MS Finance Career Checklist

Get Started

Here at the School of Management, your career development process starts before you even begin your first class. Use this online career checklist and calendar designed for MS Finance students to get this process started. Come back to this checklist throughout the year to make sure you are staying on track with your career development. If you have questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Career Resource Center.

Read and follow the schedule outlined in each section to prepare for the internship and job search process. The summer and fall semester activities will also ensure completion of CRC requirements during the MS program. Access the necessary online tools and resources in each section to accomplish the semester objectives outlined.

Additional Resources

CRC Mission and Staff

The Career Resource Center (CRC) serves as the primary resource for students and alumni of the School of Management in career exploration and job search. The CRC is a key link between the school and employers, offering many programs that bring these groups together, such as career events, alumni connections, internships, campus recruiting and career development workshops and seminars. Our mission is to create a caring environment that enables and motivates students to be successful in reaching their individual career goals.

The CRC's dedicated staff is committed to assisting students throughout the career development and job search process. Get to know our team by visiting the CRC staff page.

Summer (before starting the MS program)

Attend MS Advantage
  • August 16 - 18, 2017  
  • Time and Location: To be announced
Build your résumé

Build your updated (U.S. style) MS résumé using the tools below. It is important that your résumé is updated and ready for critique.  Some companies will start recruitment in early in the fall semester. (CRC Requirement) 

Create/Update your LinkedIn profile
  • Learn how to effectively create and leverage your profile, using our social media tips.
  • Add your current degree program, selecting the “University at Buffalo, The State University at Buffalo” as your school.
  • Invite Ellen Murphy and any other UB staff, faculty or students you have communicated with to join your network after you have updated your profile to indicate you are attending our program.
  • Join or follow industry LinkedIn Groups (ex: Finance Club, AAFP, Finance Plus).
Learn the resources available on the Career Resource Center website  Explore finance careers using the resources available on the Career Resource Center website including:
Consider attending a fall national career fair

Some of our more competitive students who are conducting a national job search opt to attend a national career conference.  Learn about these conferences here. Please note that National Black MBA and Prospanica career fairs are joining forces into one fair in 2017 on September 28 and 29 in Philadelphia, PA

  • If you plan to attend a national career fair, submit your U.S. style résumé for an early critique
  • Instructions:  Send an email with your updated résumé as a Word document to mgt-crc@buffalo.edu. Include your specific MS program in the subject line of the email, such as MS FIN Résumé - Your Last/Family Name - Conference.  (i.e. MS FIN Resume – Smith – Conference)
  • Please note that résumés in unacceptable formats will be returned to you for reformatting when asked for a critique

Fall Semester

Attend CRC events and workshops and Finance Academy events

Information about events and workshops are promoted through email during the semester.

  • RSVP for events in BizLink
  • Finance Academy includes industry and professional development workshops, the opportunity to interact with industry experts and visit local companies. Students who complete the academy requirements are placed on teams and paired finance executive to design and execute a corporate finance project.
Create your 
BizLink profile

Sign in to the BizLink career management system and create your profile, clarifying your job experience and job preferences. (CRC Requirement)

  • As an incoming MS students will receive a welcome email message from BizLink once you have been added to the system. This usually occurs early in your first semester at UB.
  • Keep your profile up-to-date. The CRC staff uses the data to effectively communicate with students and market UB's MS talent to prospective employers.  (CRC Requirement)
Upload your résumé After the CRC has reviewed your résumé and you have made the recommended changes, upload your résumé to the BizLink system. 
  • It is extremely important that your uploaded résumé be error-free and in professional business format.
  • You can have multiple versions of your résumé in BizLink, but only one “default”.
  • As you edit your résumé throughout your program, be sure to upload the newest version to BizLink. Your default résumé should be your most up-to-date version..  
International Students: Attend various CRC international workshops
  • The CRC offers several workshops targeted for our international students to prepare them for the internship and job hunt. Sign up in BizLink.
  • In addition, attend all appropriate workshops provided by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), especially those pertaining to Optional Practical Training (OPT) and/or Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Explore Finance roles

Explore finance careers (roles, responsibilities, certification, requirements, industries, etc.) using the CRC finance resources below. (Use your buffalo.edu email address to register.)

  • OneWire: Create a profile and review the resources dedicated to facilitating precise connections between finance professionals and leading employers.
  • Street of Walls: Learn about investment banking and get a realistic picture of working on Wall Street.
  • Vault: The premier source for online career intelligence and support, the Vault career guides are particularly helpful with regards to advanced finance career search advice. Access through BizLink.
  • Firsthand - Career Connector Network: view finance webinars and panel discussions. Access through BizLink. Register to "Get Advice using your UB email.
Schedule a practice interview After attending an Advanced Interviewing workshop, schedule a practice interview with Ellen Murphy via BizLink to set a baseline interview. This will help you be prepared in case an employer calls you for an interview unexpectedly
  • When scheduling the interview through BizLink, submit a sample job posting 
  • Prior to your practice interview, you may want to review the CRC interviewing guide and tips or complete your own privately recorded interview through InterviewStream (in Bullseye).
Register with Bullseye

Bullseye, “powered by Handshake”, the career system of the university-wide Career Services office. You have access to the resources in the main career office in Capen Hall as well as the management-specific career office in Alfiero Center.

  • Bullseye lists jobs, internships, on-campus interviews, company information sessions, career fairs, etc. for technical roles and even business opportunities. Do not miss out on this valuable resource. Companies come to campus for engineers so they collaborate with Career Services, but some of these companies also have less technical roles better filled by our SCOM students.
Be aware of deadlines

Some companies (particularly large, national organizations) recruit students in early fall, so it is important to monitor BizLink (and Bullseye) as well as company websites for opportunities. Some résumé deadlines are as early as September for on-campus interviewing, as well as company résumé submissions on their career portals.  

  • If you are interested in a company who does not recruit on campus, consider attending a national career fair and view the college hiring section of those company’s’ websites early as there may be résumé deadlines for June grads as early as September.
Start learning how to write cover letters and networking emails Review cover letter and job search correspondence resources. Any letter or email sent to a potential employer must be error-free, appropriately formatted and tailored to the company's needs and the desired employment opportunity. Check the CRC workshops for the Job Search Correspondence workshop. (Optional but recommended)
Attend the fairs Attend both the UB Management Career Fair in October and the UB STEM Up Fair in late September. Some of the attending companies will hold on campus interviewing immediately/shortly after. (However, do not rely solely on on-campus interviewing for full-time positions.) Review the CRC's Job Fairs and Events page for more information. 
Get involved Join student organizations and local professional associations that relate to your functional area of interest.
Create a target list of companies

Research and identify a list of companies to target for internship and/or full-time job opportunities. Use the following tools:

  • Hoover's: Research individual companies and the industry in which they reside, or build a list [PDF] of companies within specific industries and/or geographic locations to target for internships or jobs
  • Vault (found on BizLink): Investigate top employers by rankings, gain valuable career knowledge in the Career Guides and Industry Guides 
  • Go directly to company websites for information about how to submit your résumé. Conduct a targeted email (or direct mail) campaign to companies of interest. Also, network with fellow students, professors and alumni as well as friends and family.
  • Glassdoor: Create an account and gain an insider’s view of company reviews, how they interview, salaries and more
  • MyVisaJobs: Investigate if a specific company has petitioned for an H-1B before, or conduct research on top prospects based on city, industry, etc.

Keep an Excel file of these companies, contacts and activity. Keep text of the positions you apply to for when you get called for the interview. Sample Excel tracking document

Winter Break

Make the most of your winter break by networking and learning.

Update your 
BizLink (and Bullseye) profiles

Upload a new résumé to showcase your fall projects.

Network New York and other New York City events
  • Participate in Network New York in January to meet with alumni in New York City who work in your prospective field.
  • Attend valuable company tours organized by the school or clubs which may take place in NYC or other cities. Check BizLinkBullseye and the CRC Events for more information.
Build your network Conduct informational interviews with alumni working in positions, companies or geographic areas of interest using the MentorLink LinkedIn group and Firsthand’ s Career Connector Network (found in BizLink). 

Spring Semester

Participate in Finance Academy events Information about events and workshops are promoted through email during the semester.
  • RSVP for events in BizLink
  • Finance Academy includes industry and professional development workshops, the opportunity to interact with industry experts and visit local companies. Students who complete the academy requirements are placed on teams and paired finance executive to design and execute a corporate finance project.
Search for internships MS Finance students performing at a GPA of 3.0 or higher are eligible for internship participation in appropriate internship experiences as determined by our office. MS Finance students may also earn noncredited, valuable real-world experience and job search skills through the Finance Academy as an alternative to an internship. Learn more about searching for internships.
International Students: Attend various CRC international workshops
  • The CRC offers several workshops targeted for our international students to prepare them for the internship and job hunt. Sign up in BizLink.
  • In addition, attend all appropriate workshops provided by International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS), especially those pertaining to Optional Practical Training (OPT) and/or Curricular Practical Training (CPT)
Build your network and explore careers Conduct informational interviews with alumni working in positions, companies or geographic areas of interest using the MentorLink LinkedIn group and Firsthand’ s Career Connector Network (found in BizLink). 
Explore Finance roles

Explore finance careers (roles, responsibilities, certification, requirements, industries, etc.) using the CRC finance resources below. (Use your buffalo.edu email address to register.)

  • OneWire: Create a profile and review the resources dedicated to facilitating precise connections between finance professionals and leading employers.
  • Street of Walls: Learn about investment banking and get a realistic picture of working on Wall Street.
  • Vault: The premier source for online career intelligence and support, the Vault career guides are particularly helpful with regards to advanced finance career search advice. Access through BizLink.
  • Firsthand - Career Connector Network: view finance webinars and panel discussions. Access through BizLink. Register to "Get Advice using your UB email.
Schedule a practice interview After attending an Advanced Interviewing workshop, schedule a practice interview with Ellen Murphy via BizLink to set a baseline interview. This will help you be prepared in case an employer calls you for an interview unexpectedly
  • When scheduling the interview through BizLink, submit a sample job posting 
  • Prior to your practice interview, you may want to review the CRC interviewing guide and tips or complete your own privately recorded interview through InterviewStream (in Bullseye).
Be aware of deadlines

Some companies (particularly large, national organizations) recruit students in early fall, so it is important to monitor BizLink (and Bullseye) as well as company websites for opportunities. Some résumé deadlines are as early as September for on-campus interviewing, as well as company résumé submissions on their career portals.  

  • If you are interested in a company who does not recruit on campus, consider attending a national career fair and view the college hiring section of those company’s’ websites early as there may be résumé deadlines for June grads as early as September.
Stay active in campus career events Attend on-campus job fairs and networking events within the community, such as CareerFEST and Career Conversations (both organized by UB Career Services). However, do not rely solely on on-campus interviewing for internships. Add to and update your target list of companies. Continue to research and identify a list of companies to target for internships and eventually full-time job opportunities. Go directly to company websites for information about how to submit your résumé. Conduct a targeted direct mail/email campaign to companies of interest. Also, network with fellow students, faculty and alumni, as well as friends and family. Understand when each company on your list recruits college grads for internships and new positions.
Get or stay involved Join student organizations and local professional associations that relate to your functional area of interest.
Update your target list of companies

Research and identify a list of companies to target for internship and/or full-time job opportunities. Use the following tools:

  • Hoover's: Research individual companies and the industry in which they reside, or build a list [PDF] of companies within specific industries and/or geographic locations to target for internships or jobs
  • Vault (found on BizLink): Investigate top employers by rankings, gain valuable career knowledge in the Career Guides and Industry Guides 
  • Go directly to company websites for information about how to submit your résumé. Conduct a targeted email (or direct mail) campaign to companies of interest. Also, network with fellow students, professors and alumni as well as friends and family.
  • Glassdoor: Create an account and gain an insider’s view of company reviews, how they interview, salaries and more
  • MyVisaJobs: Investigate if a specific company has petitioned for an H-1B before, or conduct research on top prospects based on city, industry, etc.

Keep an Excel file of these companies, contacts and activity. Keep text of the positions you apply to for when you get called for the interview. Sample Excel tracking document

Summer

Fall Semester

Stay active with campus career events Attend on-campus job fairs and networking events within the community, such as CareerFEST and Career Conversations (both organized by UB Career Services). However, do not rely solely on on-campus interviewing for full-time positions.
Add to and update your target list of companies Continue to research and identify a list of companies to target for full-time job opportunities. Go directly to company websites for information about how to submit your résumé.  Conduct a targeted direct mail/email campaign to companies of interest. Also, network with fellow students, faculty and alumni, as well as friends and family. Understand when each company on your list recruits college grads for new positions.
Be ready for the salary question

Determine your market-value by researching salary statistics by degree, location, career and industry using a number of resources. Collect data from sources we provide on the CRC website to determine your salary expectations and range.

Manage your offers wisely

Review information on Managing Job Offers and Compensation Negotiations.

  • Your acceptance of an internship or job offer is binding. Do not accept an offer, even verbally, until you are certain you are committed. 
  • Do not back out after accepting; that's called reneging, and is unethical. It will negatively impact your professional reputation, the reputation of the program and ultimately, could affect the value of your degree.
Launch your OPT (international students only)

Launch your Optional Practical Training (OPT) in a timely manner so that you are eligible to begin working full-time for your prospective employer. 

  • It takes between one to three months for OPT to be authorized. 
  • If you are not eligible to begin working when the employer requests you to start, the employer may not wait for your OPT authorization.  
  • It is important you plan ahead on launching your OPT. You can submit paperwork for your OPT beginning three months before your conferral date.  
Begin applying to "just in time" or immediate openings 2-3 months  before graduation, you should no longer be looking at the "college hiring" section of company websites. Focus on immediate openings for experienced candidates. 
Report your success!

Complete the School of Management Job Offer and Employment Update Survey before you confer your degree.

  • It is very important to inform the CRC of your employment status whether you are still searching, accepted employment, returning to a sponsoring employer or postponing your search. 
  • If you are still searching, we are here throughout the summer and will continue to assist with your search after graduation. 
  • By completing the survey, we collect your new contact information (this includes a non-UB email address) to keep in communication with you. Once you secure employment, you can update your employment status online. 
  • If you have accepted employment, we want to be able to congratulate you and ensure your aggregate data is reflected in our reporting to national sources that rank business school programs. 
  • Providing this information is critical to the services we provide to both our students and employers. It also plays a strong role in the School of Management’s efforts to improve the value of your degree.
  • Information collected, including salary information, remains confidential and is only used in aggregate form.
You are a UB Bull forever

Join the School of Management Alumni Association and their LinkedIn group.

Update your LinkedIn Update your LinkedIn account to show your new employer and job title and keep in contact. The CRC often reaches out to alumni from the program to help advise current students about companies, industries, markets and hiring processes.
  • Update your BizLink (and BullsEye) profiles and upload a new résumé to showcase your summer projects and experience.
  • Research and identify a list of companies to target for full-time job opportunities. Go directly to company websites for information about how to submit your résumé to them. Conduct a targeted direct mail/email campaign to companies of interest. Also, network with fellow students, faculty and alumni, as well as friends and family.
  • Determine your market-value by researching salary statistics by degree, location, career and industry using a number of resources. Begin with the School of Management’s Employment and Salary Statistics; also collect a few data points to determine your salary expectations and range.
  • International Students: Launch your Optional Practical Training (OPT) in a timely manner so that you are eligible to begin working full-time for your prospective employer. It takes between one to three months for OPT to be authorized. If you are not eligible to begin working when the employer requests you to start, the employer may not wait for your OPT authorization.  Therefore, it is important you plan ahead on launching your OPT. You can submit paperwork for your OPT beginning three months before your conferral date.  
  • Review information on Managing Job Offers and Compensation Negotiations.
    • Whether you are job-hunting in a tight job market or one that is plentiful with opportunities, knowing how to manage and negotiate offers (for internships or full-time jobs) is critical to the job search process. When evaluating offers of employment, we encourage students to demonstrate their professionalism during the decision-making process. Your acceptance of an internship or job offer is binding. Do not accept an offer, even verbally, until you are certain you are committed. Do not back out after accepting; that's called reneging, and is unethical. It will negatively impact your professional reputation as well as the reputation of the program.
  • Complete the School of Management Job Offer and Employment Update Survey before you confer your degree.
    • It is very important to inform the CRC of your employment status whether you are still searching, accepted employment, returning to a sponsoring employer or postponing your search. If you are still searching, we are here throughout the summer and will continue to assist with your search after graduation. By completing the survey, we collect your new contact information (this includes a non-UB email address) to keep in communication with you. Once you secure employment, you can update your employment status online. If you have accepted employment, we want to be able to congratulate you and ensure your aggregate data is reflected in our reporting to national sources that rank business school programs. As you may know, providing this information is critical to the services we provide to both our students and employers. It also plays a strong role in the School of Management’s efforts to improve the value of your degree. (Information collected, including salary information, remains confidential and is only used in aggregate form.)
  • Join the School of Management Alumni Association and their LinkedIn group.
  • Update your LinkedIn account to show your new employer and job title and keep in contact. The CRC often reaches out to alumni from the program to help advise current students about companies, industries, markets and hiring processes.