that they are CFA so it might be a way for me to only have to ask for 2 references instead of 3 (I already got one). However I understand that a reference should be someone who has worked with me and can testify on my skills ?

        Also that would be a way to wave a hand and say “look I know it is a shitty company but here I am (it is definitely a shitty company, think big 4 and other audit&consulting firms… Those places are not Goldman Sachs, not even BoA or Deutsche…).

        An underlying question is what do you guys think I should do ? Im going to be 28 soon, a junior 2 in audit and CFA (like what the fuck -___-). Shall I try to move to the corp finance department ? Is it going to pay better ? I know I can stay in audit and do well, I have absolutely 0 doubt about my ability to make it to partner. Let’s face it, when you’ve worked in Banking, even a little bit, you will find pretty dumb the vast majority of people in audit…


        Sorry if my post is confusing and badly written but I need some advice here, and also if possible a little confidence boost. I’m really going to be under the spotlight because people are going to wonder wtf is this guy doing at shitty entry level positions while he worked his ass off to pass the CFA level 3 and while he worked in Asia/USA/Investment banking ?…. Everyone is going to be talking about me at the office (Im kind of a mystery for most people because obviously Im a little older than other juniors and A LOT better at my job – and better looking, though thats not the subject).

        Zee Tan voted up
      • Avatar of Zee TanZee Tan
          • CFA Charterholder

          Your references should ideally have worked with you, so your manager would be one that CFA Institute would be expecting. However, how about your old managers in your French bank? My own ‘CFA’ reference was an old manager, which by then was 3 companies ago, since I was working in tech by then.

          As for your career path, my take is stamina and longevity comes from whether you like the work. Money and status (in my experience) becomes less important as you get older and (if you play your cards right) more abundant so I would think it would be more important to address the nature of the work first (i.e. choose an industry you like/respect) then move up. But this is just my opinion.

          Hope that helps, and keep me updated if you can!

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