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Advantages of Joining a Finance Society

You’re off to university and you have a gut feeling that you’d like to head into a finance career when you’ve graduated. So what can you do to help you along the way?

One way of developing skills, knowledge and your network for a finance career is through your university's finance society. There are plenty of advantages to signing up!

Where can I find my university’s finance society? 

Finance societies sometimes have different official titles depending on the university you’re at. Sometimes it’s simply ‘The Finance Society’, but some universities refer to it as The Banking and Finance Society, The Economics and Finance Society or the Investment and Finance Society. Whatever your university chooses to call it, they all essentially provide the same services and do the same thing!

You can nearly always sign up to your university’s finance society at the infamous Freshers’ Fair, where you’ll usually get a chance to meet the president of the society and other society secretaries as you put pen to paper.

If you miss out during Freshers’ Week, don’t panic! You should be able to sign up online throughout the year. Many finance societies even have their own webpages so you'll be able to keep up to date with what's going on and get in touch with the right people. You can join at any stage of your university career: the pearly gates won’t be shut to you if you’re a second year, or even a third year. 

It’s nearly always free to join. So why should you?

Careers advice & skills development…

Your university finance society will provide you with tailored advice for all of your finance career queries. Whether it's CV advice or help with applications for work experience with finance firms or banks, they will be able to point you in the right direction for what you want to do.

Some finance societies even have their own equity fund investment projects which allow students to get some hands on experience of investment experience under guidance - and even make a return on investment.

Networking…

Finance societies often organise mini careers fairs or networking events which will give their members the opportunity to meet representatives from top graduate employers from the finance industry who are on the lookout for top talent. Sometimes these events are sponsored by some of the biggest employers in finance.

This is a perfect chance to get some answers to some of your questions on your career choices, and you may even be able to line up some work experience! It's so, so important to get your work experience moving as soon as you can, so these events shouldn't be missed if you're serious about working in banking and finance.

The finance society will also include seminars, talks and presentations from (sometimes high-profile) speakers to give you an insight into various different aspects of the finance industry.

Some universities even offer opportunities to go on organised international networking event trips in another country!

Diversity…

University finance societies often also incorporate various diversity initiatives and educational initiatives such as clubs and forums that focus on diversity issues such as women in business. There will be events that give targeted groups the opportunity to learn more about the industry, meet role models and network with employers. 

The social aspects…

Aside from all of that finance career ammo, membership of a finance society at university will provide you with yet another outlet to make friends and get involved with plenty of social activities. You need to use your time at university wisely to set you up for the graduate job market when you leave, but don’t forget that it’s a time to enjoy yourself too!

Your university finance society will run loads of social events, from nights out to sports events, for you to get involved with.

An excellent addition to your finance career applications…

You need to do everything you can to develop your personal brand and commercial awareness if you want a job in business, banking or finance. Membership of the finance society is another way of showing your prospective employers your interests. It won’t immediately take you through to the next recruitment stage, but every little helps when it comes to building up your image as a top candidate!

By Jos Weale, Editor, AllAboutFinanceCareers.com