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Careers in Corporate Finance

A career in corporate finance means you would work for a company to help it find money to run the business, grow the business, make acquistions, plan for its financial future and manage any cash on hand. You might work for a large multinational company or a smaller player with high growth prospects. Responsibility can come fast and your problem-solving skills will get put to work quickly in corporate finance jobs.

The job of the financial officer is to create value for a company. For example, the finance group at American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio has four main areas of concentration: liquidity, flexibility, compliance with laws and regulatory support. AEP's Finance Department carries out four main activities to meet its objectives: 1) designing, implementing and monitoring financial policies, 2) planning and executing the financing program, 3) managing cash resources, and 4) interfacing with the financial community and investors.

Jobs in corporate finance are also relatively stable. Performance in these jobs counts, but your job is not going to depend on whether you're selling enough this week or getting good deals finished this quarter. Rather the key to performing well in corporate finance is to work with a long view of what going to make your company successful.
Many would argue that corporate finance jobs are the most desirable in the entire field of finance.

Some of the benefits of working in corporate finance are:

  1. You generally work in teams which help you work with people
  2. It's alot of fun to tackle business problems that really matter
  3. You'll have many opportunities to travel and meet people and
  4. The pay in corporate finance is generally quite good.

Key Resources to Review

Background Reading and Essential References

Resumes for Banking and Financial Careers

Opportunities in Financial Careers
By Michael Sumichrast and Frederick Burkhardt, VGM Career Horizons. Covers the gamut of finance careers with a nice discussion of why corporate finance is an interesting area.

Fundamentals of Corporate Finance
By Ross, Westerfield and Jordan. The leading undergraduate textbook in corporate finance.

Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies
by McKinsey and Company
A classic that should be in the cube of every analyst and associate on the Street.

Financial Modeling

Financial Intelligence: A Manager's Guide to Knowing What the Numbers Really Mean

Applied Mergers and Acquisitions
by Robert F. Bruner and Joseph Perella

Understanding Wall Street
by Jeffrey Little

Corporate Finance Journal

Capital Ideas Evolving
By Peter Bernstein.
A lucid explanation of the modern theory of finance, the people behind it and the attacks that have arisen in recent years.

Journal of Applied Corporate Finance
Regularly features articles on leading edge topics in corporate finance. Written for practitioners.

Corporate Finance Articles from McKinsey
A number of timely and educational articles.

Wall Street Journal.
The most widely read business periodical in the world. And it's on the net! You must register for the net version. Great way to keep up with what's going on in the markets and the world. Following tombstones and ads is also a good way to see which banks are involved in what types of activity this year. You may also be interested in

Corporate Finance Blogs


Career Links and Positions


"I don't know finance or accounting."

Bernie Ebbers, whose distinctions include responsibility for what was then the largest accounting scandal in US history and being declared one of "The Worst American CEOs of All Time" by CNBC. He currently resides in the Oakdale Federal Correctional Institute.

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