Help needed! Networking in Hong Kong, having a tough time.

dilemma008's picture
Rank: Monkey | 59

I am very interested in working in Hong Kong next summer and have been cold-emailing for the past couple weeks, I did get several responses and had couple phone chats with bankers there, but response rate has been extremely low. I am serious about working in HK and I am willing to make a trip there to meet some people if I can set up enough informational interviews. Unfortunately, there are very few people from my school that work in HK, and even fewer work in banking. I have been pretty frustrated so far, but I will keep trying. In the mean time, for all you monkeys out there who had experiences networking in HK or anyone who was able to break into IB in HK through networking, I would really appreciate it if you could share your experiences with me. I would really appreciate any advices, thanks in advance!

Comments (10)

Aug 11, 2013

Hi mate,

I managed to network and got EXTREMELY lucky in landing an internship for bank in HK, working on the Equity S+T Desk. I got it through contact old alumni from my school, I have no Asian contacts or anything so that's why I say it was lucky, but hey I guess you make your own luck in life.

My advice would be...unless you really cannot get ANYTHING in banking at all in HK - dig up some alumni in other industries. I can gaurntee that when you get to HK the place is like a goldmine to network, after work go to Wyndham Street, some bars like Sevva etc. and you will 100% get chatting to people who are in the biz..that is when it is your chance to try and get something more related to what you want to do. Are you a westerner? Because I found that being westerner in HK only made things better in the sense that people were geniunley interested in why I was out here etc. (You also get to walk into some of the 'exclusive' clubs for free, alas Boujis etc. again decent crowd if you want to chat with some traders and bankers etc.)

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Aug 11, 2013
Mont:

Hi mate,

I managed to network and got EXTREMELY lucky in landing an internship for bank in HK, working on the Equity S+T Desk. I got it through contact old alumni from my school, I have no Asian contacts or anything so that's why I say it was lucky, but hey I guess you make your own luck in life.

My advice would be...unless you really cannot get ANYTHING in banking at all in HK - dig up some alumni in other industries. I can gaurntee that when you get to HK the place is like a goldmine to network, after work go to Wyndham Street, some bars like Sevva etc. and you will 100% get chatting to people who are in the biz..that is when it is your chance to try and get something more related to what you want to do. Are you a westerner? Because I found that being westerner in HK only made things better in the sense that people were geniunley interested in why I was out here etc. (You also get to walk into some of the 'exclusive' clubs for free, alas Boujis etc. again decent crowd if you want to chat with some traders and bankers etc.)

Let me know if you have any more questions.

Hey Mate,

Thanks for the response, I am asian so I guess I can't really walk into 'exclusive' clubs for free then... but I will definitely try going to those bars and see if I get any luck. Any recommendations in terms of how to approach people there, I am assuming they usually go with their co-workers and hang out together.

Thanks in advance,

Aug 11, 2013
dilemma008:

Hey Mate,

Thanks for the response, I am asian so I guess I can't really walk into 'exclusive' clubs for free then... but I will definitely try going to those bars and see if I get any luck. Any recommendations in terms of how to approach people there, I am assuming they usually go with their co-workers and hang out together.

Thanks in advance,

Ah ok, in terms of how to approach people. Most of the time I went to bars with traders and sales people and they seem to know bloody everyone haha and got introduced through people like. If you can, go to a bar with someone is well known and high up, I went for drinks with an MD and Head of Sales at a BB and I walked into the bar with the guy, and literally everyone came up to him and said hello, managed to speak to loads of HF managers that night, one in particualr who I am probably going to go out to HK again and intern at..so it just goes and shows. I also went out on my own and just got chatting to people, though I was pretty drunk that nothing really came about it....the best way though, is as I say go with people from work etc. just make sure you go out of comfort zone and just try to chat to as many people as possible, the thing you will quickly realise about HK is that everyone has a gd time in the evenings, there's a big buzz in the evenings and everyone is so work driven that people are chatting about opportunities, markets etc. the whole time...It's a bloody fantastic place to be, make sure you make the most of it.

Aug 11, 2013

The hiring climate for banking now in HK is not good, so manage your expectations there. You need to get up and go there for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two. No alumni connections? No connections to anyone at the banks? What about connections at the American Club, American Chamber of Commerce, or the British and Australian counterparts of these organizations? Those are just a few ideas where some power brokers/decision makers can be found at. Then, assuming you're confident and sociable, go out with a buddy and check out Lan Kwai Fong or another nightlife area where the expats like to hang out at and get a feel for it. Find out where the business functions (i.e. equity trading conferences) are being held at and attend. Just my .02

Aug 11, 2013
Red Barchetta:

The hiring climate for banking now in HK is not good, so manage your expectations there. You need to get up and go there for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two. No alumni connections? No connections to anyone at the banks? What about connections at the American Club, American Chamber of Commerce, or the British and Australian counterparts of these organizations? Those are just a few ideas where some power brokers/decision makers can be found at. Then, assuming you're confident and sociable, go out with a buddy and check out Lan Kwai Fong or another nightlife area where the expats like to hang out at and get a feel for it. Find out where the business functions (i.e. equity trading conferences) are being held at and attend. Just my .02

I do have a little bit of connections in HK, but I am trying to speak with more people there so I have been emailing people who I have no connections with except maybe ethnicity. I am finding it quite difficult because cold-email response rate has been very low, I guess I probably have to go over there and try network at LKF or some bars that many bankers hang out at. Any places in particular you would recommend me to go? Many thanks!

Learn More

7,548 questions across 469 investment banks. The WSO Investment Banking Interview Prep Course has everything you'll ever need to start your career on Wall Street. Technical, Behavioral and Networking Courses + 2 Bonus Modules. Learn more.

Aug 11, 2013

In terms of bars, all the ones on Wyndham street. Wagyu, Solas, Pulp and the opposite Solas can't remember the name, ran by a rather attractive Irish girl who is golden has tons of contacts, knows everyone and people always go back - had some great nights in these places, and met some of the biggest names in finance. In terms of other places, Sevva - for sure. Where alot of the HF guys hang out, also met a few GS guys here. People say LKF is good, but I disagree. People go to LKF for other shiz, not to chat and network. The Amarni bar in Central was pretty decent aswell, kl setting. didn't spk to people there but it had a similar crowd to other places...

Also alot of young bankers hang out in the bars along mid - levels. Cannot remember the names but they are easy to spot and find and are actually some of the nicer places to chill.

Aug 11, 2013
dilemma008:
Red Barchetta:

The hiring climate for banking now in HK is not good, so manage your expectations there. You need to get up and go there for a few weeks, maybe even a month or two. No alumni connections? No connections to anyone at the banks? What about connections at the American Club, American Chamber of Commerce, or the British and Australian counterparts of these organizations? Those are just a few ideas where some power brokers/decision makers can be found at. Then, assuming you're confident and sociable, go out with a buddy and check out Lan Kwai Fong or another nightlife area where the expats like to hang out at and get a feel for it. Find out where the business functions (i.e. equity trading conferences) are being held at and attend. Just my .02

I do have a little bit of connections in HK, but I am trying to speak with more people there so I have been emailing people who I have no connections with except maybe ethnicity. I am finding it quite difficult because cold-email response rate has been very low, I guess I probably have to go over there and try network at LKF or some bars that many bankers hang out at. Any places in particular you would recommend me to go? Many thanks!

Haven't been in these neighborhoods in recent years (no longer located in Asia), so not sure what the "in" spots are these days. Go with the info others have mentioned in this thread.

Oct 13, 2013

Currently in Singapore, but I am wondering how important is Cantonese and Mandarin in networking and while on the job? Would definitely love to work in HK as that was were I grew up.

Oct 13, 2013
Comment