I have been a reader of this board for about a year now, emphasis on reader, I don't post (much). Having been on the receiving end of a wealth of useful information I feel like its time to give back.
To give you some background, I am starting at aFT in the Markets division this coming fall. I landed this job through an SA I did last year at the same bank.
What I'd like to discuss here is the way that I was able receive my SA offer. As a student at a non-target, with a non-quantitative major (albeit with a good GPA) I realized that my shot at getting into IB was slim at best. It just so happened that my junior year I studied abroad in Hong Kong. In contrast to my home university, the one I was abroad at had big time connections into Asian IB. When I realized this, I contacted the career services department at the school and was surprised to discover that they accepted resumes from visiting students.
After submitting my resume to their general "finance" box, I ended up recieving 2-3 interviews with firms in the area. As things turned out I was called into the final round of one bank and then given an offer for their New York office.
My point here is that at my home school this would have been impossible. The only on-campus recruiting was for ops or mid-office jobs and for any Front office positions I would have been stuck with submitting online (and we all know the odds of even getting an interview that way). My opportunity in Hong Kong just kind of fell into my lap, I never even thought of it until I glanced at a recruiting poster on campus and gave it a shot.
To show you that this was not a one-time sort of thing, the only other alumni from my school at the bank got an SA through his/her study abroad school in London.
This is not a recommendation for those of you who go to non-targets to head abroad to get a job, just something for those of you who might be going abroad next year to think about.
Good Luck to all of you regardless of where you go and thanks to this board for the advice it has provided my this past year.
ps getting to work at the NYC office after interviewing in HK was a unique thing, I think. So be prepared to spend your summer wherever you get an offer.