Hi all I just wanted to get some advice from people who work in IBD and in Asia in particular. (Sorry for the walls of text).
After a few months of browsing these forums, reading books and talking to people in finance I have decided to take the plunge into finance and aim for an IBD internship at a BB firm in Singapore/HK/Shanghai for the end of next year.
I am from Sydney, Australia and am a non-finance graduate. After I finished University I came to Beijing to study Chinese where I been for the past year. I feel I will be fluent in Chinese after one more year. Next year I will be studying a Masters of Commerce majoring in Finance and Accounting at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
My main reason for studying Chinese is the opportunity I see in Asia and more specifically China in the long term. However, I believe that salaries in finance in Shanghai/Beijing are still quite low on an international level so I am looking towards somewhere such as HK which has a strong relationship with mainland China.
So my questions:
- What will be my difficulties breaking into IB considering I am not an undergraduate and will be around 25 (and most likely with little to no finance experience) when I start applying for internships?
- I have extended family who have high-level contacts in finance in Asia. Will it be frowned upon if I ask my family to help me get my foot in the door in finance? I am not sure how this varies between East and West.
- Do they favour locals considerably more in cities such as Beijing/Shanghai/Hong Kong?
- How can I maximise my chances of securing an IBD internship? I am confident in being able to maintain a high GPA, have already planned which extra-curricular activities/university clubs to participate in, have a list of finance and non-finance books that I have started to read and planned which networking events to attend in Sydney etc. How can I most effectively allocate my time?
- "Informal" internships. In the industry I previously studied in internships were not very structured - it was a matter of cold calling a company. In finance there seems to be a very structured process with most internships held over the summer. What kind of shorter-term finance experience should I be aiming for before applying for an IBD internship?
- A bit of a broader question - how does working in IBD in Asia vary from IBD in the west?