International Student to Bulge Bracket Bank

Blowfish's picture
Rank: Chimp | 12

Hi Everyone,

I humbly ask for your advice here. This is my background.

I'm an undergrad International Student concentrating in the Finance field aiming to work for the long-term at an Investment Bank in the USA.

I'm a rising senior, with the first two years of University being done at the best Business School back in my country (and likely in South America). I moved here to the United States to get a second diploma in the USA - it's a dual degree program to be finished in 4 years (two in my university at home and two at a non-target university in the USA, ranked around 25-30 in the country) and to look for opportunities in a country where the deal flow is huge.

I have a good GPA as I know I must have while studying at a non-target (3.8+), multiple relevant extracurricular works (I was a volunteer at an organization that teaches poor students to help them join University, consulting and investment club participation, and part of the student government for a semester). As work experience, I have an M&A Summer Analyst at the third largest investment bank in my country - and the largest boutique -, in which I had a lot of exposure to preparing financial models (DCF, comps, past transactions analysis), information memorandum preparations - and the development of investment thesis -, management presentations, roadshow calls with potential targets - I was allowed to do some of them by myself -, and so on.

In addition, I have an incoming semester-long program at an M&A boutique to be started this Fall.

However, I know most BB would not even bother to look at my resume due to my university position, and I don't have a strong network of people in the Investment Banking area, I'm still preparing my "network spreadsheet" to start sending cold e-mails.

I would like your honest opinion, based on my background, on what are my real chances of getting into the Investment Banking industry - I don't think I will be getting an offer from the one I will work for*. Also, if I do have any chances, where would you start applying and how?

I appreciate any responses.

Comments (3)

Most Helpful
Jul 7, 2018

For internationals the job chances in the US dramatically increase with a visa or GC.
You could either apply for US jobs and get sponsored for the H1b (difficult + lottery), marry a US citizen (K, relatively quick, 12-18 months), start abroad with a company (at home) and then get transferred (L, relatively easy) or find a business that has something like an E visa (treaty trader/investor, or executive manager visa). In rare cases you would qualify for NIW/O visa, if you are extraordinary. I will skip all the religious, humanitarian, asylum or other gov visas.
There are some grey areas in the US immigration system which can be used (especially for treaty nations) but it depends on what exactly the goal would be.

On top of all of these things you would have to land the job, which can be tricky if you don't know anyone, without regional references, foreign degree/experience, ..

The other visa Diversity Lottery Visa (Green Card Lottery), you can participate if you are from countries where low amount of immigration comes from and with a lot of luck you might win a green card! The odds are really, really low though and I wouldn't want to build a future on this path, I know too many who have been trying for 15+ years. Plus the lottery is always at risk of getting canned.

The easiest way should be the marriage route because many steps can be skipped, most likely to succeed after that could be L/E (internal transfer). If you don't want to get married you could get a good job in your country (BB equivalent) and have them transfer you internally to a location where they have an office.
You can still apply for jobs at BB in the US, but chances are high they won't take you seriously without a GC/EAD or any other visa.

Disclaimer: if you ever apply for a US visa and get rejected, you will most likely NOT be eligible to travel on ESTA/VWP any longer, meaning: you would have to apply for a tourist visa going forward even if you are from a participating VWP country for every visit.

edit:
You could also go for CPT and OPT, depending on which major you have. STEM has 3 years OPT (open work permit with a few exceptions like gov jobs)

Jul 7, 2018

Thank you for the response! Maybe I was not clear enough but I do have an international degree and will have international experience at a small investment bank boutique that is starting this Fall.

In terms of regular application for BBs, would any of those review a resume like mine, since I come from a non-target?

Jul 7, 2018
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