Career Advice after Internship/ Any London Finance Professionals

Hello! I have just finished university with a business degree, focusing on finance. I have been accepted into a finance internship in Shenzhen, China which I got myself for 2 months over the summer (I did not apply for an internship in my penultimate year as I did not know what I wanted to be yet). I have work experience next week with an ex-lehman brothers trader as a broker and that is the only finance experience I have (other than China coming up). I have almost finished a financial modeling course and I write a blog on M&A deals in my spare time. As you've probably guessed I want to break into IBD. My problem is I am not sure how to progress after I come back from China.

Are there any finance professionals in the London area who I could meet for a drink this weekend or after work next week? I would be very greatful for an opportunity to hear about your experience in the sector.

Anyone not in London, any advice for my position and what I should do after China?

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Comments (5)

Jun 1, 2014 - 7:17pm

Questions: are you native speaking Chinese? Finance internship: is it at an operating company, a bank, IB (I don't know any IB's in Shenzen but hat doesn't mean there aren't any), etc? Good uni?

You'll probably have to network your way into a gig but assuming you're fluent (because it's nearly impossible to land anything in the PRC if you're not) why not focus in China or HK? You'll be right next to HK and you can actually drive from Shenzen.

Jun 1, 2014 - 7:28pm

I do not speak Chinese unfortunately, just thought having international experience would make my CV better plus I can't get an internship at banks in London as I have graduated recently.

It is an operating company. My university isn't great but its ranking for business specifically is decent compared to other universities in London. (I know a alumni trader who was hired by Goldman Sachs and now works for a HF so it's possible). What do you think my networking strategy should be when I am out there?

Jun 1, 2014 - 9:17pm

I'm not in London but I used to live there. It may be tough to get into a BB simply because there's a much more formal recruiting process and times when they do it so even if you're not at a target and can somehow get in through networking, it's not currently recruiting season. There's some offseason recruiting but it's very much the exception. You may want to spend your time and effort for non-BB more boutique firms. I know that there were a number of smaller quality IB's when I was there that specialized in MM companies, AIM IPO's, etc and the guys I knew at those firms made decent money. There are some small nomads out there that I'd avoid and my list may be a bit outdated because I haven't done anything in London since '08, but check out places like Canaccord, finnCap, Cenko, Panmure Gordon, Numis, Brewin Dolphin, Collins Stewart (although I heard a few years ago from friends previously at those firms that their corp fin departments left), Altium, and probably a dozen others-these are just the ones I can rattle off the top of my head.

Use your alumni network as much as possible. I don't know if it's the same there as in the US, but when one comes from a non-target and has made their way in and up the ladder, one tends to pull a bit more for others from their school: for example, there are so many people on Wall St from Harvard, or City workers from OxBridge that it's a one of many alumni from your school situation. When a non or semi target sees a fellow alum, there's a better chance the more senior guy will help out the person trying to break in. Or at least that's what I've encountered and have done.

The international experience is good. I'm surprised you landed something there simply because there will be a language barrier. I did some business in Shenzen and barely anyone speaks English there, and that goes from the guy serving at the noodle shop to a crazy Chinese billionaire. While you're there, try to network in HK. You truly can drive there.

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