Large firms are more globalized than ever and jobs will often take you across borders. You wlil obviously be more desirable to a company if you are bi-lingual and know some international corporate finance. Would you be comfortable managing a bank relationship in Argentina? Or costing new plants in China?
The last decade has seen a dramatic increase in the sophistication
of corporate risk management strategies. How are we going to hedge
against fluctuations in the cost of our inputs? And what should we do to protect against foreign currency fluctuations? If you are familiar with
models, techniques and derivatives which can be used to manage
risk, you will be in high demand.
Did You Ever Play With an Erector Set?
Manufacturing firms often hire corporate finance types with a
background in engineering. Ford, for example, wants people in the
factory who can understand complex manufacturing processes,
communicate well with engineers and enjoy complex costing work.
Jerome York, the former Chrysler CFO, did a stint running Dodge, and once worked designing engine parts for GM.
How Are You With People?
The best financial professionals are good with people. According to
Fortune, (11/18/95): "Their biggest weakness is a lack of people
skills," says John Dasburg, CEO of Northwest Airlines. "Finance types are often curt and colorless. By contrast, the best CFOs are master persuaders with a streak of the sales person. They read people as surely as balance sheets."
Geek of the Week? Not Really, But..