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What Does a Finance Trainee Do?

By A. Garrett
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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A finance trainee is an individual who works in several departments in the finance division of a company or government entity. The typical finance trainee is a recent graduate or someone making a career change. Usually, a finance trainee position lasts a year or more. Trainee positions play an important role in career planning and career advancement. During this time, trainees rotate to different departments in order to gain experience and expertise in finance where they have the opportunity to receive on-the-job training and learn from established professionals.

Normally, a finance trainee works in an office. The number of hours a trainee works mirrors that of the full-time employees in the department where the trainee is stationed. Depending on the nature of the assignment, traveling may also be required.

Finance trainee duties vary based on the department worked in and the academic background of the trainee. One aspect of finance is financial management. Trainees working in this department might prepare financial reports, oversee investments, and monitor budgets.

There are several subcategories of financial management where a trainee may be assigned. For example, controllers prepare balance sheets, income statements, and future cash flow estimates. Treasurers handle the investment of funds and budgets in order to help companies meet their financial goals. Trainees working in credit management monitor the amount of credit a company issues to customers and collect on past due accounts.

Some trainees may prepare to work as financial analysts. Trainees assigned to this department research stocks, bonds, and other finance vehicles in order to ascertain their value and how well they perform compared to other investment opportunities. Depending on the company, individuals assigned to work as analysts may work in one of two categories: buy side and sell side. Buy side trainees help devise investment strategies for companies seeking to invest funds. Sell side trainees help promote investments on behalf of securities dealers.

The average finance trainee has a bachelor’s or graduate degree in a field such as finance, economics, accounting, or business administration. Most companies make trainee job placement contingent on an applicant having such credentials. This is because the courses associated with such majors help a trainee develop the analytical, qualitative, and business communication skills necessary to work in finance.

Businesses hire such individuals for their financial skill sets and business acumen. The finance sector is complex and diverse. Companies hone the skills of trainees over time in order to ensure that their expertise is tailored to address the needs of the business and finely tuned to the corporate culture of the business. Using trainee programs increases the likelihood of long-term employment and reduces the learning curve associated with new hires.

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