Finance, Accounting, and Insurance

A career in Finance can mean many different things, depending on what type of work you’re interested in or what specific subsect you want to explore. Within Finance, you can work in the financial department of an organization (governmental, nonprofit or for-profit) or you can work at a company that provides financial services to individuals, groups, institutions and/or organizations.


Types of Finance

  • Banking (Commercial and Retail): these organizations provide banking services to individuals, small business and large organizations in the form of safekeeping of deposits, issuance of credit and debit cards and making loans.
  • Corporate Finance: The “in-house” function that manages the financial operations of an organization, makes acquisitions, plans for its financial future, and manages assets.
  • Investment Banking: Organizations that assist corporations and governments in creating and raising capital by underwriting and/or acting as the client's agent in the issuance of securities (debt or equity securities), and facilitate mergers & acquisitions and reorganizations.
  • Sales & Trading: Sales and trading roles in investment banks are all about markets (and are also known as ‘markets’ jobs with investment banks). They are where trillions of dollars worth of shares, bonds, commodities, derivatives, foreign exchange and commodities, are bought and sold on a daily basis.
  • Asset Management: These firms invest clients’ funds into securities in alignment with defined financial goals. They offer clients opportunities for greater diversification and investment options than were clients to invest on their own.  Asset managers manage mutual funds, hedge funds and pensions and earn fees or commissions from clients.  
  • Wealth Management: Wealth management is a service, broadly defined, that combines investment management, as well as financial advising and planning for high-net-worth clients. A wealth manager who works with clients can include coordinating financial experts, a client’s own attorney, accountants and insurance agent. Some wealth managers also provide banking services or advice on philanthropic activities.
  • Investment Research: Investment Research is work done to study the performance of stocks, shares, markets, etc. It’s used to help make financial decisions about investments and trends in the market. Investment Research can differ from firm to firm, depending on the focus and the clients served.  
  • Insurance: Insurance companies help manage risk to protect against catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk for both individuals and corporations. Actuarial work within insurance involves reviewing and analysing statistic to calculate insurance risks and premiums.
  • Alternative Investments: Alternative investments generally have high minimum investment requirements, have limited regulation and are held by institutions, accredited investors or high-net-worth individuals.  Examples include the following, as well as Venture Capital, Real Estate, Commodities and Derivatives:
    • Private Equity: partners with investors, including private and public investment funds, university endowments and others, to buy companies with the goal to improve their performance and sell them at a profit.  (See What is Private Equity?)
    • Hedge Funds: these are private investments that employ different strategies to earn returns for their investors.  Hedge funds are generally only accessible to accredited investors as they require less regulation than other funds.
  • Accounting: Accounting is the practice of keeping financial accounts and records.  An important purpose of accounting is the preparation of financial statements — and “end product” — that communicates financial results and performance to different audiences.

Note: definitions have been taken from and/or modified from


Finding Opportunities

Networking and Professional Development Events
While there are many full-time and internship opportunities within finance, many major organizations (ex: Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, Credit Suisse, Goldman Sachs) hold selective events in the spring geared towards college students (including first-years and sophomores) and target populations (including women, minorities, LGBTQ+, etc.).

Recruitment General
Recruitment for finance internships and full-time jobs typically occur in the early fall, with some recruitment occurring in the spring for internships.

  • Introduction to Finance Recruiting How to Prepare for Finance Recruiting webinar and How to Prepare for Finance Recruiting Insight/Diversity Days video
  • On Campus Recruitment (OCR): many firms recruit on campus, so be sure to monitor Handshake for upcoming events or resume drops. These events are very helpful to get a sense for firms and opportunities.
  • Online Postings: many firms will accept resumes online and/or also post on Handshake. Be sure to use your network to see if there are any Wellesley alumnae or other contacts at the firm.
  • Other Firms: you are encouraged to network and apply through online portals.
  • See Handshake
  • See I-banking Summer Internship, FT Applications & Programs for opportunities.
  • See Other Investment Industry Opportunities
  • See company career sites



  1. Resume and Cover Letter: To begin with, you must have a strong resume and cover letter. Make sure you resume tells a story and that your cover letter is tailored to the firm you are applying to.   Below are some helpful things to keep in mind.  If you need help crafting your resume or cover letter, stop by Career Education.

  • While it’s OK to use a similar cover letter for each firm to which you apply, make sure to tailor the letter to the company and use relevant words. This could include words that are used on the job posting or specific words that are used in the company’s informational materials.
  • When writing your resume, it’s important to quantify for accomplishments, highlight the impact that your work or projects had, and any problems you solved.
  • Additionally, it’s important that your resume and cover letter demonstrate your comfort or experience with quantitative materials (i.e. numbers and data).  In your cover letter emphasize your skills and qualifications relative to the position.
  1. Background Research: Make sure you do your research on the firms to which you are applying. It is helpful to understand their history, types of projects, investments or transactions they’re engaged in (or are proud of) and other points of information that show you’ve done your homework.  Moreover, make sure to convey in both your cover letter and resume that you have done your homework on the firm you’re applying to!

  2. Start Early: This point is probably one of the most important parts of your application strategy!  Don’t procrastinate and make sure you start early on your resume, cover letter, general application, mock interviewing, etc. The more you prepare, the easier it’ll be and the more comfortable you will feel during the entire process. Moreover, starting early ensures you’ll be able to use all of your resources to your advantage, rather than having to miss out on some due to a lack of time!


More Resources

  • Career Education: make an appointment on Handshake with your Career Education mentor or a counselor to help you in your search.
  • Alumnae/Network: utilize Wellesley alumnae and your network in your job search. Informational interviews are a great place to start to learn more about a firm or the job in general. If you’ve never done an informational interview before, check out the Informational Interviewing resource.

  • The Internet: there are many great resources available online with comprehensive information about a variety of work within the finance industry

    • Investopedia Industry Handbook: provides an overview of the major trends/characteristics in many industries
    • Morningstar Investment Resources: Over 150 courses to help you start learning about investing or to sharpen your skills (all free of charge)
    • Vault: information about all different types of industries. Wellesley has a subscription, so it’s free to use for students!
    • Khan Academy: free online education including finance and capital markets
    • Coursera and EdX: online courses including in business, finance and financial modeling
    • The Wall Street Journal: business & finance newspaper available in Clapp Library
    • Bloomberg Markets:  provides news, analysis and commentary about global markets
  • Student clubs:

    • Wellesley Women in Business - Wellesley’s pre-business association to help women build a strong network, find career direction and achieve ambitious goals.
    • Other clubs include Investment Society, Economics Student Association and Wellesley to Wall Street
  • Suggested Books:

    • Standard & Poor’s Guide to Money and Investing by Virginia Morris and Kenneth Morris
    • The Wall Street Journal Guide to Understanding Money and Investing by Virginia Morris and Kenneth Morris
    • Investment Banking by Joshua Rosenbaum and Joshua Pearl
    • Pitch the Perfect Investment  - The Essential Guide to Winning on Wall Street by Paul Sonkin and Paul Johnson
    • How to Get an Equity Research Analyst Job by Gillian Elcock
    • Best Practices for Equity Research Analysts:  Essentials for Buy & Sell-Side Analysts by James Valentine
    • Standard & Poor’s Fundamentals of Corporate Credit Analysis by Blaise Ganguin and John Bilardello

Professional Associations

Wellesley students recommend:

As always, please use your best judgement when using third party services.