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How can I switch career from sales to Finance?

I am an MBA-Finance and Marketing. Over all 8 years experience- Out of which 1 year was in Financial services company as Relationship Manager,India. Then I moved to IT sector sales for 3 years. At present working for an advertising company in Dubai past 3 years. I would like to pursue some course like CFA/CMA/CPA or anything related to Finance so that I can be more strong with finance career. Any advice?


Topic Expert
Christie Jahn
Title: CFO
Company: Prime Investments & Development
(CFO, Prime Investments & Development) |

I am only giving you my educated opinion from what I know, however I am not familiar with your region; so this may or not be applicable.

Since you already have an MBA in finance / marketing you need to gain some experience in the finance industry. You may be able to get started in an accounting position. It is a tough market right now from everything I have read so getting your foot in the door even if it's an entry level position can't hurt. Once you prove yourself you should have no trouble moving up in the organization or even seeking employment in a similar role elsewhere.

You can go after the CFA/CMA/CPA but at some point you are still going to need the experience.

Topic Expert
Regis Quirin
Title: Director of Finance
Company: Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP
LinkedIn Profile
(Director of Finance, Gibney Anthony & Flaherty LLP) |

I completely agree with Christie. Any potential employer will want to see real life experience. There is a very big difference between finance in theory which academics provides vs. finance in practice which work experience provides. A little bit counter intuitive, but additional finance education for you will have diminishing value.

Topic Expert
Mike Caruana
Title: Director of Financial Services
Company: Diamond Resorts International
(Director of Financial Services, Diamond Resorts International) |

I agree. Practical experience is essential, especially in this relatively tough job market. I get several dozen applicants for every opening I post. Experience matters...a lot! Does your current employer have 'Finance' positions within Sales (like a Reporting or Business Analyst)? If so, that might be a great starting point.


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