Preparing for a Career in Banking and Finance

Tiger Tracks for careers in Banking and Finance


  • Banking and finance are hyper-competitive industries that require strong professional ambition, an affinity for numbers, academic success, and great attention to detail.
  • Hampden-Sydney College's Economics program prepares students for successful banking and finance careers, but alumni have successfully entered the field from a variety of majors.


Our curriculum will prepare you for placement in the finance sector regardless of major. If you identify your interest in the finance sector early in your education, it would be advantageous to take several of the following courses, which represent a small sampling of
the classes available within the Hampden-Sydney Economics department:

  • Financial Accounting
  • Corporate Finance
  • Financial Statement Analysis
  • Financial Markets and Investment Analysis
  • Financial Modeling and Simulation

For more information, contact Dr. Gregory Dempster.

Programs and Extracurricular Activities

  • Pre-Business Society - interact with similarly focused students in organized discussions and lectures.
  • On-Campus Speakers - dedicated to pertinent topics for banking and finance.
  • TigerFund - a competitive opportunity to practice the valuation and market analysis techniques learned in class by managing a portion of the school's endowment.
  • Training the StreetTM - learn how to build financial models from the same people who teach recent hires at Wall Street banks, in a program offered on our campus every fall.
  • Hobbie Business Ethics Program - a two-year program, which includes several required courses and monthly discussions on business ethics. An application is required for entry.


Preparation For Real World Employment

  • Career Education and Vocational Reflection Office - The Hampden-Sydney Career Education and Vocational Reflection Office helps students negotiate the challenging internship search by offering lessons in networking, résumé and cover letter writing, interview preparation
  • Workplace Etiquette Training - The College offers seminars on proper behavior at business functions and partners with Brooks Brothers to offer advice on business dress.
  • Networking Skills - Effective networking skills are necessary for successfully landing internships and full-time employment. We give students the opportunity to develop those skills and then put them to good use with help from our well-connected alumni network.
  • Financial Reports - Visit and familiarize yourself with companies' financial reports that can be found on that website
  • Internships - We help you get banking and finance internships during the summers after your sophomore and junior years, which are great opportunities to begin making valuable contacts in the industry and are the most expedient avenue to secure full-time employment after graduation.
  • TigerFund is an equities portfolio managed entirely by students at Hampden-Sydney College. It is an opportunity for selected students concentrating in Economics to gain valuable experience managing a live equities portfolio.

Some additional helpful advice about investment banking careers can be found at Gotta Mentor's Investment Banking Channel.

Graduate Degree Options

  • The MBA - The most natural post-graduate degree option for careers in banking or finance, the MBA is a highly respected degree for any field of business. Successful applicants to top-tier schools typically have three to five years of work experience before applying. H-SC graduates have preferred application status at UVA Darden and Duke Fuqua schools of business.
  • Master's in Business - Many schools have one-year Master's in Business programs, designed for liberal arts graduates, in which you can enroll immediately after graduation. These programs typically immerse you in business fundamentals such as accounting, marketing, and corporate leadership.
  • Graduate School of Business Agreements - Hampden-Sydney shares a formal Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Virginia's Darden School of Business for admission to their elite MBA program. Five alumni, selected by the Provost and President of the College, will receive the following privileges: application fee waiver, automatic advancement to interview round, and counseling and advice from the Darden admissions staff. Similarly, Hampden-Sydney shares a formal Memorandum of Understanding with Duke University's Fuqua School of Business for their one-year Master's of Management Studies program, which provides an excellent education in the foundations of business. This agreement allows Hampden-Sydney students to apply and be accepted to the MMS program at Fuqua during their junior year. Up to four students, nominated by the Provost and the President, will receive the following privileges: application fee waiver, automatic advancement to interview round, and counseling and advice from the Fuqua admissions staff. See which Graduate School Agreement is right for you.
  •  GMAT - This standardized test is generally required for admission to most graduate schools of business. Though many business schools will now accept the GRE, the GMAT remains the gold standard of standardized business school testing. We recommend that students prepare themselves for the GMAT by participating in the online GMAT tutoring sessions offered by Knewton. Students are eligible to apply at the Career Education Office for funding to help pay for their enrollment in this program.
  • CFA - The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Certification, a valuable professional credential, requires intensive study of and focus on essential financial principles. For more information, visit

Recent Graduate Schools Attended

News from the Tiger Track

Read an account of a visit by Navin Thukkaram in March 2011.  Mr. Thukkaram is a private equity investor from Seattle who's currently involved with the website

Read an account of Will Smith's '13 experience at the Summer Business Scholar program at the University of Chicago.

Alumni with careers in banking and finance