Clueless: What's Wrong?
Hello--after months of interviews for Summer Analyst positions that did not end up well, I ‘m trying to reassess myself and prepare for future ones. This is a student majoring in Economics at an Ivy school who has been working his ass off since his return to study last Fall from a 2-year S. Korean military service.
I've wanted to work in finance for quite a while, and knew exactly what to do: network like crazy, gain relevant experience, follow the market, hone modeling/quantitative skills, build a consistent story, and rock the interviews.
I knew that for many banks, there isn’t much incentive to hire a foreigner over an American with similar credentials. Quite understandable—finance isn’t rocket science after all; unless you are some superstar, the work you do as an analyst don’t require all that too great degree of intelligence, so banks better hire ones whom they will be most comfortable with. Not to mention things like the $6,000-ish Visa application fee and grunt documentation work for each foreign employee.
Anyway, knowing that, I really wanted to be such a superman, excelling at everything so that banks want to hire me over my American friends, and I can say I’ve become close to one.
Only that I don’t have an offer--
So I am clueless; I seem to do well on every criterion I can think of—my story, familiarity with finance/markets, quantitative stuff, interpersonal skills etc. Am I missing something fundamental that is preventing me from an offer?
Here are some possible reasons I thought of:
- Cultural fit? -- this is possibly one area that I’m doing wrong without realizing. I have no problem interacting with my American friends, professors, etc., and I think I interact fine with professionals, but I won’t know.
- Too smart/overqualified/not focused set of skills? -- maybe; I’m able to juggle with a lot of things, partly out of such pressure mentioned before; things like my crazy GPA/SAT scores, taking PhD level Econ courses, having done 2 banking internships and being familiar with modeling and finance in general, proficiency at computer programming (Java), etc
- Lack of focus? maybe; started with banking but branched out to buy-side and more quantitative positions. But there is a good story this; I want to ultimately build my own semi-automated investment system that is both quantitative and value-based, and am trying to find the right middle steps. Also I need to hedge my chances well because of above-mentioned reasons.
- Not my fault/ bad job market / it’s just that hard for foreigners so keep trying? -- Probably
What do you think is the real problem which I can improve on?
I would really appreciate your feedback on this.