How to fit in IB culture - advice needed

How do you fit into a team's culture if you feel that your personality is quite different from everyone else?

For context, I am a 2nd generation Chinese-Australian. I recently received a return offer from an EB IB firm, which was surprising given my experience. Firstly, it was a huge culture shock; everyone in the team, including the other intern, was brought up with "class" and "refined taste" (my own words). For example, every single person came from a private school, knew every high end dish/meal (embarassing for me when we went out for team dinners), had expensive hobbies and tastes (such as wines, beachhouse trips, being part of Melbourne Cricket Club). Essentially, it is really hard to relate to my team, and can be quite awkward unless in a group environment. Not awkward in the sense I was socially incapable, but that conversation was very polite and the rapport wasn't as strong as when I saw the intern interacting with the others.

Everyone was really nice, including the other intern who I adored, but I couldn't help feel like a complete outsider. I've lived in Australia my whole life, but simply have not had the same lived experiences as the team.

Would you recommend I try to completely transform my character? Or try to simply accept it, and build on it (if so, how?). I understand I should have expected this coming into IB, and know that this is a people-business at the end of the day (whether its IB or buyside). That's why I feel this is a point that is extremely important / would like to work on.

Apologies for the lengthy post - would appreciate any advice!

Comments (1)

Jun 21, 2022 - 8:52pm
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