How to get into Finance: Top Tips

Finance careers include key areas of banking, financial accounting, financial planning, insurance, investments, pensions, real estate, sustainability and fintech.  You could find yourself in a multinational corporation, a small or medium sized business or enterprise (SME), or even a microbusiness or start-up enterprise.

Some recent University of Bristol graduates have gone into graduate roles in this sector as Financial Analysts, Tax Associates, Financial Planners, Risk Analysts, Financial Consultants and Investment Bankers, to name a few.

As a taster, here we draw together some top tips from our careers panel event on ‘How to get into Finance’ for Social Science and Law students on 25 October 2022.

Speakers Maya, Diane and Sarah joined from Nasdaq, KPMG and H.I.G. Capital respectively to explain their roles in finance, what it’s like working in their organisations, and practical advice on how to get into the sector.

Here are five top tips from our speakers:

  1. Get involved in extra-curricular activities during your studies – our speakers undertook a range of activities outside of their studies, including leading the Women in Finance society and completing the Bristol PLUS Award. Each has taken this proactive approach forwards into their career which has helped them to build networks and create new opportunities in areas of special interest, such as addressing the gender imbalance in leadership in the sector.
  2. If you don’t have a finance study background, don’t worry – companies want graduates from diverse study backgrounds. You can develop technical knowledge on the job, but you need to demonstrate the right attitudes, behaviours and skills to be successful.  Gather evidence of your interest in working for the sector by joining relevant student societies, attending employer talks and engaging in networking opportunities.
  3. Fintech, sustainability and Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) are growth areas in finance, which means they are where the workforce is likely to be growing. These are useful areas to develop your knowledge of in relation to the sector – you might consider taking a short course, e.g. via Edx or Coursera (some of these are free).
  4. It can be relatively quick to identify what you don’t like, and take longer to identify what you do like in your career discovery process. If you’re not sure where in finance would be a good fit, start with some self-reflection and research, but also don’t be afraid to try out a role – moving jobs is common, and there will always be positive experiences to gain, even if the job itself doesn’t turn out to be a perfect fit for you.
  5. There are many networks and initiatives to support diversification of the finance sector who may be able to help you to get into Finance. Some examples are:

Find out more:


Blog post written by Kathleen Kruiniger (Faculty Employability Adviser)