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Akshay,a 2nd year student at IIM Rohtak cleared his CFA, highly regarded professional certification for Finance aspirants Level 2 exam.

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  • Akshay,a 2nd year student at IIM Rohtak cleared his CFA, highly regarded professional certification for Finance aspirants Level 2 exam.

    “The crux of clearing CFA examinations is time management”, says Akshay Garg, IIM Rohtak

    Within the last few years, CFA has created a reputation as a niche certification for students aspiring to create a career in Finance. Presented below are the excerpts from an interview with Akshay Garg, a second year student at IIM Rohtak who has recently cleared the CFA Level 2 exam.

    Hello Akshay, greetings from Public Relations Cell, IIM Rohtak. Many congratulations on clearing level 2 of the CFA exam. When did you decide to go for the certification?

    Thank you. During my graduation, I had decided to opt for Finance in MBA. After completing my graduation, I started reading basic concepts and seeking advice from my friends who were in the finance industry. Many of them suggested me take CFA examinations. After doing research on the same, I realized that this was a great platform to help fast track my career in finance. I attempted my Level 1 examination before commencing my PGDM in IIMR.

    You cleared CFA level 1 examination before the start of your internship in CRISIL. Did it help you in your performance?

    It definitely helped me during my internship at CRISIL. Many of the theoretical concepts I had studied were put into practical use. This, combined with my internship, helped me prepare for Level 2 examinations with higher degree of confidence.

    What are your suggestions for students who are beginning their preparation for CFA?

    If you are planning to prepare for CFA certifications, you should aim for clearing all the 3 levels. The most important task for aspiring students is to start as early as possible. This will help you in first getting familiarised with the basic concepts. They can then move on to the core ones. Also, they may not be able to spend valuable time in the later phases due to internship and examination. So, it is advisable to cover the syllabus till March and then start revision of the concepts.

    Could you share your study plan and strategies to balance MBA curriculum with CFA preparation?

    The CFA course material is pretty vast and learning every aspect takes ample amount of time and effort. I ensured that I spent at least 2 hours daily for CFA. This helped me complete the syllabus in due time and I did not have to compromise on my academics in the later phases. Also, as the CFA course is divided into multiple readings, I had set a target of completing 3-4 readings a week.

    Could you please tell us about the course material for CFA?

    When you register for CFA, you get a set of e-books. There are sectional/reading tests available on the website. I also referred to various third party videos which are easily accessible over internet. I found the Schweser’s course material very useful. It explains the concepts in a detail-oriented structure which eases the understanding of concepts.

    Any suggestions for students who have cleared CFA level 1 in regards to the further preparation strategy for level 2?

    Having cleared the level 1 examination, you have the basic understanding. You should not start too late as you may not retain the learnings and the break in flow of studies will affect the preparation.

    How did you make the transition from IT to finance?

    I always had an inclination towards finance. I was intrigued by the stock market and equity research. I took a gap of a year and during this period brushed up on my concepts of finance. Before coming to IIMR, I had already cleared CFA level 1. This combined with classroom learning helped me develop my competencies and smoothen the transition process.

    You have done certain certifications in FLIP and Coursera. How did they help in your preparation?

    For a student not having a background in finance, certifications like these are great building blocks. As these courses cover a very basic outline of the financial world, completing them before appearing for CFA will give an edge to the students.

    Are there any other certifications that candidates who are interested in finance can pursue?

    There are other certifications too which can be taken up in specific area. For students interested in Risk management, there is FRM. I think in this competitive environment, certifications help you differentiate your capabilities. Students should find their interest and try to research on the certificates available on the same topic.