Internship in Asia as a German


I'm a bachelor student at german target uni with top 5% grades and will start a TAS internship in a few weeks. After that, I'm gonna go to china for a student exchange. The semester there will end in December or early January 2018. Well, because of that I will have a very nice time slot of 3-5 months to do another internship before I have to go back to uni to Germany.

My question is now if trying to get an internship in the Asian pacific region is an idea worth thinking about. I don't expect a 100% clear answer but it would be interesting to hear from people who maybe did kind of such a project or even work there at the moment.

I'm planning my next finance internship in markets, especially financial products/derivatives would be interesting. But the field is not the main point here.

How are the big banks represented in the areas? Especially Singapore, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Tokyo...
What size are the teams/divisions (compared to Frankfurt or London)?

Are there major differences between working as an intern there and in Europe?

Is is likely to land an internship? Or too much trouble for the banks because of the regulations for foreign students?

What about the language? English should be no problem, but others? And at which places?

Overall: Is it worth the effort you definitely have to put in?

Would be nice to hear some stories.


Comments (4)

Feb 21, 2017 - 9:44am

Germany, Netherlands, Austria, etc. doesn't really have "target unis". Yes, kids from Uni Delft, Amsterdam, WU Wien, WHU, Mannheim Business School are recruited a bit more often than their uni x counterparts, but it's not statistical significant nor comparable to real target unis in France/UK/US, where a spot in Columbia/Cambridge/Ecole Polytechnique practically guarantees you an interview with most BBs

I could go into length why your plan is futile, but I will spare you that... Competition for hongkong/beijing internships as a German will be more fierce than competing against Oxford/LSE students in London. You don't bring a single USP to the table except for your exotic background (and Chinese MDs are not that much into diversity recruiting)...

With that said. Failing Commerzbank has a strong desk in China. Try your luck there. Deutsche Bank et al. will probably ghost you with no relevant experiences, but you could have good shots at Commerzbank (if you sent your application directly to an MD and not some bullshit online application mask)

Good luck, Soldat.

Feb 21, 2017 - 5:49pm

Thanks for your reply.

Yes, I agree with your definition of real target unis. Let's say its one of the few in Germany which place relatively well at BBs, especially in Frankfurt.

OK, didn't know the competition is that hard there.

I thought about Deutsche, too. Do you think it's more likely to intern in Asia through connections or a completed internship in Germany at the particular firm? Just as an interesting future opportunity. I'm finishing my third semester right now.

Feb 22, 2017 - 6:19am

Enjoy your timein asia and try to make love with as many erasmus uni girls (doesn't matter if you female) and cheap prostitutes as possible. Once you start working full time, you will miss uni/teens/your wasted youth hard and even a 10k net monthly salary at 25 will not fully compensate you mentally for this. No connections in hongkong = no gud internship 4 u.

With that said, if you dead set on career maxing, do an internship at Mercedes/BMW/Bayer etc. (you get the gist). It would be more interesting on a CV (and easier to get in) than proofreading termsheets for dim sum bonds at Commerzbank HK...

Finance in hongkong is a shark tank, don't do it if you aren't a chinese sociopath or if you don't have a foible for asian prostitutes. Just focus on London instead (there are no trading desks in Frankfurt except for a few in the cash govies space).

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