The Top Finance Skills that MBA Graduates Possess

About 2 months ago, one of my batch mates from IIM Ahmedabad, who is a finance enthusiast shared the top 4 skills one must have to get finance jobs after MBA. Today, we have a guest post by someone with exciting work experience in this domain to understand what else can be done to hone your profile for finance.


Would love to welcome Saloni Khandelwal, the founder of an educational portal called Exambazaar. Saloni has graduated from IIT Delhi (B.Tech Computer Science) in 2011. She has an experience of working in the Credit Structuring function at Deutsche Bank. Her learning from being a part of this industry can be of immense value to us all - let's hear from her what are the top finance skills that most MBA graduates possess.

In Saloni's Words:


Top Finance Skills

MBA is one of the most versatile educational degrees out there. Students from all areas of expertise are absorbed in this course after which thinking leaders are churned out who are capable of steering businesses towards the path of success.


MBA graduates can find career opportunities in various fields. One of the popular walks of life for graduates is an occupation in finance. Whether you're looking to apply for a position as a CFO, financial analyst, financial planner, or investment counsellor, you'll find that these positions have certain functions and terminologies in common.


Because many different roles and positions exist within the finance world, the required skill set can vary a lot. Accounting and finance professionals must possess excellent analytical ability and interpersonal skills along with a sharp understanding of industry technology. Financial professionals bear a great deal of responsibility as they are responsible for managing an organisation’s most important commodity: money. So being trustworthy and able to perform well under pressure are incredibly important traits.


In this article we are going to look at some of the top finance skills that MBA graduates possess that makes their candidature more suitable above many other MBA related job seekers when it comes to finance related fields.

Financial Reporting


This is one of the finance skills that MBA graduates develop wherein they get equipped to determine the structure, presentation and disclosure of financial statements along with annual reports. Financial reporting is an important finance skill to possess. What students can do to enhance this skill is to take a company’s actual balance sheet, take a close look at each items and try calculate various financial ratios. It would really be very useful If you can discuss these ratios in the context of the company.


Analytical Ability


The skill of analyzing varied scenarios and drawing appropriate conclusions is something that employers look for in a candidate when it comes to implementation of lateral thinking and suitable enforcement of reforms bridging the gap between what was and what could be. Learning statistical software such as ‘R’, ‘SPSS’ or ‘Eviews’ may be very useful and it can help you conduct data analysis required for financial analysis.


Problem Solving Skills


Once a person is able to analyse problems and situation loopholes, another essential skill is required to tackle issues as they arise. An MBA graduate, with his problem-solving skills will be able to come up with personalized solutions even when it is related to addressing financial implications of a complex business structure. Developing critical thinking through ‘design thinking workshop’ may be helpful.


Knowledge of IT Software


Today, most financial software and data tools are available on software which makes it imperative for graduates to be well aware of such technological know-how. MBA graduates are skilled to demonstrate their proficiency in predictive analysis, and various accounting and finance software. Knowledge of python and programming language may be an asset in this regard. Another way is to develop ability for machine leaning, for example IBM’s ‘Cognos’ for descriptive analytics and ‘Watson’ for social media analytics may be immensely useful.


Financial Management


MBA graduates are also skilled for dealing with an important function in an organisation which is concerned with profitability, expenses, cash and credit. Being skilled in financial management enables a graduate to carry out company objectives in order to maximize the firm value. Developing expertise in personal financial planning and taxes may greatly enhance your ability and utility as financial planner. Knowledge of investment opportunities, stock market, and various financial instruments are of great value.



Forecasting


In addition to possessing skills like situation analytics and problem-solving capabilities, a related skill is often linked with the former two which has a lot to do with predictions and estimations based on available data. Forecasting is another skill that MBA graduates possess in order to sketch the future of an organisation by also providing valuable insights as to what tactics and strategies could be implemented for a favourable succession. Proficiency on dealing with time series data and modelling it to make a forecast is a great skill one can have.


Risk Analysis


MBA graduates are skilled to identify and assess factors that may jeopardize the success of a company project or a generic goal. Such risk analysis is a prerequisite to pursuing the step of risk management which brings us to the next finance skill.


Risk Management


Once potential risks to an organisation’s capital and earnings are identified and defined in an approximation, it is then time to control the impact or minimize the loss that such a threat could cause. These threats could stem from a wide variety of sources. Once the underlying cause is determined, risk management strategies can be implemented to alleviate them.


Strategic Planning


An MBA graduate is skilled to strategize establish a directional path for a business enabling it to move from where it is to where it could be. Such decisions require allocation suitable resources to pursue a strategy. Control mechanisms can also be extended in order to guide the implementation of such strategy.


Financial Modelling


Finally, another important skill that MBA graduates possess is financial modelling. Such a skill enables them to build an abstract representation or a model of a real-world financial situation. In a way it is the abstract representation of a real financial situation that can occur. This is a very crucial mathematical model designed to test the abilities of a MBA graduate to deal with a critical situation like a financial situation.

This concludes the list of the top finance skills MBA graduates possess among many other technical and non-technical skills. I hope that this list of skills helps you in a long run and proves to be an aid with your MBA journey. If you have any queries you can always mail me at team@exambazaar.com or visit my website.

So, these were a couple of skills that you can acquire if you're a finance enthusiast. Saloni has provided you all with credible information about the field because of her experience and first-hand learning.


Hope this helps you all :)


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