Over the years, several of my CFA Major friends and I have run into problems with course schedules and graduation requirements. While this can happen to any major without proper planning, a Corporate Finance and Accounting Degree from Bentley can be tough to obtain, difficult to explain to employers (it’s not a double major but kind of?), and requires a little bit of forward-thinking. Here are some compiled tips on how to alleviate the stress surrounding the CFA Major, which can put you in a better position to get an internship or job ASAP.
- Declare before the end of sophomore year! Bentley encourages students to declare a major during the first semester of their sophomore year, which is really good advice. Because CFA majors have to take AC311 and AC312 (both courses students typically take during their sophomore year) on top of their finance coursework, it’s a good idea to look into the CFA major and decide whether it’s right for you early on. This will make the next tip, planning, so much easier for you.
- Schedule regular academic advising sessions. It’s a good idea to use the free resources that Bentley provides for students because when high achievers want to declare CFA and have a minor and have an LSM and go abroad and do some graduate classes, specific requirements still can’t be forgotten about! So make sure to make that appointment via Workday, solidify a tentative plan, and do your best to stick to it. Certainly, not everything may go to plan, but having an initial appointment to discuss your academic priorities and then continuing to check-in is a really great way to maximize your chances of being able to accomplish everything (or almost everything) that you set out to.
- Pay close attention to your accounting classes and finance classes. Now, you should be paying attention to all of your classes, but it’s important to decide whether you want to pursue an accounting or finance route post-graduation. Additionally, some employers see CFA as somewhat of a double major, so you might get interview questions such as “Do you prefer accounting or finance and why?” or “Can you go more into detail about your post-graduation goals regarding a CPA or a CFA?”. Answering these questions may be difficult without reflecting on whether you find finance or accounting coursework more interesting, so make sure that you are moving along carefully to be able to articulate your position on the topic in a future interview or while in a role that you may want to switch in the future (if you went accounting post-graduation and now want more finance-related responsibilities).
If you do want to start the path to a CPA or CFA certification, make sure to do your research and make small progress toward your goals. Of course, as with any major, you want to do the best that you can do in your classes, become an active member by joining clubs and organizations, and get relevant work experience to set you on the right path!