Is my American Dream Over?

Hello You Great Folks,

I have spent the entire last decade working on my profile in a developing country and setting myself up to work on Wall Street. Now that I have an admit from a Top 20 US BSchool, I see that the H1B Visa has become a big issue and it is causing me lot of nervousness. I really love American people , culture and way of living and opportunities in America-hence my desire to move to the US. . I will be investing a lifetime of my savings to make this move. Here are some of my questions.

  1. How hard is it for an international to get into IB in the current environment?
  2. Are BB Banks still sponsoring internationals? Which ones are not sponsoring?
  3. What are some of the tips you can share so that I can work on to make myself a strong candidate?

Thanks Guys.

Comments (55)

Sep 27, 2018

The first thing you need to do is use the search bar. The rest should be self-explanatory.

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Sep 28, 2018

My Dear friend-the answers I am looking for are not available unfortunately since there is some noise around the H1B visa everyday. Internationals like myself who want to pursue MBA in the US are very anxious as we are committing a lifetime of savings and effort into this. Sitting here, it is hard to gauge what is going on in the USA. So, perspectives from internationals and domestic students who are on the ground might be very helpful.

Sep 27, 2018

Retake the GMAT and get into an M7 school or NYU or Cornell. That's your best bet.

Sep 28, 2018

Thanks man!

Most Helpful
Sep 28, 2018

You were just admitted, so your dream isn't over - it is just starting.

Generally speaking, for internationals the job chances in the US dramatically increase with a visa or GC. As a student, you are eligible for both CPT and OPT, depending on which major you have. STEM has up to 3 years OPT (open work permit with a few exceptions like gov jobs). During these stints an employer can get to know you and see how/if they'll sponsor you for other visa or the GC.

During/afterwards 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.

The other visa would be the 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 (next DV lottery starts this October!).

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 depending on a variety of aspects.

Oct 11, 2018

Thank you my friend Gumball-really appreciate it. Would you mind answering a couple of follow up questions I have?

  1. Is 9.5 years of experience Pre-MBA going to be a hurdle for the Post MBA Associate recruiting at Business Schools?
  2. What is your opinion on 15-20 MBA schools? Is IB recruiting strong ? I spoke to one international at a 18-20 ranked school and he told me he was the only international who was successful . Is it that hard for internationals OR is it that most internationals are not interested/not good enough etc?
    Thanks again!
Oct 14, 2018
wolfofnorthpartkstreet:

1. Is 9.5 years of experience Pre-MBA going to be a hurdle for the Post MBA Associate recruiting at Business Schools?

Honestly, I do not know. I have met and hired multiple MBA candidates - all were quite different. Some were very young (4-5 years of experience pre-MBA), others had a decade.
It depends on what you are planning to do. Find the best CPT/OPT opportunities out there, no matter what! Network, use OCR, ask profs, friends, people at your school or family. Hit everyone up and make something out of your network. Go to industry events, use LinkedIn, or other networks. Every candidate is an individual and a lot of factors come together - i.e. I don't know when you graduated, when you started to work, etc. . Have a look at common data sets or more specifically the MBA data sets and you'll quickly see where you stand. If you graduate at, say, 19, bachelors at 24, +9 years work lands you at ... 33 pre-MBA and 35 post? Which employers or what industry are you aiming at?

wolfofnorthpartkstreet:

2. What is your opinion on 15-20 MBA schools? Is IB recruiting strong ? I spoke to one international at a 18-20 ranked school and he told me he was the only international who was successful . Is it that hard for internationals OR is it that most internationals are not interested/not good enough etc?
Thanks again!

If you were told you were the only international in your intake I would look at many potential reasons:
- You were potentially the best candidate.
- Other internationals were more drawn to other regions, schools or simply discovered other marketing material from another school.
- Internationals in general apply in smaller numbers in the US now, for many different reasons (ie better schools abroad, at home, ..), difficulties with US work permits afterwards, how the US are perceived currently might have changed,...

Very generally speaking, an international candidate faces complex complications when applying/studying in the US:
- different requirements to apply/enroll; missing documents, translations, other requirements for getting into the school. Among other reasons also a different "academic culture" in their home country.
- cost; living and studying in the US is a very costly adventure, no matter how you look at it. When educating just one child within a family includes spending >100K $US the situation could be very difficult (while facing the issue that a degree in the home country might be entirely free or almost free, like in some European countries).
- potential lack of ROI; after getting your education an international needs to secure CPT/OPT/H1b/GC-EAD - this is an incredibly difficult journey and only the absolute best and the luckiest candidates will make it. In the worst case, the international has to go back to the home country even after all the trouble, effort and costs that were incurred.

Oct 15, 2018

I know UBS and Citi are not very friendly towards internationals. Many of the EBs would consider internationals, namely banks like Evercore, Moelis, and Lazard.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2018

Thanks Man-really appreciate it. Any insights into other BBs?

Oct 15, 2018

I know Goldman and JPM are pretty receptive. Depending on the office, CS also hires internationals. Not sure about BAML, MS, or DB.

    • 1
Oct 15, 2018

i'm canadian and just got an SA offer with Citi NYC

Oct 15, 2018

Congrats! Is this for the Associate position? Also which Bschool did you go to and how hard is it for internationals to land an Associate gig with BB/EB in the current environment? Thanks.

Oct 15, 2018

People have said it already, but to summarize

Some BB and most boutiques don't recruit international. Even those who do privately cap the number because H1B is getting tougher and it's hard to keep sending people to Hong Kong or London when visa issues come up

Recruiting for banking is easy and hard. There is lesser interest in banking than consulting, but banks are also more selective in US from social for perspective. Most recruiting is done through a long courting and fit is a big issue - regardless of school. Internationals (Indian, Asian, South American, European, Russian - whatever) suffer here. There is no way around it. There is no way to fix it. Some get through but a good portion doesn't. Some luck into consulting. Lot end up in Amazon or Microsoft or home country.

Combined with first bullet - with visa and fit, there is little reason to go after internationals
you'll find decent number of internationals in banks now. Think it was bit different say 5/10 years back and you'll still find a good portion at upper level (MD and up) that are international so nothing says they can't do well. They are in bulge brackets and boutiques. But doesn't mean now they'll suddenly go heavy w internationals
you'll probably annoy people with your question / comment style here

just from odds perspective you'll have a hard time breaking in from UNC. Think there are 4-5 banks that do on campus? Most will go after domestic students first. You are out of luck with Wells Fargo. Boutiques don't go. Probably too competitive at GS, JPM, MS. That leaves you with Citi, BAML, CS, DB, Barclays, UBS and RBC. Not sure how many comes on campus or how many hires from UNC for how many roles - and half of those places are struggling

you are old for MBA associate. I know maybe one person who did 10 years pre MBA? Domestic and international alike 4 - 5 years is the norm

So is your dream over? Idk - dreams aren't supposed to realistic. But as someone said - if you wanted us to confirm that spending $250K will help, no one will put their money to it. Never met you or know nothing abt you so me or others can't really say anything beyond above.

But put it this way - 2/3 of the associates don't survive to make VP. So the payback has to be more than just doing banking. Doing other stuff isn't that bad either.

    • 5
Oct 16, 2018

Thank you Sir-really appreciate your detailed perspective! While I agree with most of the points that you made, I believe some of the points are open to debate.

  1. Some BB and most boutiques don't recruit international: Agree with this but Evercore and Moelis do and most US BBs do. Some of the other known EBs do not and the smaller ones do not. I have also heard that HL does.
  2. I agree fit is a big issue but that is probably because most internationals-Indians and others have average communication and interpersonal skills and are not personable. I have been told by my US manager at my Big 4 firm and several others that I have pretty good interpersonal skills and am personable. So I believe, with good amount of effort and polish, I can atleast put myself in a position to be a strong candidate?
  3. About UNC, you are spot on with most points except that most banks(both BBs and boutiques) do recruit on campus.
  4. I know I am older than the average but this has been my dream for very long and I have put in huge amount of effort and sacrifices to get to this point. Coming from a developing country, it is an entirely different challenge to get to this point.So I would like to certainly go for it and not look back now.
  5. I know 2/3 Associates don't survive but that is the case for domestic candidates as well right? So I am not thinking about that now and want to focus on just getting the offer and take it step by step.

Again-Thanks for your time and inputs.

Oct 16, 2018

So what else do you want? You've asked about these stuff for couple of months now and people told you what it is. You seem to be seeking confirmation bias but there is no skin in game for rest of us. If you want it, go ahead and try it and see what happens. Calling it a dream or whatever doesn't change anything. EOD we all think we are special or it'll be different for us, and maybe it'll be - we don't know that. Once you start school, ask second years how you can leverage your school network to get whatever you want vs try to fullproof it a year before recruiting cycle even begins.

    • 2
Oct 15, 2018

Wolf,

Having just seen many of my classmates at a 15-20 B-School have a hard time landing a job after graduation, I would seriously consider Oddy's advice. Even when it seems like he's not being nice.

Fact is, you don't know what the markets are going to be like when you graduate in 2+ years.

Consider the risks first.

    • 1
Oct 16, 2018

Thanks Steve-really appreciate it. I will certainly consider what you and everyone else said here.

Oct 17, 2018

I am being nice. By trying to stop @wolfofnorthpartkstreet from wasting 250k of his parents money

Oct 17, 2018

"seems like".

I think you're doing the right thing.

Oct 18, 2018

I just graduated from a business school that is higher ranked than UNC and sends over 50 people to banks each year. In my class there were literally 0 people from India that successfully got banking jobs in the U.S. (and several tried).

Based on your posts on this site, I can already tell that you do not have the social skills to be one of the few MBA students from India who breaks into banking. As others have mentioned, there are other options for U.S. employment, the students in my class from India did fine in general management rotational programs at large F500 companies and tech (followed by consulting, which was more competitive).

Anyways, it sucks but it is what it is. You have plenty of responses confirming the same themes, so now decide if you want to take the risk. Just go into it with your eyes open and with realistic expectations.

    • 1
Oct 18, 2018
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