Updated: Jul 8, 2020
In a batch of 400 at IIM Ahmedabad, 30+ (approx.) have cleared CFA L1. These include both engineers and non-engineers. In order to understand the relevance of CFA at institutes like the top IIMs of India, I asked a couple of questions to two students - an engineer (referred as E) and a non-engineer (referred as NE).
Question - Do you think clearing CFA L1 increases one's chances of getting into IIMs?
E: Now-a-days, many students clear CFA L1 and it has become common in IIM-A and IIM-C, but I think in the rest of the IIMs it can still provide a competitive edge to students, especially the engineers who wish to get into finance.
NE: It provides a good proof of interest if one wants to get into finance after joining an IIM, so even though it may not get you a shortlist, it becomes a talking point for the interview.
Question - What kind of questions are asked if one mentions CFA during an IIM interview?
E: Apart from the obvious questions on finance, a lot of emphasis is laid on the understanding of the industry and macroeconomic trends.
NE: If you have a background in commerce, basic questions on finance and accountancy can follow upon mentioning CFA.
Question - Which shortlists can one expect in placements if one has cleared CFA L1?
E: It is competitive at IIM-A, but if the other elements of the profile are good, especially the academic scores, one can expect finance shortlists despite being an engineer.
NE: Finance shortlists like Investment Banking (IB), Markets, Private Equity (PE) are the common ones one can fetch by clearing CFA L1.
Question - How long does it take to prepare for CFA L1?
E: Three months at most at self-pace.
NE: For commerce students, it should take a month at most, for others maybe 45 days.
Question - Is coaching required for CFA L1?
E: No, most students self-prepare.
NE: No, it is easy to clear L1.
Question - How many hours are required per day?
E: 1-2 hours daily if you have 3 months at your disposal.
NE: 3-4 hours are enough for one month.
Question - Which material did you use and where to get it from?
E: Schweser, it is readily available.
NE: Schweser, one can get it from Amazon.
(This post was requested by a GEM through the Non-Engineers Facebook Page)