Virginia Tech Pamplin Departments

Banking & Financial Institutions Management

Banking and Financial Institutions Management (checksheet)

This option prepares students for a variety careers related to commercial banking. Many of the career paths involve working within various areas of banking. However, this option can prepare students for other career paths related to banking, such as opportunities with government agencies that regulate and provide funding for the banking system, as well as careers in real estate, which is usually financed by banks.

Commercial Banking

Commercial Banking encompasses a variety of finance career paths that involve working for commercial banks. Commercial banks are financial institutions that take deposits from individuals and businesses and then earn money on those deposits by lending the money to individuals and businesses. Those loans can take many forms, including mortgages, business loans, car loans, and loans through credit cards. In addition to making loans, commercial banks offer numerous other services, including checking accounts, private banking (banking for wealthy people), credit cards, letters of credit, and cash management services for businesses. Commercial banks come in a variety of sizes, ranging from small local banks with only a handful of branches, up through regional banks such as BB&T and SunTrust, to international behemoths such as Bank of America.

Within Commercial Banking, there are a wide variety of career opportunities for finance majors. Some of these roles are more analytical in nature. Some focus on sales and customer relationships. Others involve managing people, processes and business operations within a bank. Yet other jobs involve dealing with laws and regulators. You can also divide the jobs into ones that deal with individuals and those which deal with corporate clients and their businesses.

Because of the wide variety of roles available within commercial banks, some banks have their new employees go through a rotational training program so that they gain a variety of experience, learn how the different jobs all fit together, and gain a better idea of which job is the best fit for them.

The following is a list of some of the most common types of jobs for finance majors within commercial banks:

Loan Officer/Relationship Officer
Credit Officer
Other Bank Products and Services for Business Customers
Consumer Banking/Branch Management
Private Banking
Trusts and Estates
Credit Cards
Risk Management

Banking-Related Government Career Paths

The Financial Services Management Option also provides excellent preparation for students who are interested in pursuing jobs with government agencies that regulate banks, as well as financial institutions affiliated with the US government. There are a number of institutions within the Federal Government that provide banking services and other that regulate and interact with commercial banks. Finance professionals often start at a government agency, gain significant experience, and then transition to the private sector. The following are career paths in the government sector for which the Investment Management Option is appropriate:

Regulatory Agencies
Government Financial Institutions
Law Enforcement Agencies

Real Estate

The real estate industry contains thousands of finance professionals who perform a wide variety of jobs, from the up-front process of planning and financing a project, through the various stages of its construction, to its ongoing management once it has been built and occupied. One aspect that most real estate projects have in common is that they require financing, which is most often supplied by banks. As a result, understanding how banks work and provide financing is an excellent way to prepare for a finance career in real estate. Virginia Tech’s Finance Department offers a course in Real Estate Finance (FIN 4154). The university also offers a Real Estate Minor, which includes real estate-related coursework from a number of areas of the university.

The following are a few of the more common roles for finance professionals within the real estate field:

Real Estate Development
Real Estate Finance
Project Management
Property Management
Real Estate Investing