Is it worth learning a new language just to land an internship in another country?

Hey guys,

). I'm planning to pursue a career in Investment Banking in Korea (but preferably in HK or SP).
And I figured, it is hard to break into the industry without internships and I thought it would give me a better chance of getting that coveted IB job if I get an internship in the summer before my sophomore year. So the question is, if I want to land an internship in either HK or SP, would it be worth devoting my time studying Chinese? Or do banks in HK and SP take non-Chinese speakers as interns?

Region: 

Comments (10)

Feb 5, 2016

Learning a new language seems like the most horribly inefficent use of your time. You'll make a great investment banker though with that kind of go-getter attitude.

Feb 5, 2016

Won't be worth it.

Feb 5, 2016

You need Mandarin to work in HK. It's not possible to pick up Mandarin in 2-3 years without any previous background. In SP you can go around with English. I know some BB in HK also hire Koreans for Korea coverage.

Feb 5, 2016

It's not a question of it being worth it to learn Mandarin, it's that unless you're some kind of language savant you won't learn Mandarin to any level of utility in any reasonable amount of time that it could add value to you getting an internship. Maybe Korean->Mandarin is easier but language skills in a professional setting are really only useful if you're near fluent. And based on what my native Chinese friends and people who have lived there have told me it's very difficult to pick up the idioms and other sayings that people use there so even if you're technically fluent you still won't be, if that makes sense.

    • 1
Feb 5, 2016

Thanks for your inputs guys!
I guess I'll have to aim for the banks in Singapore and Korea.

Feb 5, 2016

Yup. As a trilingual person, I'll tell you it's not worth it. It will consume significant amount of your time and you simply can't without the environment.

    • 1
Feb 5, 2016
vik2000:

Yup. As a trilingual person, I'll tell you it's not worth it. It will consume significant amount of your time and you simply can't without the environment.

^ !

Jan 19, 2017

~

Feb 6, 2016

Learning a new language is a demanding task and I think it's just not worth the effort

Best Response
Feb 6, 2016
Comment
    • 3