21 April 2015
While there are a variety of certifications that financial professionals can attain to advance their career, for professionals like buy-side traders and sell-side analysts, the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA), is perhaps one of the most prestigious and sought after by employers. With a reputation for being one of the hardest certification processes, the CFA is often considered a gold standard in the industry. For example, the CFA Institute estimates that each exam level only has a 40%-65% pass rate – meaning less than 30% of those who begin the process as level one candidates pass the third exam. Therefore, fulfilling the exam process of the charter is a strong testament to your hard work and knowledge, and can certainly help set you apart from competitors who haven’t. However, before you can reap the benefits of becoming a CFA, you first need to pass the exams – something that is nearly impossible to do this without having a set studying strategy in place. With testing time swiftly approaching for all levels, those taking the exam should have already spent a significant portion of the last six months studying. However, now that we’re almost a month out from the first Saturday of June, it’s major crunch time! Whether you are preparing for your first CFA exam, or the third and final level of the test, here are some tips to ensure your last month of studying is a successful one: Read, solve problems, and review: There is a lot of reading to be done for the CFA exam, so focus on the readings when studying. Find what method works best for you—some prefer to solve practice problems as they go along, while others prefer to get through entire sections before putting pen to paper. Whichever way you find most comfortable, for your final month of studying, make sure you schedule routine review days and practice tests as checkpoints to make sure you understand all the material. A great way to do this is to review the Learning Outcome Statements (LOS), or objectives, provided with each section. Make flash cards and carry them with you: Not only does it help to take notes as you go along, but jotting down key points on flash cards and reviewing them on your commute to work or during your lunch break can help you retain vital information throughout the final month of prep. Many financial services professionals juggle an already full schedule with their CFA preparation, so having access to notes without lugging around stacks of information can be helpful. Use your calculator: When working on problems, practice using the calculator you’ll be using for the test. It’s important to know all the functions the device provides in order to be quick and efficient with each set of questions. Although the test is 6 hours long, you want to make use of every minute on every question. Knowing the tools available to you can only help and may reduce stress during the exam. For finance professionals who have yet to complete all three levels of the exam, here are some additional tips to help you prepare for any future exams: Get—and stay—organized: It takes a lot of focus to master the amount of material required for the CFA exams. The best way to make sure you stay on track for all of the sections of material is to plan out which sections you’ll be studying during which weeks, and how many hours per week you plan on dedicating to them. The CFA Institute measured the workload necessary to pass the exam at a total of 250 hours of studying. So register early, get your materials early, and spread the hours out as manageably as possible. Only you know your schedule and what you can work with. Start early, end early: When you map out your study plan, make sure to start your coursework early enough that you can leave an extra month open prior to testing. This will allow you another several weeks to review and refresh your memory on all that you just absorbed. While you should have put aside time to review as you went along, you want to leave plenty of time to go over the material as a whole in order to grasp the big picture as well as the finer points. Sign up for a review course and buy a study packet: There are a number of resources on the internet to aid in acquiring a CFA, but don’t inundate yourself. Purchase your materials (there are several levels of study packets available, ranging from strictly notes to a complete workbook of notes, practice questions, instructions, and a final review) and sign up for one review course. Rely more on your studying than on the review class for preparation, but use the class and materials to go over weak points as you go along. While becoming a CFA might seem like an intimidating process, the more time you devote to exam prep, the more manageable it will be. Remember, once you become certified, all the hard work will be worth it!
21 April 2015
On Tuesday, May 19th, The Execu|Search Group’s Bridge Travel Healthcare division is hosting an information session for therapy and nursing professionals on travel healthcare careers! At the event, attendees will have the opportunity to learn about the benefits of pursuing a career in travel healthcare from The Execu|Search Group’s Marc Malpeli and Robert Palermo as well as hear from seasoned travel professional, Michael Feist, DPT, about his experience working as a travel healthcare professional for many years. “As part of our continuing effort to ensure our candidates have the foundation they need to lead successful careers, we feel it is important to give them the opportunity to learn more about this quickly growing field,” says Robert Palermo, Staffing Manager of The Execu|Search Group’s Bridge Travel Healthcare division, who helped organize the information session. “Whether you are a nursing or therapy professional looking to break into this field, or a more experienced travel professional interested in diversifying your experience and taking your career to the next level, the presentation will have something for everyone.” The travel healthcare information session will be held on Tuesday, May 19th from 6:30pm-8:30pm at The Execu|Search Group’s corporate headquarters, located at: 675 3rd Avenue, 5th floor, New York, NY 10017. The schedule of the event includes: 6:30-7:00: Networking and refreshments 7:00-8:00: An overview of opportunities and benefits of travel healthcare, including guest speaker, Michael Feist 8:00-8:30: A question and answer session, with the opportunity to individually speak with Marc, Robert, and Michael If you are a Registered Nurse or licensed therapist (PT, OT, SLP) interested in attending the information session, please apply by following this link. Space is limited, so please apply by May 5th.