5 Steps to Acquiring a FINRA Sponsorship
Preparing to take a FINRA exam? Chances are…you’ll need a sponsor. If you are already affiliated with a finra sponsorship, you are in good hands. It is customary for an employer to assist individuals seeking FINRA certification or licensing to become a sponsor to support, guide and assist with applying and studying for the exam. If you do not have an employer to sponsor your efforts, read on to find 5 steps to acquiring a FINRA sponsorship.
1. Set a Calendar Timeline
The first step in finding a sponsor is found in setting your own goals. Use a setback method to determine when you want or need to take the FINRA exam, and then work your way back to the current date. How many weeks or even months will it take for you to prepare? Plan on acquiring a finra sponsorship in time to start your process on or around the date you need it to happen. This will set your intentions in concrete and help you to remain motivated to find a sponsor within your personal timeline.
2. Ask Associates and Industry Contacts
There is an old adage that states you will need to network through friends to get anywhere in life and, in this case, that may be very true. Ask associates, friends who are employed in the financial industry, and check with your former university advisors and professors. In short, make a thorough list of everyone you know who may have a conduit to a firm willing to sponsor you for the exam.
In general, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other self-regulatory organization (SRO). A self-regulatory organization (SRO) is one that has the power to set industry standards and regulations through its own efforts. For example, the New York Stock Exchange would be such an organization, as it has the power to set industry standards through its own set of guidelines and directives. Again, canvass friends, associates and any SRO contacts to determine if any have associates within the FINRA memberships or SROs who might be able to assist your efforts.
3. Utilize the FIND portal via FINRA
To access the FIND portal, you’ll need to log in to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority website at www.finra.org. Look for the FIND portal and access the information to log in on that site page, as well. Scroll through the directory, checking for potential sponsoring firms throughout, noting specialties of interest, candidates who are being sought for various positions, and those firms that may be willing to craft a mutually-beneficial agreement on both sides for a sponsorship position. Check throughout the site, as you’ll discover interesting articles and blogs. Register to receive trending information, as well.
4. Ask a Sponsor to Consider a Return Trip
As you become acquainted with other individuals who are in the process of studying for a FINRA exam, determine when their exams will be taken. Ask to meet with the FINRA firm sponsoring them and ask about extending that relationship to one that will begin when their current relationship ends, in other words, you’ll take advantage of the same sponsor on a “return trip” to the beginning of the process once again. Envision the role or service you can provide while in a sponsorship position. What can you offer in return? You may be willing to work for a predetermined amount of time after completing the exam. Remember that you are selling yourself within the FINRA industry and a valuable amount of knowledge that goes with you.
5. Market Yourself Within the Financial Industry
Although this may be an awkward position to consider, you may need to market your capabilities and skills to a firm within the financial industry and work for that firm until such time as the firm executives will consider you ready for a FINRA exam. Sponsorships are typically obtained in this fashion; it may be the portal through which you’ll need to pass, as well. Consider choosing a firm that specializes in the financial area of your personal interest to gain experience and knowledge while employed and give the best efforts in every endeavor. Marketing yourself and your skills, while uncomfortable initially, will lead to expanded industry relationships and a direct path to sponsorship of a FINRA exam.
Whether checking with friends and associates, researching FINRA website portals, requesting that a known sponsor take on your quest, or marketing your own skills until you find the right sponsor, making the FINRA exam your goal and completing it will put the stamp of accomplishment on your lifetime resume.