Career advice in Asia?

Dear monkeys,

i'm a rising senior at McGill with a lot of diversified work experiences and a very low gpa..
I want to break into banking in SG or HK but i really don't know how orwhere to start.

Fortune 100 - HR strategy summer analyst
E-Sports Startup - Communications intern
PwC - Busy Season Operations Intern
Accenture MC - FPM Off Cycle Intern
Accenture MC - Strategy Summer Analyst
Dad's TMT R&D Lab - Corporate Strategy Intern
Accenture MC - Change Management Summer Analyst

I've also interned for a political campaign, a newspaper and an smartphone application startup
I did not include these as they could potentially upset someone with a different sociopolitical view

Also, I'm still 21 years old yet somehow ended up with many different internship opportunities both full time and part time, allowing me to experience plethora of diversified industries and operational groups; but none of them seems to really relate much to investment banking in Asia except the Accenture MC Strategy one where I worked on a DCF projection model and Financial performance management internship at the same firm.

Above internships were done in either East Asia or in east coast of Canada. (non-china/HK east asia)

How can i make myself presentable to IB recruiters?

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Comments (5)

Jul 21, 2014 - 2:01am

How low is your GPA? I would suspect you'd have a hard time landing a FT position in the states yet alone in HK/SG with what you've posted so far. It's not impossible though. Would require alot of networking and killing your interviews. Maybe your dad has a few friends he can refer you to.

Jul 22, 2014 - 8:46am

I have a return full time offer from ACN but i'm not quite sure if MC is where my heart lies as my career goal is VC and ACN does not have a avery good track record of sending alumni off to the VC firms.

Also McGill is definitely not a target school in asia,,which does not help very much either

umm GPA is a 3.0/4.5 which is unimpressive but a very high upward curve from 1.4 -> 3.0 from first year until now.

Well dad already landed me internships at F100 and PwC but i dont think he knows anyone in the banking industry nor would I be willing to ask when its a serious life time commitment. I would love to show that I can do things on my own now.

My networking efforts comprise of mostly PE associates who cant help me into the PE industry since most of the PE funds in Asia operate with very small number of people and those friends might be able to help me land some interviews with MM/Boutiques they were at which I am going to ask in the upcoming weeks.

Best Response
Jul 21, 2014 - 4:11am

A 3.0 is fine. It's not going to get you any interviews and it might get you dinged next to higher GPAs, but if someone pushes your resume in the pile - no one will take a second glance, is my guess and at thatn point it's all about the interview.

As for those friends at PE shops, they can definitely help you (though it depends on what you want). If they can help with smaller shops (ie. banks), great. Why don't you ask them to give you their boss/head of fund's name - if they don't want to actually introduce you? You can then email the bossman and say that you heard about him/her from your friend, but are reaching out on your own (or some form of this...) and are looking for an internship (try to make it at least 6 months), or want to learn more about the industry/their path etc. If they are not comfortable with that, then look up the bossman yourself and try to set up a meeting? Especially at smaller funds in Asia, people do take on interns though there might be no formal program in place. You won't get bank pay, if any at all, but will get good experience, learn a lot (hopefully) and can network into banking from there. Or heck you might just find yourself in PE direct with no need to go through banking...

Have you asked your corporate contacts? I am sure they know people in banking, either as they might be bank clients or have friends/acquaintances in banking that they could introduce you to...

Also - why Asia? I'm not going to go over the good and bad of it - which I have done a lot in other threads (just look up some of my posts if you are so inclined)...

good luck

I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
  • 3
Jul 21, 2014 - 4:34am

Thank you Jamoldo for your insight!

1. GPA, I am hoping to increase to 3.3~ ish in my senior year if that is at all possible! I have finished my major program so I will only be taking electives to fill in the credits. I do regret very much on slacking off HARD in freshman and sophomore year. As of now, its not denominated on my resume.

2. PE friends are umm quite peculiar cases themselves. They are mostly from local power houses (think of it as BBVA in spain or somewhat equivalent) but most those shops have comparatively small IBD groups (anywhere from 2~15). I will most definitely ask them to help set up a meeting with their former bosses or their friends in the IB industry.

From my understanding, it is a terrible idea to go into buyside w/o sellside exp in East Asia as most deals are done through connections made while you are a sell side analyst/associate. I also do not believe my friends in PE (whom I drink with and club with perhaps once a month ish... so quite close. close enough to ask for favors at least) have the authority to hire analysts directly into their firms when I have basically no IB experience.

I actually have not asked my corporate contacts due to both personal and professional reasons. I do not wish to compromise my nor Accenture/PwC's integrity by asking old clients for help when I have a standing offer from a consulting firm. Would it still be a good idea?

Asia because,
1. My family is mostly in Asia and I want to be able to spend more time with them as I have studied abroad since I was a child.
2. Dad's company is a TMT R&D firm located in HK (korean based), and I want to help his company to the best of my abilities which compels me to get used to the asian markets and industries here.
3. I realize that paygrade is much lower here compared to NYC/London but well for one I havent had any luck landing a single interview with BB/Boutiques in London or NYC very sadly... and also given the chance, I would like to get my MBA in Asia which I believe is a bit easier (acceptance wise) with asian market exposure.

Jul 22, 2014 - 3:28am

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I used to do Asia-Pacific PE (kind of like FoF). Now I do something else but happy to try and answer questions on that stuff.
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