The Soll Center for Student Opportunity

Accounting & Financial Services Interest Cluster

What are Accounting & Financial Services Careers?

Accounting and Financial Services comprise a wide variety of careers, most of which require sharp analytical skills, a desire to work with numbers, attention to detail, accuracy, spreadsheet skills, and an appreciation of all things "financial." There are four major groups of careers that fall under Accounting & Financial Services:

  1. Accounting - one of the leading business sectors globally. It tracks all of the financial activities of an organization, including auditing, assurance, and tax. Many accountants are employed by the Big Four (the four largest public accounting/professional services firms): Deloitte, EY, KPMG, and PwC. Accountants also work in corporate accounting, government accounting, and for nonprofit organizations.
  2. Financial services - includes asset management, corporate finance, commercial banking, hedge funds, investment banking, private equity, public finance, sales and trading, risk management, and venture capital.
  3. Insurance - includes actuarial, underwriting, adjustment, claims, and sales.
  4. Real Estate - includes appraisal, brokerage, finance and underwriting, investments, property management, real estate development, and sales.

Would you thrive in this interest cluster?

  • Are you interested in solving complex business issues?
  • Do you enjoy quantitative and analytical problem solving?
  • Are you comfortable with overseeing financial details and budgets?
  • Are you skilled at maintaining accurate financial data?
  • Do you enjoy working as part of a close-knit team?
  • Do you work well under pressure and meet deadlines?

How can you Learn More about Accounting & Financial Services?

What should you know about Recruitment in Accounting & Financial Services?

Larger financial services firms have a very structured recruitment process with defined timelines, with postings coming online 6-15 months in advance of the start date. Typically, recruitment for both internships and jobs in financial services occurs from March to September. There is a lot of on-campus and virtual recruitment during this time. Internships during the Junior summer are often used as a pipeline for offers at the beginning of the Senior year. Smaller, more niche and regional firms tend to be more flexible in their recruiting processes and timeline. Many summer sophomore diversity and leadership programs have deadlines during the fall or January.

Many investment banks have accelerated their recruitment timelines, recruiting students during their Sophomore spring semester for their Junior summer internship. Interviews in financial services tend to consist of multiple rounds (3-4 rounds with each round consisting of up to 6 interviews), with a heavy emphasis on "fit" and technical skills. The online Vault Guide to Finance Interviews provides a great overview of what to expect. Vault also offers a Finance Interviews Practice Guide, which helps you anticipate the types of questions you might get across all the major financial services areas.

Accounting roles typically require candidates to be an accounting major or provide a transcript with certain prerequisite courses. Interviews will therefore be mostly behavioral questions, as the firms assume you have the knowledge to do the job well given your coursework.

Who's your Accounting & Financial Services Career Coach?

Freya Hurtado '09 -

Freya (Lee) Hurtado ’09

Freya (she/her/hers) works with students, employers, and alumni associated with the following interest clusters: Accounting & Financial Services; Government, Law & Public Policy; and Non-Profit & Social Enterprise. She also serves as the Pre-Law Advisor for students and alumni, provides guidance for those applying to MBA programs, and supports the Claremont Colleges students on the Washington Program. Prior to joining Career Services, she worked in data analytics and operational efficiency in the energy utility space. Freya graduated from Claremont McKenna College with a degree in Economics, Mathematics, and the Financial Economics Sequence, and she has her MBA from the Walter A. Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Freya enjoys cooking and baking for others, traveling, playing strategic board games, solving puzzles, watching Broadway productions, and reading novels.


Quick Resource Guides & References

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