Job interviews can be stressful even for the seasoned professional who walks into an interview armed with a decorated portfolio and relevant years of experience. Now, picture yourself, a university graduate with little-to-no work experience, walking into a room and given the below spreadsheet and a case study.
The interviewer then says, ‘You have one and a half hours to get back to us’ and walks out of the room.
As they walk out, right hot on their heels is your dream of becoming an investment banker, financial analyst, financial consultant, portfolio manager or a practitioner in the private equity and venture capital industry, [insert fancy finance title here]…
Things they don’t tell you in uni
Your future employer may offer training but not on every aspect of the job because the assumption is that you went to university, right?
After the first round of interviews, which is mostly to measure you up against your resume and see if they like you enough, they may call you in for a second interview and hand you a financial model to not only make sense of, but make sure that the numbers balance.
‘Each company has its own unique modelling template, so they should train me!’
Well, not for long. Company giants like F1F9, PwC, Finance Mechanics, InVhestia (that’s us by the way) and Grant Thornton now apply a standard way of modelling known as the FAST Standard.
The FAST Standard is an international recognized financial modelling methodology used by major firms worldwide such as those previously mentioned in their modelling assignments. You can read more about it by clicking here.
Bragging rights: InVhestia is the first and only firm in Africa to become an accredited provider of the FAST Standard. You can check out the other global signatories by clicking here.
FAST is an acronym that stands for:
Flexible – A flexible model meets its objectives and can be maintained, re-purposed and updated as needed.
Appropriate – A model with an appropriate degree of accuracy reflects key business decisions without unnecessary detail.
Structured – A structured model has been built consistently and ensures that form follows function.
Transparent – A transparent model is as simple as it can be and does not have unnecessary complexity to obfuscate its functionality, and can be used by anyone with some modelling experience, not just its creator.
Back to your job hunting
The surest way to ace that interview is to walk in armed with the FAST Standard Level 1 Certification as proof that you:
- Understand the FAST standard and
- Can apply the FAST Standard in any modelling exercise.
Given that FAST methodology is new in the African market, we have a free online course that you can sign up for. You can do it 15 minutes a day for 10 days for you to have a fighting chance to land that job. But that is, of course, as long as no one with a FAST Standard Level 1 Certificate walks in…
The Inter university FAST Financial Modelling Competition
Having done the 2.5 hour course (this is not a requirement but we strongly advise that you have a crack at it), to test your level of skill levels, sign up for our week long online modelling competition!
‘Now what would I want to put in all that effort?’
- First place: Internship at a top financial institution, the full online FAST Financial Modelling course license, and InVhestia merchandise.
- Second Place: The full online FAST Financial Modelling course license, and InVhestia merchandise.
- Third place: InVhestia merchandise.
All competing modellers will receive a certificate of participation.
Do we have your attention now?
The competition will run between the
15th and 19th August, 2016* from 10 am to 3 pm of the first and last day whereby the system will be closed to allow us to grade your models. To participate, register at app.invhestia.com for our introductory course. Under ‘Tell us why you are interested in InVhestia’ state that you are interested in the financial modelling competition. This last part is important as it’ll help us find you.
Winners will be announced two weeks after the competition.
For regular updates check out (and like) our page and don’t forget to download and share the flyer!
*Late October dates to be communicated.