Finally cut it

Guys, So I finally cut it 3 years after graduating from undergrad, and I would like to share my story to you guys as this forum has been staying with me along the way and indeed the break-in cases here keep on pumping gas into me whenever I got rejected.

A bit about my background:

I was an international student studying in a regional business school in New England. Before I went in, I thought it was at least a semi-target school until I learnt the cruel truth that it's considered non-target after going through some of the posts on this forum. I was a total idiot back at school, didn't work hard enough to get a 3.5+ GPA, not networking enough with all the possible alumni connections in the banks, too hurry to graduate (I finished the college within 3 years taking summer and winter sessions), and not having decent internships experience.

Interviews:

Until the last few months of my college life, a relative worked in a BB in Hong Kong doing ECM called up asking me what I was up to after college. Literally I got no idea at the moment and he helped with everything including scratching my CV from ground up and made the reference to the bank. And yea, I got several rounds of interviews; however, it didn't turn out to produce an offer as I wasn't technically competent to get the offer. Knowing what I know now, I wish I had invested in the WSO IB Interview Prep Pack...especially the technical portion.

Attempt at consulting:

Then I tried to find a job in the states as I think I might got more finance opportunities open there, but at the same time my Visa status restricted me from being hired by smaller shops, as most of them would not want to sponsor a foreign student. Roughly after 9 months unemployed, I decided to go back to my home country, and my mom's connection hooked me up with a job doing consulting in Big 4.

Excited at the beginning, but soon I find it boring and I realized that I might still wanna do finance so I thought moving to Hong Kong would be the shot I gotta take as it's more flourished with the opportunities. Then I quit after a year in consulting joining a one of the big 3 reinsurance brokers (where they also hired me and promised a lot) in Hong Kong.

After a year there, I picked up most of technical knowledge and dealt with both sides of the markets, and I became bored again. Everyone in the company said that I did a great job but very limited exposure and upward mobility were given due to the size of the industry (Reinsurance is very undeveloped in China, as the company's focus is China though based in Hong Kong).

ER Analyst Job:

I started to look again and find an ER analyst job in a local MM brokerage House online. Sent in the CV, got the phone interview asked me to prepare for a case, I met the head of research dept and told him the story straight. I was lucky enough that he was rebuilding the department and wanted to take on some new kids from other industries while beared the basic accounting and finance concepts. After the interview he asked me to write a ER report and sent to him within 2 days, which I spent all the rest of the spare time working on it and telling myself don't miss the shot this time. A week after, I was offered a position.

Conclusion:

I'm currently serving my notice period, and will join the new firm in two weeks. Words can't express how excited I am right now then I finally made it to this industry and I think I will really treasure the opportunity. I just hope my post will keep on inspiring the other fellows that don't give up your hope on breaking in.

At the same time, I want to remind the kids that still in college (I think most of the readers here are still in college) that don't waste your time there fooling around as it's gonna be a lot harder to get in after graduate. It costs me another 3 years after school just to get a job here. And I'm considered lucky.

Please provide me any career advice and feel free to ask questions

Best,
skw910824

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Comments (29)

Sep 7, 2016 - 11:42am

Good question. I thought about it too but I couldn't come up with a definite answer yet. However, I think I can start it from here and see if my mind changes maybe switch to buy side or keep my way up as sell side analyst or even get a decent MBA. I'd appreciate your comments.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
Sep 7, 2016 - 11:43am

No it's in HK. I think I mentioned it in the OP.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
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Sep 7, 2016 - 1:20pm

True. I was kinda grateful on that one too. That's why I think I'm lucky.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
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Jun 19, 2017 - 12:22am

Surely since OP received help from others, he's not entitled to any pride stemming from what he's accomplished.

Just curious vik2000 , what was your upbringing like? What kind of schools did you go to growing up? Where did you matriculate?

By the way - if I had a nickel for every big 4 consultant I know who got in "on merit" and is now taking adderall at work just to keep pace with the bare minimum and thereby fund their Sunday brunch outings, the rat race would be over for me.

Array

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Sep 7, 2016 - 3:04pm

you probably dont need to work if you're from HK and your parents have all these connections though do you

What concert costs 45 cents? 50 Cent feat. Nickelback.

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Sep 7, 2016 - 10:56pm

I think part of the reason I'm posting this one is coz that I wanted to remind some of the kids that still in school dreaming of working a decent wall street job to stop just dreaming but get the feet on the ground. I really appreciate my family's help after I spent 9 months in a foreign country without a legit job (I worked part-time tho for an accounting firm). I admit that without being a bit more privileged I might spend much longer time to break in or even have to get a MBA to do so. That makes it, again, a lesson to me and perhaps an example some kids wanna avoid. Coming from a different cultural background and picking up the things that I never thought I would bump into are the challenges when I first came to the states for study. And it kinda left me somehow anti-social and sheltered myself in my own apartment at the time. However, now I think things are getting better everyday and I'm much more comfortable with myself, so I can share my story to you and hopefully make some positive impact here.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
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Sep 13, 2016 - 9:48pm

i think if you are working in hong kong, your mentor/senior analyst plays a crucial role in your development, and it's hard to find a good one in the smaller (in terms of market share) brokeages. There are a lot of analysts covering small mid cap stocks, but most of them spend all day writing low quality non-rated research that get to nowhere or only retail clients. make sure you've read reports written by your seniors or ex-employees to see how good they are.

Sep 18, 2016 - 5:18am

You are right that a lot of times that we gotta even write something to retail clients to just keep us there. Are you currently working in HK? Pls PM me if you are, I need advices. Thanks man.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
Jun 16, 2017 - 7:42pm

The big-4 consulting gig you got - was it in China or HK? Congrats on breaking in the industry!

Observe. Learn. Share.
Jun 21, 2017 - 1:22am

It was in Shanghai.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
Jun 19, 2017 - 12:03am

Congrats on finally getting to the starting gate you wanted to be in OP.

Don't worry about all the salty GS-or-bust haters in this thread. With rare exception, they've had their unfair advantages in life as well, which they have no doubt exploited as thoroughly as possible for their own benefit (if they were smart). I invite any one of them to return the SAT prep, food, shelter, and role models that were afforded to them if they think they're such hot shit. Alternatively, perhaps they ought to admit their advantages to themselves, and accordingly, act with a little more charity before rushing to judge others.

Best of luck to you in your new role!

Array

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Jun 21, 2017 - 1:22am

Thanks man appreciate that.

Everyone has a plan until he got punched in the mouth.
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Jun 22, 2017 - 10:52am

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