From College to FinTech — Landing Your Dream FinTech Job
Interested in a career in FinTech? Looking to be on the front line of emerging technologies right in the heart of New York City? Think you know other folks who may fit this description as well? Check out our open positions on our EquityZen Careers page now!
Recruiting is tough. Did I say tough? I meant excruciating. At a certain point in the process, the networking dinners become repetitive, the interview questions grow seemingly stale, and you're not even quite sure if the person on your resume is really you.
In a previous post, we discussed the reasons why joining a FinTech firm out of college presents an exciting adventure ripe with insightful experience, real-world responsibility, and leadership opportunities that a standard finance position might not offer. That was step one: the ideation phase. Once your heart is set on this journey, the next step is a simple one: get the job!
Did I say simple? I meant attainable—with a purposeful plan and meaningful interactions. In the following, we will discuss a few things you should be doing if you're hoping to make the leap into FinTech full-time. Before we start, step 0.5 is to apply for a position at EquityZen if you think you're a good fit! Alright, on with the show...
Hunt Down Your Desired Field
FinTech is a fun catchall term. Trust me, I've already used it four times in this post. Yet, this concoction of finance and tech actually encompasses a vast array of topics in and of itself. A small sampling of these fields includes:
- Peer-to-Peer Lending
- Private Markets
- Wealth Management
- Personal Finance & Mobile Banking
- Blockchain Tech
Plan accordingly. Research each of these fields and pick those that appeal most to you and your skill set. From there, look up the firms in the given field that are getting press. Some places to check are the Forbes FinTech 50, BuiltInNYC, and similar lists. Many of these rankings are of course subjective, so for those who seek validation in dollar amounts, I recommend checking Crunchbase and AngelList for info on certain companies, including recent funding rounds and/or press releases that may indicate upward movement. When I was making my initial search I happened to notice a few companies popping up in multiple articles, each with a growing buzz (one of these was EquityZen). As you dive into this world, it should become easier and easier to deduce the companies that are thriving and that fit your desired path.
Extend Feelers and Use Your Network
I'll address the second half of this first (to keep you on your toes). The ability to effectively utilize your network—be it relatives, former high school acquaintances, or college alumni you're somewhat connected to—will always be a skill paramount to the hunt. The difference between using your network for standard recruiting and for FinTech recruiting is simply that the FinTech world is by its very nature smaller. All circles grow smaller with time and experience. Think of the startup world as an accelerated example of this. Someone who has spent three years with a firm could likely be one of its longest-tenured members and therefore hold plenty of clout in the organization. All this is to say: if you have anyone remotely related to FinTech that you can reach out to, seize that opportunity. Even if what that person does isn't right for you, it's highly plausible they have friends in the scene to whom they can make the first introduction.
By now, you've likely mastered the art of the recruiting email (if not, there are many solid blogs on the internet dedicated to this task). It is true that you will undoubtedly send quite a few to the people you have identified in your network or to the firms at which you wish to work. However, it is important to consider the multitude of avenues available for correspondence. A simple LinkedIn message might do the trick. Getting face time is even better: go to a MeetUp function, attend FinTech conferences, meet with professors to explore their networks, etc. As I mentioned, it's a small world. Make yourself known, make it clear you know why you belong in this field, and an opportunity will open up.