I just wanted to get some advice from you guys regarding my current scenario and perhaps get some feedback around my prospects of landing a job in investment banking. In particular, I am aiming to get into afirm in Singapore/HK/Shanghai in a year or two's time.
By way of background, I am currently 26 and am from Brisbane, Australia. I am of Chinese origin (moved from Hong Kong to Australia when I was young) and hence, I am fairly fluent in both Mandarin and Cantonese (speaking and reading). However, I am unable to write Chinese - which is an area of focus for me in the next two years.
In terms of education, I studied Accounting & Finance at an average university in Brisbane but managed to score fairly high marks. On top of that, I have already finished my Chartered Accounting course (obtaining merits in two subjects) and have passed two levels of the Chartered Financial Analyst Program (still awaiting my results for level three - fingers crossed!!).
I currently work in Corporate Finance at an international mid-tier accounting firm and have been heavily involved with, valuation and M&A work for mid-sized clients. Whilst I am a manager in that division, I have only really 2 years of true Corporate Finance experience as I worked as some research analyst in a tax division beforehand.
In terms of my questions:
1. I know that mosthave target schools and, unfortunately being situated in Australia.. the schools here are probably not too flash in comparison to those in the States. As a result, I was hoping to get some feedback as to what you guys think my employment prospects would be per my current situation? Do I have no chance?
2. Apart from networking, is there anything I can actually do to improve my prospects, so that I can stand out?
3. I am assuming that I will be targeting the Associate level, if I was to apply for any investment banking position. Is this assumption correct, or am I overshooting in terms of expectations?
4. Are there other options out there I should be considering (i.e. moving to a local big 4 bank and leveraging off their Asian presence for a transfer and then consider moving to a IB?)
Thank you in advance for your recommendations!