How can a CS grad get a buy-side gig?
I am a fresh graduate with a degree in computer science, but with only some academic research and non-finance data science experiences on my resume. Since investing is what I want to do long-term, and I think that getting a job where the bulk of the time spent doing that job would let me build up knowledge for that long-term goal is what makes the most sense, I naturally came to the conclusion that working on an investment role in a hedge fund would be a good place for me to shoot for. A second choice for me may be a quant role in either sell-side or buy-side where I could apply my CS skills.
However, in the last year in my job search I have come across significant hurdle, which I think very little is related to Covid. I have only got invitation to answer math questions on the web for some quant roles at market-maker type of firm, but never got to the next round. For more investing-related analyst role, I just got told that my experience and background are just not what they are looking for, if they bothered to give me a response at all (some very nice and honest HR did).
Personally, I think that the biggest hurdles, and some related questions are:
1) I am an international on F-1 OPT, which means I have to answer "Yes" on that "Will you now or in the future require sponsorship?" question, even though I don't need the company to apply H-B for me, as I can rely on OPT for the next 2-3 years. But what kind of hedge fund shops (a lot of them I found consist of only 20-30 people) would realistically consider people with such profiles?
2) No relevant internship experience to back it up. I have only one or two lines on my resume in the "Skills" or "Courses" section that mention financial accounting,, , plus some credentials from Coursera. Even though I spend lot of time educating myself by reading finance-related stuff like , Journal and FT, I don't know how to showcase what I have learned. How can I turn this disadvantage around, other than putting on some more credentials like CFA?
3) Too little network. To be fair, I didn't apply myself enough on this, and so far I have only contacted people through LinkedIn, which I learned recently that it is not so ideal. It's actually better to find people on LinkedIn, but contact them through emails instead. I am also not so good at this game. For example, I recently found some data analyst role at some hedge fund that I think might fit my background, but I don't really know who to contact and how. (There are only MDs, IR people, and analysts shown on their LinkedIn.) I also feel that it's good practice to build a network before you need it, not when the job is open. I admit that I am totally clueless on this, what should I do next so that I won't continue to spin on my wheels?
For the moment, I am on a remote data science role that is pretty secure, but not so interesting. Any help or advice is appreciated!