Valentina Solinas Accuracy

Meet Valentina Solinas, a young professional with an impressive career and not-your-traditional finance profile. Dive into her journey and find out how she succeeded to break into finance. But as she mentioned, “always take advice with a grain of salt – remember that while advice from people with more experience can be useful, they are merely guidelines and not rules set in stone”.

Trial and error: Valentina’s path towards Corporate Finance

Pursuing a career in Corporate Finance later in your professional path is as difficult as it gets – some even say impossible. With a Master’s in Security Policies and a first job in Banking Supervision, Valentina’s journey was definitely not easy. 

After working in Banking Supervision, Valentina wanted to move to the private sector. She applied for a position at Morgan Stanley but realised it was not the right fit for her.  Even though Valentina was part of a financial institution, her back-office job was far from what she actually liked: crunching numbers and working closely with people. 

But with the right attitude, network and knowledge, Valentina finally managed to break into finance and start a job that she liked. She is now a Financial Advisory Analyst at Accuracy. Accuracy solves strategic financial challenges, helping companies with financial due diligence, financial modelling, and more. 

Where it all started

When asked how her interest in corporate finance sparked, she said it was during her studies when she took accounting, international finance and corporate finance classes. At that time, she did not think she could break into finance, because her degree was not directly related to this field. 

“When I came to Frankfurt, the financial capital of Germany, I met people working in investment banking and private equity and became very interested in their work. I started reading about those sectors and particularly loved keeping up with the latest news on M&A deals and learning about financial modelling. This helped broaden my understanding and financial vocabulary and made me realise I wanted to work in that sector.”

So, how did Valentina land her job in Corporate Finance?

Despite her atypical background, Valentina decided that she would try to break into finance anyway. And she made it. Surely , it was not easy:

“​​It took time, and it wasn’t so straightforward. I understood I wanted to work in finance once I finished university, but my work experiences didn’t point me towards a career in corporate finance. I spent many months frustrated and regretting the master’s degree I chose. Everyone told me I would never land a job without a finance degree and relevant internships. Luckily, I can be very stubborn, so even if I may not have had the “typical” profile, I still thought I could make the switch. 

“Funnily enough, I landed my job thanks to social media. On Instagram, I follow an account called “M&A Associate” and through this page, I discovered Female x Finance and what they do. Female X Finance introduced me to Accuracy, where I work now. It happened by chance when I was starting to lose hope.”

Common struggles and advice

At the end, “where you start your career is not necessarily where you will end”. Being unsure about your professional path, changing your mind various times, and feeling frustrated, we have all struggled with this. But sometimes, trying different things is essential to understand what you like and don’t like. Moreover, when starting your career, it is crucial to take the time to research the company, reach out to the people that work there to get insights and understand whether they will be the right fit for you. She considers this to be a lot more important than how ‘prestigious’ a company is. 

Valentina also pointed out that many women in finance, especially those without a related study background, experience the impostor syndrome. She found herself experiencing this from time to time: she was doubting her financial knowledge and felt less qualified or deserving to be where she is now.

“However, at the end of the day, I remember that if they chose me over another candidate, there was a reason, and even if my profile is different, this diversity can be a strength.”

Here are some key takeaways from our chat with Valentina for your career path:

  1. Confidence, humility, perseverance: Be confident in your skills, know what you can do and know your self-worth, but at the same time be humble above all else. You will make many mistakes throughout your career, but never get defensive when someone points them out; acknowledge them and view them as a learning opportunity.” 
  2. Don’t expect it to go smoothly: Career development is not as linear as we expect it, so it is crucial to persevere even during the hard times, especially when we feel as if things aren’t progressing as planned.”
  3. “Network a lot, but do it smartly”: When networking, keep focusing on building and nurturing genuine relationships that last throughout your entire career and will enrich you.

There are many Finance options out there, which can be daunting at times.

Book a career consult with us, and together, we will figure out the best move for your career path.