Job Title: Director, Financial Planning & Analysis
Type of Company: I work for a consulting company that provides strategic consulting advice to Fortune 500 companies. I am not a consultant myself, though; I work for the finance department.
Education: BS, Business Administration, University of Vermont MBA, Finance, Boston University
Previous Experience: After college, I worked for two years as an operations research analyst at Aetna Health Insurance and had a financial analyst internship at a tech start-up while I was getting my MBA.
Job Tasks: I'm currently responsible for the budgeting and financial planning at our company. So I work with various offices around the world to determine how much money they expect to spend over the course of the year, report how much revenue they actually bring in and measure the difference. I also do longer-term planning, predicting how many people we'll need to hire over the next 3-5 years, how much office space we'll need and so on.
When called upon to, I undertake analyses aimed at underpinning and illuminating discussions by senior management, often in preparation for meetings or conference calls. My team will put together a deck of slides that covers the issues they expect to talk about, providing pertinent facts and an assortment of relevant data.
Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is the opportunity it affords me to work with intelligent, articulate, educated people and get paid for it. I get to do things I'm good at and that I'm trained to do, while surrounded by people who value my efforts.
The worst part of my job is the long hours, which mean time away from home. On an average day I leave my house at 7 AM and get back back at 7 PM, which does not leave much time for family activities during the week.
Job Tips: You need to get a degree in math, economics, accounting or finance to even be able to apply for a financial planning and analysis job. To aspire to a senior level position, you'll need to get an MBA. The entry level job you'd be looking for would be financial analyst or junior financial analyst. After that you'd have to work your way up.
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