CFA, Manager, Business Development
CFA Charterholder since 2017
Taryn Page would not be where she is without her CFA designation. “Attaining my CFA has been instrumental to furthering my career, and I could not have secured my positions with the Superannuation Board and with Cardinal Capital Management without it,” she says.
The CFA program built upon the base of knowledge Taryn gained while completing her Bachelor of Commerce (Hon) degree, where she double majored in Accounting and Finance. A summer job after her third year would provide the needed exposure to the industry and solidify her decision to pursue a career in finance; and that her first step would be attaining her CFA designation. For her, the program synthesized the information she had gained while achieving her Commerce degree and augmented it with a tremendous depth of research knowledge in evaluating stocks and bonds.
The global recognition for the CFA designation is well earned. The course work and exams have a reputation for being extremely difficult and challenging, especially while working full-time. In Taryn’s case, her skills in time management were refined and challenged during her CFA studies. “It requires the peak of your time management skills to be successful in this program. I do feel that after attaining my CFA designation, there’s nothing I can’t handle. It’s given me the confidence and knowledge to write a proper research paper and the comfort to answer the questions of even the most sophisticated clients with confidence.”
Her advice to students is to take the time to do some self-evaluation to pinpoint their skills and based on their answers, determine whether a career in finance is the right fit. Often this falls somewhere between the innate, inherent traits and those collected and cultivated skills that are learned and honed over time. Her fundamental skills included lifelong curiosity, an analytical mind and a tendency to challenge the status quo. “I think being analytical is a common characteristic among those in finance; a natural curiosity and a need to question things and not accept them at face value. If you identify with that and you have a love of math and challenges; then a degree in finance followed by completion of the CFA program can take you anywhere in the world.”
One of the challenges facing the industry is to ensure that there is a diversity of voices around the boardroom table and that organizations better reflect the communities around them. Many female CFA charterholders have worked to bring awareness to the disparity and to the many opportunities available to women who pursue a career in finance. Many women choose the accounting stream because of the availability of local jobs. Taryn knew that entering a male-dominant field and tackling the traditional boy’s club attitude would be a challenge. “It’s one of those fields that young women aren’t exposed to early enough. If they excel in math, they’re usually pushed toward engineering rather than finance,” she says. “You can earn a great living in this business. It depends on how hard you want to work and how much you want to do.”
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