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					Researching Careers in Business

  Topics Covered
    ♦   Building your Industry Knowledge ........................................ Pg. 14
    ♦   Information Interviews – Overview ........................................ Pg. 15
    ♦   Professional Associations ..................................................... Pg. 16
    ♦   Careers in Business .............................................................. Pg. 19
                 Commerce & Economics
                 General Business Management
                 Human Resources Management
                 International Business
                 Management Information Systems
                 Transportation & Logistics
                 Real Estate
                 Management Consulting
Building Your Industry Knowledge
Exploring Careers in Business
An essential part of managing your career is exploring the many career options available to you. Research
careers by reviewing on-line literature and business journals, and also by meeting with members of the business
community. For more resources for conducting company research, refer to the ‘Job Search Strategies’ handout
on line.

The best ways to explore careers are through:

    1. Starting with a quick Self Assessment to identify your interests, needs
       and values.

    2. Researching careers in businesses that match your self assessment.

    3. Research careers on-line:

    4. Check out the Career Guides available online:

        Industry Insider Guides from
        Careers in Biotech & Pharmaceuticals
        Careers in Brand Management
        Careers in Internet Consulting
        Careers in Investment Banking
        Careers in Management Consulting

        Company Insider Guides from
        Bain & Company
        Goldman Sachs
        KPMG Consulting
        Merrill Lynch
        Procter & Gamble                                                             To learn about careers in
                                                                                         business, attend:
    5. Go on Information Interviews. These are one of the best ways to               • Career & Option Info
       learn about a career field/occupation. See below for details. Meet              Sessions
       and talk to professionals in any field that you are considering as a          • Option Club Events
       career option. For more detailed information about Information                • Information Interviews
       Interviews, please refer to that particular handout.

                                        Researching Careers in Business
                                                    P a g e 14
    6. Network with Business Alumni and members of the business
       community.     Commerce Option Club events, Career & Option
       Information Sessions, CUS sponsored events (such as IGNITE,
       International Business Conference, Me Inc.), and the Vancouver
       Board of Trade events all provide great opportunities to research

    7. Participate in the events that are organized by Professional
       Associations. See the detailed list of Professional Associations on
       page 4.
                                                                                        Volunteering at business
    8. Contact Alumni working in the career area that interests you. Ask                events provides you with
       the Alumni Relations Office if they can link you with an alum. Go to               excellent networking
       the alumni website and register into the on-line community to connect                 opportunities.
       with other alumni.

Information Interviews – Overview
The best way to find information about a particular career is to talk with someone who is working in the industry.
By conducting information interviews you gain valuable knowledge about careers, establish contacts in the field
of your interest, and get the inside scoop on the career or companies you are interested in.

An information interview is a research interview, initiated by you, with an
employer or someone in an occupational field you are interested in.

Information interviews are an important part of your job search. Use them to
learn more about the type of job you may be interested in (and suited for), and
to obtain advice about what types of companies you should target for job

Your information interview should be with an individual who is directly involved
in the area you are interested in. Often, Human Resources Departments
rarely know the answers to your questions. The most effective contact would
be the head of the department that you are interested in working for.

Remember: the purpose of information interviewing is to increase your
knowledge by building your network; it is NOT to ask for a job!

For complete information on Information Interviews refer to the ‘Information
Interviews’ handout on-line.

                                         Researching Careers in Business
                                                     P a g e 15
Professional Associations

Industry associations provide excellent opportunities to build your industry knowledge through networking at
association events, accessing associations’ libraries, and requesting informational interviews from members.
Associations also provide the most efficient means of networking for internship and job leads. Some
associations even have job posting services for their members. The following is a list of professional
associations related to certain industries/areas of business and their websites:


Certified Management Accountants –
Certified General Accountants –
Institute of Chartered Accountants of British Columbia –


American Management Association –
Canadian Association of Management Consultants –

Finance                                                                                 Professional
                                                                                    Associations provide
Association for Financial Professionals –                         excellent networking
Association of Women in Finance, for info: (604) 662.4401                              opportunities.
Canadian Banker Association –
         (no student memberships but provides good info)
Financial Executive International –
Institute of Canadian Bankers –
Investment Dealers Association –
         (no student memberships but provides good info)
Toronto CFA Society –
Treasury Management Association of Canada –
Vancouver Society of Financial Analysts -
(no student memberships but provides good information)

Human Resource Management

Human Resources Management Association –

International Business

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters –
International Chamber of Commerce –

Asian Connections

Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada –
(biweekly press releases)
Canada China Business Council –
Japan External Trade Organization –
North American Association of Asian Professionals, BC –
The Hong Kong Canada Business Association –

                                        Researching Careers in Business
                                                    P a g e 16
HK Trader – free online newsletter of Hong Kong Trade Development Council – provides business news,
features and useful links to help overseas firms capture opportunities in HK, Chinese mainland and beyond.
Pacific Bridge Inc. (PBI) – Asian HR eNewsletter (
Contact Singapore (

Management Information Systems

Association of Information Technology Professionals –
Canadian Information Processing Society –
Information Systems, Audit & Control Association –
Information Technology Association of America –
Information Technology Association of Canada –
Society for Information Management –
Toronto Biotechnology Initiative –
BC Innovation Council –


American Marketing Association – BC Chapter –
Canadian Marketing Association –
Marketing Jobs –
Sales & Marketing Executives International –
Vancouver Chinese Advertising, Marketing & Media Association –
Association of International Product Marketing and Management
Additional Industry information on Product Marketing:


BC Biotechnology Alliance –
BC Technology Industries Association –
Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance –
New Media BC –
T-Net British Columbia –
Tech Vibes –
Vancouver Enterprise Forum –
Wireless Innovation Network (WinBC) –
Biotechnology Industry Organization –

Transportation and Logistics

Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters Canada –
American Production & Inventory Control Society –
Canadian Association of Supply Chain & Logistics Management –
Purchasing Management Association of Canada –
Purchasing Management Association of BC –
Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals –

Real Estate

Appraisal Institute of Canada –
BC Real Estate Association –
International Association of Assessing Officers –
Real Estate Institute of BC –

                                        Researching Careers in Business
                                                    P a g e 17

Environmental Careers World –
Environmental Jobs and Careers –

Women in Business

Western Businesswomen’s Society of BC –
Wired Women Society –
Women in Film –
Canadian Women in Communications -
Forum for Woman Entrepreneurs -

Other Associations

Canadian Chamber of Commerce –
Vancouver Board of Trade –
Vancouver Enterprise Forum –
Non profit Sector -
Forbes Lists –
Angel Forum – – Entrepreneurship

                                    Researching Careers in Business
                                                P a g e 18
Careers in Business
“Careers in Business” handout contains material written by and CareerLeaderTM


Accountants engage in a wide variety of activities besides preparing financial statements and recording business
transactions. Such activities include computing costs and efficiency gains from new technologies, participating
in strategies for mergers and acquisitions, quality management, developing and using information systems to
track financial performance, tax strategy, and health care benefits management. Accountants advise
management, perform internal audits and manage the day-to-day bookkeeping. The designations of choice in
Canada are CA, CGA, and CMA.
                                                                                                        Big 4 CA Firms
                                                                                                        ∗ Deloitte
Chartered Accountants (CA) –                                                              ∗ Ernst & Young
   CAs provide a wide variety of services including: assurance and financial management                 ∗ KPMG
   expertise, non-financial performance measurement, corporate control, strategic counsel,              ∗ Pricewaterhouse
   information technology, consulting, and human resource management. A CA has completed                  -Coopers
   one of the most rigorous and unique education programs, combining academic study,
   professional education and on-the-job training. CA Articling students are typically employed
   by CA firms.

    Upon receiving a CA designation, CAs either stay within public practice, as partners or employees of a firm,
    or are sole practitioners providing a variety of business advisory services. Services include computer
    consulting; business start-up and expansion; business valuations; corporate and personal financial planning,
    insolvency, tax, accounting, audit and environmental and forensic accounting/auditing. CAs also join
    management teams with various organizations and businesses in the roles of controller, chief financial
    officer, vice president of finance, in some cases, investment banker. Alternatively, some CAs become
    entrepreneurs running their own businesses or consulting practices.
                                                                                                        Employers that
Certified General Accountant (CGA) –                                                     target Accounting
   The CGA designation offers professional accounting training with specialized studies in              Students:
   information technology, corporate, government and not-for-profit, and public practice. CGAs          ∗ Office of the
   offer expertise in taxation, finance, IT and strategic business management.                            Auditor General
                                                                                                        ∗ CCRA
                                                                                                        ∗ Accenture
    CGAs start their careers as junior accountants and quickly advance to positions such as             ∗ Telus
    controller, financial analyst, senior internal auditor, and manager of accounting. They later       ∗ Weyerhaeuser
    secure positions as corporate controller, chief executive officer, financial administrator, vice-
    president of finance, accountant or internal auditor. CGAs also go on to own their own
    accounting firms wherein they provide tax and financial advice to individuals and to
    businesses, or they work in public practice and management consulting services offering their
    skills as professional accountants, auditor consultants, management information system
    consultants and financial advisors.

Certified Management Accountant (CMA) –
   CMAs are trained to take leadership roles in operational change, performance analysis and measurement,
   as well as business strategy development, implementation and management. With an understanding of
   organizational behaviour, structure and systems, economics, finance and business operations, CMAs can
   analyze and manage financial information in a cross functional way. CMAs bring a blend of management
   skills and professional accounting expertise. The majority of CMAs work inside organizations – and across
   all functional areas of business, from finance to information technology, human resources and marketing.
   Due to the increased importance of management accounting, which uses both financial and non-financial
   information to direct strategic, tactical and operational decision-making, CMAs receive specialized training in
   this area.

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                                                      P a g e 19
                          COMMERCE AND ECONOMICS
Commerce and Economics students are well suited to careers related to the Finance Option.
Please refer to the Finance Specialization section for more information.


        Careers in Finance – 5 major areas:
               1. Asset Management
               2. Personal & Commercial Banking
               3. Corporate Finance
               4. Insurance
               5. Investment Banking

Asset management involves researching and analyzing potential investments and deciding where exactly to
allocate funds. Asset managers invest other people’s money wisely and profitably. Mutual fund companies, for
instance, hire asset managers; so do corporations with lots of money sitting around, banks, and high-net-worth
individuals. Asset managers use a combination of investment theory, quantitative tools, market experience,
research, and plain dumb luck to pick investments for their portfolios, ranging from high-risk stocks to
commercial real estate to cash accounts. The following are functional areas of Asset Management:

   The researcher gathers the primary source material from which investment decisions are made, such as
   SEC filings and quarterly earning reports. Asset management companies that hire fund managers pursue
   different investment philosophies, and researchers work to ensure that the fund manager has the information
   necessary to make the decisions he or she needs to make with that philosophy in mind. Seasoned
   researchers may perform higher-level analyses that lead to actual decisions about buying and selling. All
   candidates should have strong qualitative, analytical, and organizational skills.

   Analysts typically manage researchers (if a firm has researchers). Analysts take the work of researchers
   and apply higher-level financial modeling in order to make specific recommendations to portfolio managers
   about which securities to buy or sell. They may conduct more subjective research, such as meeting with
   representatives of potential investment companies in order to assess management style. Or they may pick
   the brains of sell-side analysts at brokerages and other financial institutions to gather tips about specific
   investments and to gauge overall market trends. Seasoned analysts may even participate in developing
   overall investment strategies for their investment fund.

Fund Manager
   Fund managers are the people who decide what, when, and how much to buy or sell. They must work to
   ensure that their fund’s overall investment philosophy is borne out in actual investments, and be willing to
   change course midstream if their strategy isn’t working. They must also make sure their decisions are
   executed, which means following up on the work of traders and other agents. They manage the work of
   researchers and analysts. Besides pouring over numbers, they spend a great deal of time meeting with
   managers of companies they might invest in to make more subjective managerial assessments. Finally,
   they may have to engage in a certain amount of marketing and public relations.

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   Personal banking is about meeting customers’ financial needs on a retail level. Commercial             Top Banking
   bankers perform core financial analysis to assess risk, creditworthiness, and the likelihood a         Recruiters:
                                                                                                          ∗ Bank of Canada
   business will succeed. They play a key part in deciding the best business initiatives,                 ∗ Bank of Montreal
   expanding existing businesses, developing new markets and clients, and creating new                    ∗ CIBC
   products for e-commerce, the Internet, international markets, and consumers. Retail and                ∗ Citibank
   commercial credit, checking, and lending activities may be managed separately. Separate                ∗ HSBC
   groups also handle regular loans, mortgage loans, and insurance products.                              ∗ National Bank of
                                                                                                          ∗ RBC Financial
Loan Officer                                                                                              ∗ Scotiabank
   Many bank executives launched their careers as loan officers. Loan officers determine,                 ∗ TD Bank
   based on a bank’s criteria and an ever-improving intuition and instinct, which small
   businesses and individuals get loans and which do not. Because you’re the primary business
   developer for the group, you have to love the sales aspect. There’s a fair amount of
   schmoozing in this job. If you prefer to crunch numbers in private and deal with people only
   occasionally, this isn’t the job for you. But an accounting whiz with sales skills and diplomatic
   tact will thrive.

Branch Manager
   Branch Managers are responsible for overseeing all activities at their branch including opening new
   accounts, loan origination, solving customer problems, foreign exchange and safe deposit boxes. Most
   importantly, you are responsible for establishing relationships with customers. Many branch managers have
   been promoted from the position of loan officer.

Credit Analyst
   College graduates often start as credit analysts – jacks-of-all-trades. You’ll do all the background work
   supporting the retail bank’s lending decisions. Work ranges from completing consumer and small-business
   applications to performing a preliminary analysis of borrowers’ creditworthiness. You’ll evaluate a client’s
   current financial footing, anticipated future earnings, and work with financial officers. You have to be familiar
   with the bank’s credit policies, guidelines, and regulatory issues. The ability to follow through, master
   details, and communicate with superiors and clients is key, but solid accounting skills are critical.

Trust Officer
   In this job you deliver trust services, financial products and advice to bank customers (often more upscale
   ones). Being a trust officer involves helping clients with trust services, estate planning, taxes, investing, and
   probate law and the work involves a lot of counseling. Trusts and Estates officers also work with business
   owners to make sure a family business is smoothly transferred from generation to generation.

                                                                                                    Careers in
CORPORATE FINANCE                                                                                   Corporate Finance
  A career in corporate finance means you would work for a company to help it find money            ∗   BC Hydro
  to run the business, grow the business, make acquisitions, plan for its financial future and      ∗   Canadian Tire
  manage any cash on hand. Job options include:                                                     ∗   Ernst & Young
                                                                                                    ∗   GE Capital
Divisional Financial Services                                                                       ∗   General Motors
    In this area, you work with each division’s business team to prepare financial plans, make      ∗   Pepsi
    forecasts, and compare actual financial results to forecasts. Responsibilities include          ∗   Procter & Gamble
                                                                                                    ∗   TELUS
    analyzing new business opportunities, restructuring a business, or developing a capital-
    spending program. The primary concerns are to find better ways of using company
    assets, reduce costs, and research ways to develop better forecasts. Financial services
    evaluate the risks versus potential return of any course of action and develop

                                         Researching Careers in Business
                                                      P a g e 21
   The treasury department is responsible for the company’s financing and investing activities. This
   department works with investment bankers who help the corporation raise capital with stock or bond sales or
   expand through mergers and acquisitions. Treasury also manages the pension fund and the corporation’s
   investments. The department also handles risk management, ensuring that the right steps are taken to
   safeguard corporate assets by using insurance policies or currency hedges.

Cash Management
   This is a company’s piggy bank. The cash-management group makes sure the company has enough cash
   on hand to meet its daily needs. The group also sees to it that any excess cash is invested overnight by
   picking the best short-term investment options. It negotiates with local banks to get regional business units
   the banking services they need at the best price.

Corporate Development and Strategic Planning
   Finance experts in corporate development study acquisition targets, investment options, and licensing deals.
   They assess the best firms to buy or invest in, such as pre-IPO, cutting-edge technology companies with
   complementary products that could either extend the company’s product line or mitigate a potential future
   competitor. Corporate development jobs require planning and analysis know-how skills similar to that of
   investment bankers working with merger-and-acquisition deals.

    Duties involve financial planning, accounting, financial reporting and cost analysis. Controllers get involved
    in property, revenue, benefits, derivatives, lease and joint interest accounting. They also need to develop
    forecasting models to project revenues and costs, and implement or work with a complex costing system.
    They engage in financial reengineering, transfer pricing issues or interface with auditors. This job requires
    extensive accounting experience. Often holders of this position enter a company from a Big Four accounting
INSURANCE                                                                                            Recruiters:
Jobs in insurance involve helping individuals and businesses manage risk to protect                  ∗ Chubb
themselves from catastrophic losses and to anticipate potential risk problems. You could work        ∗ Clarica
in a variety of areas in insurance including as an underwriter, a sales representative, an asset     ∗ London Life
manager, a customer service representative, or an actuary.                                           ∗ Manulife
                                                                                                     ∗ ING Insurance
   Actuaries are the blood and guts of the insurance business: number-crunchers who
   analyze the statistical probability of particular types of risks. Actuarial data is used to set
   rates, determine who will and will not receive coverage, and maintain statutory reserves.
   Actuaries can help a client company assess its pension liability or measure the probability
   of a new product line to help figure out at what level it would need to be insured.

    A claims adjuster investigates insurance claims, assesses damage, and decides whether and how much his
    or her company will pay claimants. If a house burns down, for instance, the claims adjuster would
    investigate and determine what level to pay out – and if it were a fraudulent claim, he or she would inquire
    into that as well.

Risk Management
   Risk managers work with customers to prevent accidents, which saves an insurance company from having
   to pay claims. A risk manager may help a client company with its employee-training programs and safety
   engineering to reduce workers’ compensation claims. Corporate risk managers manage their companies’
   risks, deciding how much risk exposure their operations have, and buying insurance to cover that exposure.

                                         Researching Careers in Business
                                                     P a g e 22
   Agents sell insurance directly to a customer after carefully considering the customer’s needs. They can be
   under exclusive contract to one company or work independently, representing multiple insurers. Brokers are
   similar to agents, except they represent commercial customers instead of insurance companies.
   Commercial-lines insurance companies generally have in-house salespeople whose jobs involve both selling
   to major customers and dealing with brokers.

   Underwriters evaluate applications for insurance coverage and decide whether the likely premium justifies
   the risk of carrying a particular policy. Underwriters work closely with the sales force, but their work is
   analytical, focused on determining whether a given applicant is a good (or fair, or marginal) risk, if the
   coverage limits are reasonable, and what the rate should be, based on actuarial data.
                                                                                                  Investment Banking
INVESTMENT BANKING                                                                                Recruiters:
   Investment Banks help companies and governments issue securities, help investors               ∗ BMO Nesbitt Burns
   purchase securities, manage financial assets, trade securities and provide financial           ∗ CIBC World Markets
   advice. A full-service investment bank includes three major professional divisions:            ∗ Credit Suisse First
   investment banking (which includes corporate finance, mergers and acquisitions, and              Boston
   public finance), sales and trading, and research.                                              ∗ Goldman Sachs
                                                                                                  ∗ HSBC Securities
Corporate Finance                                                                                 ∗ JP Morgan
                                                                                                  ∗ Merrill Lynch
   Investment bankers are like financial consultants for corporations. As a member of
                                                                                                  ∗ Morgan Stanley Dean
   Banking or CorpFin, you serve the sellers of securities – Fortune 1000 companies in              Witter
   need of cash to fund growth, and private companies that are looking to complete an             ∗ RBC Capital Markets
   IPO – by buying all the shares or all the bonds a company has for sale, which are then         ∗ Scotia Capital
   resold by your firm’s sales force to investors on the market. Many investment banks            ∗ TD Securities
   divide their corporate finance departments into industry subgroups, such as
   technology, financial institutions, health care, communications, entertainment, utilities,
   and insurance, or into product groups such as high-yield, private equity, and
   investment-grade debt.

    Investment bankers underwrite equity and debt (bond) offering, help firms devise and implement financial
    strategies, analyze their financial needs, and work with sales and trading departments to determine
    valuations for new offerings.

Mergers and Acquisitions
   The M&A department advises companies that are acquiring other companies or are themselves being
   bought, and works with advisory teams and lawyers to structure deals. M&A frequently works with its own
   corporate finance group to arrange the appropriate financing – usually a debt or equity offering – for a
   transaction. In many cases, all of this happens on a very tight timeline and with extreme secrecy.

    If you are seeking a career in M&A, you will likely help advise firms on merger-and-acquisition strategies,
    determine target-company valuation, help the target of a hostile acquisition arrange a defensive strategy,
    conduct due diligence on a target or acquiring company (examining the financial results and other business
    factors that affect the value of an acquisition), negotiate the price, terms, and conditions of an acquisition or
    merger, and work to structure deals.

Fixed-Income Research (bonds) and Equity Research
    Research departments are generally divided into two main groups: fixed-income research (bonds) and
    equity research. Both types of research incorporate quantitative research (corporate financing strategies,
    specific product development, and pricing models), economic research (economic analysis and forecasts of
    U.S. and international economic trends, interest rates, currency movement), and individual company

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                                                      P a g e 23
    These are “sell-side” analysts (as the banks they work for “sell” or market stocks to investors), rather than
    “buy-side” analysts, who work for the institutional investors – mutual funds, pension plans, or rich private
    investors. Both fixed-income and equity research groups stay on top of emerging new companies in the
    industry, and relay such information to the sales force, traders, and investment bankers.

    As a researcher, you’ll meet with company management and analyze a company’s financial statements and
    operations, provide updates on market trends and company performance, attend or organize industry
    conferences, speak with the sales force, traders, and investment bankers about company or industry trends,
    develop proprietary pricing models for financial products, make presentations to clients on relevant market
    trends and economic data, offer forecasts and recommendations, and watch emerging companies.

Sales and Trading
    Securities sales and trading are high profile, high-pressure roles in the investment banking industry.
    Securities salespeople and traders are independent, working on commission to bring to market the financial
    products that others create. Salespeople (also called brokers or dealers) are expected to build a “book” of
    clients through cold calling, soliciting clients or selling a particular stock or bond issue. Traders make money
    by trading securities. Although they’re the ones who transact trades for the brokers and their clients, traders
    are primarily responsible for taking a position in a security issue, and buying or selling large amounts of
    stocks or bonds using an employer’s (or their own) capital.

For more information re: Careers In Investment Banking, check out these Wetfeet Insider Guides: “Careers in
Investment Banking”, “Merrill Lynch”, “Goldman Sachs” available at the Business Career Centre.

                            GENERAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT

There is a wide range of career opportunities in general business management − from running
                                                                                                      Gen. Bus. Recruiters
your own business to working as management trainee in a Fortune 500 company. General                  ∗ CN Railway
business management demands a general understanding of business including: marketing,                 ∗ Enterprise Rent-a-
sales, accounting, human resources, finance, and logistics, coupled with a strong ability to lead       Car
teams, motivate employees, generate revenue and cut costs. Career paths typically start with          ∗ Home Depot
management trainee programs and lead to operation management or general management                    ∗ Jardine Matheson
positions. Entrepreneurial activities are well supported by a general business management             ∗ Staples
education.                                                                                            ∗ TELUS

                           HUMAN RESOURCES MANANGEMENT

Industrial Relations involves the managing issues related to union/management relations. As           HR/IR Recruiters
a professional in IRM you may work for the union or management. Your roles could include              ∗ Accenture
                                                                                                      ∗ BC Public School
research in preparation for arbitration, union/management negotiations, liaising with                   Employers’ Assoc.
management or union, and mediating disputes. Many IRM professionals pursue law degrees                ∗ Best Buy
or mediation certificates. Strong research and communication skills and a high tolerance for          ∗ Business Objects
                                                                                                      ∗ Fraser Health
stress and conflict are some of the skills necessary in IRM.                                            Authority
                                                                                                      ∗ Health Employers
                                                                                                        Assoc. of BC
Human Resources (HR) helps establish and maintain the relationship between employer and               ∗ Ipsos-Reid
employee. HR manages recruiting, benefit and compensation packages, training, personnel               ∗ Mercer
retention programs, and union/management issues. People who work in HR need to                        ∗ Pacific Blue Cross
                                                                                                      ∗ WCB
understand trends that affect workplace conditions, as well as legal issues pertaining to age,
race, and disability discrimination, health-and-safety requirements, and confidentiality. Most
areas of HR (with the exception of compensation and benefits) require you to be a people-
person, with excellent interpersonal and communications skills, and high degree of

                                         Researching Careers in Business
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HR Management
    At the top of a large organization’s HR department is the Director of Human Resources. This individual is
    an accomplished manager who is responsible for developing and implementing personnel decisions
    throughout a company. He/she works with employment managers and recruitment managers who
    oversee departments or deal with specific issues within an organization such as compensation, benefits,
    or outsourcing.

Compensation Manager
    The Compensation Manager sets the pay rates and performance pay plans within an organization.
    Surveys are conducted to compare current pay rates to others in the industry. The CM makes sure pay
    plans comply with changing laws and regulations. A keen understanding of financial planning and
    forecasting is required.

Employee Benefits Manager
    Businesses rely heavily on benefit packages to attract and retain employees. The employee benefits
    manager designs and implements benefit packages that are as favorable as possible to both employer
    and employee. Standard benefits usually include insurance plans for health, dental, life, and disability.
    Pension plans may include profit sharing, stock ownership, and savings options. The employee benefits
    manager needs to understand changing laws and regulations regarding benefit options. He/she analyzes
    and recommends benefit packages that best meet the needs of an organization and its employees.

     Recruiters work with hiring managers to define managers’ employment needs. They communicate with
     prospective employees about personnel policies, wages, benefit packages, working conditions, and
     promotional opportunities. Recruiters also screen, interview, test, and check the references of applicants.
     Technical recruiters help companies find information technology professionals. Executive recruiters
     search for key management team members such as VPs and CEOs. Recruiters need to know the best
     ways to attract potential employees. They run ads, search the Internet, attend job fairs, and interview at
     schools. Recruiters sometimes travel to interview potential applicants, and can expect to work some
     nights and weekends.

     Many larger organizations hire people to manage their employee-training programs. Responsibilities may
     include orienting new employees, providing on-the-job training, updating professional skills, preparing line-
     staff for management positions, and developing and facilitating leadership management programs.

HR Consultants
    HR consultants are hired contractors who provide advice on compensation, benefit administration,
    employee relations, training, and HR information systems. Professional entry-level positions, usually
    involving analysis or report generation, are quite competitive and exist in all categories except employee

                                      INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS

Businesses targeting foreign markets for import/export activities, as well as multi-national          Int’l Business
corporations, value an international business educational background. The International               ∗ HSBC
Business Option, in combination with any of the Commerce Options, prepares you to work in a           ∗ Export
company with an international business focus. For career opportunities, refer to careers listed in      Development Corp.
the Accounting, Finance, Management Information Systems, Marketing, Transportation
and Logistics, and Urban Land Economics Options.

                                         Researching Careers in Business
                                                     P a g e 25

Management Information Systems is the study of the design, implementation, management and            MIS Recruiters:
use of information technology applications in organizations. IT jobs break down into two general     ∗ Accenture
                                                                                                     ∗ AMEC
categories: back-end and front-end work. Back-end work involves supporting networks and
                                                                                                     ∗ BC Hydro
databases. Front-end concentrates on improving the user-interface realm, such as the design          ∗ Business
and navigation of a website.                                                                           Objects
                                                                                                     ∗ e-Scotia
Business Analyst                                                                                     ∗ HSBC
                                                                                                     ∗ IBM
   Business Analysts are responsible for the development and maintenance of systems support
                                                                                                     ∗ Microsoft
   for business processes.       It requires work with the Corporate Information systems             ∗ Philips, Hager &
   organization, Sales, Professional Services, Finance, Distribution and Marketing teams.              North
   Business Analysts determine application solutions to business requirements and develop            ∗ Telus
   detailed design specifications. They participate in the design, setup, and testing of
   application configurations to support the integrated business requirements. Also, they plan
   and conduct thorough program testing. They must work proactively in identifying and
   consolidating critical corporate information in an accurate and efficient manner and must
   provide on-going support and training for users of existing systems.

Network Administrator
   Network Administrators manage the building and maintenance of a company’s back-end technology.
   Network engineers implement a local area network (LAN) for intra-office communication and a wide area
   network (WAN) to support an Internet connection, and they ensure workstations, hubs, servers, routers, and
   switches operate smoothly. Network administrators and systems-support staff improve efficiency and output
   by building and upgrading employees’ computers, downloading software, backing up information, setting up
   e-mail accounts, and so forth. “Net admin” staff also spend a significant amount of time responding to
   emergencies such as hacker attacks or virus threats, troubleshooting new applications, and fielding a never-
   ending barrage of computer-related questions from staff members.

Database Administrator
   E-commerce and direct-marketing companies maintain huge databases on customer preferences, purchase
   histories, and demographics. Database administration includes back-end support for these information
   banks. The database administrator (DBA) develops, implements, updates, tests, and repairs a company’s
   server database. The DBA monitors performance, archives and backs-up information, assures the security
   of the confidential information stored in the system, and often manages maintenance project teams.

Web Producer
  For a company to establish an online presence, it must create and maintain a website that communicates its
  mission and promotes its product. Web producers translate the management’s vision into a graphically
  designed, HTML-coded website. They post, update, and quality check content on websites. Cooperating
  with graphic designers and a team of Web developers who code the content, Web producers establish
  objectives, goals, and plans for the site’s future. Web producers liaise with the various business functions to
  produce a site that represents the company as a whole.

Website Developer
  If you think of a Web company as an assembly line, then Web development is the final step in the process.
  Not to be confused with Web producers, Web developers engineer Internet-specific software to post and
  update information on websites. Instead of working in a programming language, developers use markup
  languages such as HTML to create pages of text, images, and hyperlinks for site visitors to use. Web
  developers code pages of text and design to make them accessible on the website.

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Quality Assurance
   The quality assurance (QA) team is the last line of defense against mistakes before a website or product is
   available to the public. In Web companies, QAs check a site’s features, interface, and navigation, ensuring
   they are bug-free and fully functional before they are posted. In computer hardware companies, QA
   engineers oversee the production process, ensuring that a flawless machine is consistently assembled.

System Administrator
   System administrators are the generalists of the information technology world: They make sure wires
   connect, software runs smoothly, and printers function properly. Part electrician, part programmer, part
   engineer, they need to know a little about a lot. Organizations rely on system administrators to purchase the
   best computers, put them together when they arrive, install software, fix them when they crash, design
   networks so everything works together, set up accounts for new employees, remove the accounts of
   departed ones, find missing e-mail, and help log on those who have forgotten their passwords.

Some companies define marketing positions broadly, encompassing everything from market               Marketing Recruiters:
research and strategy to advertising, promotions, and public relations. Other companies              ∗ Coca-Cola
have large marketing departments, with marketers dedicated to one of these roles. Some               ∗ Ipsos-Reid
marketing functions are also contracted to firms that specialize in advertising, public relations,   ∗ Kraft Canada
and market research.                                                                                 ∗ Newele
                                                                                                     ∗ Novartis
                                                                                                     ∗ Procter & Gamble
Market Research                                                                                      ∗ Rubbermaid
   Market researchers use surveys, studies, and focus groups to collect data on a brand’s            ∗ Telus
   target. Some companies have their own market-research divisions. Others hire                      ∗ Unilever Canada
   specialized firms to conduct research for them. Market researchers have both qualitative
   and quantitative analytical abilities because their job involves gathering data from human
   subjects, crunching numbers and interpreting the results.

Brand Management
   Brand management is the key function in the consumer-products industry. Traditionally, Brand Management
   is the best training ground for people interested in long-term marketing careers. Brand managers assume
   responsibility for a brand or a brand family. They distill the brand’s essence, map out the competitive
   landscape in the brand’s category, identify market opportunities, and communicate (through a public
   relations agency or advertising firm) the benefits the product delivers to consumers.

    Brand managers guide market-research studies by setting the agenda and criteria and by choosing stimuli,
    such as product-benefit statements, pictures, product samples, and video clips. They analyze the data and
    develop a marketing strategy – a short term business plan for the brand. The strategy may call for a new ad
    campaign or new products or it may outline a bold new vision for the brand. Brand managers then ensure
    that other functions (promotions, market research, research and development, and manufacturing) are
    working in concert to implement the strategy they’ve articulated.

   An advertising agency is a marketing consultant. It helps the client with all aspects of its marketing efforts –
   everything from strategy to concept to execution. On the business side of advertising most jobs fall into
   account management, account planning, and media. People in account management act as a liaison
   between the agency’s various departments and the client. They ensure ads are created within the allocated
   schedule and budget. Account planners focus on the consumers, conducting research on the target
   demographic to get to know what motivates its behavior in the marketplace. In the media department,
   planners decide where to place ads, based on that demographic data, and buyers buy the ad space.

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Promotions / Sales
   Companies in which marketing is a particularly strong function may have a dedicated promotions staff to
   create programs that unite advertising to purchasing incentives such as coupons, special discounts,
   samples, gifts, rebates or sweepstakes. Promotions staff use direct mail, telemarketing, advertisements, in-
   store displays, product endorsements, or special events as marketing channels.

Public Relations
   Public relations personnel manage communications with the media, consumers, employees, investors, or the
   general public. They are the spokespeople for their own company or for client companies, if they work for a
   public relations firm. They may write press releases to promote new products or to inform the investment
   community of financial results, business partnerships, or other organizational news. If they’re in media
   relations, they may respond to information requests from journalists, pitch stories to the media, or even
   ghostwrite pieces about the company. The goal of the public relations specialist is to portray the company in
   a flattering light, publicize its products and services, uphold its public image in a crisis, and generate positive
   buzz around its business and corporate practices.

   For more information re: Careers in Marketing, check out these Wetfeet Insider Guides: “Careers in Brand
                 Management”, “Procter & Gamble” available at the Business Career Centre.

                              TRANSPORTATION AND LOGISTICS
Transportation is an important and strategic sector of the economy. Transportation links             TLog Recruiters:
resources, industries, markets and locations; hence the performance of the transportation            ∗ Hostess Frito-Lay
system has a pervasive influence on the performance of the economy. Transportation is the            ∗ Hudd Distribution
largest component of the broader logistics sector. Logistics is the process that insures the         ∗ Maersk Sealand
availability of raw materials, in-process inventory and finished goods at the right place at the     ∗ Mountain
                                                                                                       Equipment Co-op
right time at the lowest cost. Logistics is increasingly recognized as one of the key elements       ∗ NorskeCanada
of modern business management and strategy. The Operations department ensures a                      ∗ Schenker Logistics
company operates as efficiently and economically as possible.                                        ∗ Tibbett & Britten
                                                                                                     ∗ TK Shipping
Transportation Analyst / Supply Chain Analyst
   Transportation and Supply Chain Analysts assemble data (costs, productivity, demand
   patterns), analyze performance, identify problems, and develop recommendations that
   support the management of logistics. Analysts develop periodic performance reports,
   monitor and improve current logistics processes, and coordinate delivery schedules. A
   transportation analyst is responsible for a specific logistic activity while a supply chain
   analyst is responsible for a broad range of activities.

Transportation Manager
   A transportation manager directs the effectiveness of private, third party and contract carriage systems,
   manages staff and operations to assure timely and cost efficient transportation of all incoming and outgoing
   shipments. He/she is responsible for scheduling, routing, budget administration, freight bill presentation, and
   contract negotiations. A transportation manager works with international carriers and freight forwarders to
   streamline the flow of goods across international borders and through customs.

Logistics Engineer
   A business needs to plan how work orders will be distributed throughout its organization. The logistics
   engineer is the person primarily responsible for such planning. He/she is interested in improving the
   efficiency and accuracy of order fulfillment, and will map out the process from beginning to end, always on
   the lookout for possible improvements. This is a detail-oriented position that requires strong problem-solving
   skills and an in-depth analysis of business processes.

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Logistics Manager
   Logistics managers oversee a variety of logistics functions, which include warehouse and distribution
   operations, forecasting, planning, logistics systems, customer service, and purchasing. Logistics managers
   direct daily operations and coordinate logistics personnel, as well as third party relationships with logistics
   suppliers and other members of the supply chain.

Supply Chain Manager
   The job of a supply chain manager involves reviewing existing procedures and examining opportunities to
   streamline production, purchasing, warehousing, distribution, and financial forecasting to meet product
   distribution needs. A supply chain manager directs activities to limit costs and improve accuracy, customer
   service, and safety. He/she also makes decisions regarding the movement, storage and processing of

Purchasing Manager
    Purchasing managers direct the buying activities for a company, government agency, or organization and
   coordinate other supply functions within the company. Purchasing managers identify global sources of
   materials, select suppliers, arrange contracts, and manage relationships to improve the overall efficiency of
   the logistics function. They coordinate with materials management and manufacturing to ensure timely
   delivery of the proper materials and provide analysis to increase levels of service at reduced costs.

Operations Analyst
   An operations analyst analyzes how the current operations infrastructure is working. He/she attempts to find
   areas where the system breaks down, and then finds ways to improve it. Strategies may include changing
   the work environment, changing employment policies, using different vendors, or changing the process.
   There is a great deal of administrative work involved. This is a lower-level position that answers to the
   operations manager.

Operations Manager/Director
   The operations manager or director watches over his/her department, the size and scope of which depends
   on the organization involved. A large company may have several operations managers. Their job is to
   determine how the processes in their departments should be implemented and what duties need to be
   performed. An operations manager also hires and manages lower-level staff, selects the vendors,
   completes departmental financial analyses, and determines the budget. The operations manager reports to
   the VP of operations or chief operating officer (COO).

   Consultants work with client organizations to enhance logistics performance through strategic planning,
   process re-engineering, and/or information technology implementation. They develop and manage a wide
   range of projects including global supply chain and logistics network design. Consultants also help clients
   develop the logistical tools, processes, and knowledge base needed to create customer value and a
   competitive advantage.

                              For more information on careers in TLog, check out the
                Council of Logistics Management’s “Careers in Logistics” handbook on their website.

                                                REAL ESTATE

Real estate consists of land and the natural resources and permanent buildings on it. Careers in Real Estate
include positions in real estate sales, mortgage lending, real estate investment, consulting, project development,
and city planning. Real estate analysts, agents, brokers, asset managers, assessors, property managers and
developers perform a wide variety of tasks, from buying, selling, renting, and leasing, to assessing, developing,
and managing land.

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Agents and brokers
                                                                                                           RE Recruiters:
   Agents and brokers bring buyers and sellers together, acting as intermediaries in the sale              ∗ BC Assessment
   of properties. Most agents and brokers work with residential properties such as houses                  ∗ Burgess, Austin,
   or condominiums, though some focus on commercial properties such as office complexes                      Cawley & Assoc.
   or retail space.                                                                                        ∗ Colliers Int’l
                                                                                                           ∗ Grosvenor
                                                                                                           ∗ Merrill Lynch
                                                                                                           ∗ Swire Properties
   Appraisers estimate a property’s value by inspecting it and analyzing it in comparison to
   similar properties. They gather statistics and information about the property, using
   blueprints, records, and survey drawings. Residential appraisers generally determine
   mortgage rates. Commercial appraisers counsel their clients on buying versus leasing
   properties, determining market rents, analyzing investments, appealing property-tax
   assessments and determining mortgages on commercial properties.

Mortgage Brokers
   As a mortgage broker you provide lending services to commercial and/or residential investors. If this career
   path is of interest to you, check out the Commercial Banking section of this guide.

Property managers
   Property managers oversee a property’s everyday operations, whether it is a commercial, industrial, or
   residential building. Real estate asset managers are property managers who act as a property owner’s
   agent and adviser. They focus on long-range financial planning rather than everyday activities. Many asset
   managers work for pension funds, life insurance companies, real estate investment trusts, and other
   organizations that invest in real estate.

Real estate analysis
   Analysts are involved with acquisition, disposition and financial analysis; developing presentations for real
   estate projects; managing real estate portfolios; and monitoring investments. Investment firms, pension
   funds, real estate developers, insurance companies, and real estate management firms hire analysts.

Real estate developers
   Real estate developers specialize in residential or commercial property development, from buying land to
   constructing the buildings. Corporations also hire managers to locate and develop properties. Franchise
   and chain businesses, such as fast-food restaurants, grocery stores, and retail chains, often employ in-
   house real estate specialists to select and develop new properties.

                                    MANAGEMENT CONSULTING
Management consultants advise corporations and other organizations regarding issues related
                                                                                                             Mgmt Consulting
to business strategy – from reengineering to e-commerce, change management to systems                        Firms
integration. From billion-dollar mergers and acquisitions to corporate reorganizations, they are             ∗ Accenture
the directors behind the scenes of nearly every major event in the marketplace.                              ∗ AMEC
                                                                                                             ∗ Boston Consulting
Consultants analyze a business problem from various angles and develop preliminary                           ∗ Deloitte
hypotheses for its cause, study the client’s organization, operations, customers or competition              ∗ McKinsey
to test their hypotheses, and then either recommend a solution and present it to the client, or              ∗ Monitor Group

implement it. Regardless of the task at hand, management consultants are always focused on
one thing: making a client’s business more competitive and efficient. Management consulting
firms recruit graduates for junior consultant and analyst positions, which initially involve
research and behind the scenes project administration.
For more information, check out the Wetfeet Insider Guides: “Careers in Management Consulting”, “Careers
                      in Internet Consulting”, “KPMG Consulting” available online at

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Description: Researching the Real Estate Business document sample