Possible internship in Latin America?

Hello everyone!
I have a friend in India who wants to get into finance ( IB or S&T)

He is an undergrad in a top university in India (IIT Madras) and he is pursuing Majors in Materials Engineering and Minors in Economics. He has an overall GPA of 3.2/4.0 and 4.0/4.0 in Minors. He has previously interned at a prop trading firm in India.

He has no connections in the Latin Americas but he really wants to get into it.

Any recommendations as to how to progress into ibanking in Latin America. Do you have to recruit through website and get placed in an office down there? Or do you have to compete with the the graduates from over there? Does having connections help? What type of students get placed Latin American offices?

Thank you very much for your help.

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Comments (10)

Oct 1, 2019 - 6:17pm

Does he even speak/understand Spanish? I have limited knowledge on this but groups in Latam are not easy to get into if you're not local.

For example, the biggest latam groups are usually in Brazil, where Spanish isn't even the language.

Probably easier to land a US gig.

Oct 1, 2019 - 9:30pm

I wanted to intern in mexico city but after networking with a couple people there i didn't pursue it. I know for a fact CITI has latam functions and did post official a latam analyst ft posistion recently however i don't have current info for other banks. Typically graduates from target schools in latin/ south america work there and some that go to universities in the USA/Canada will move back home and work. No clue on progression but i would assume the same path as IB in the USA with the same time period.

I'm a south american indian so i feel as though i can help with the external factors that others may not cover. Obviously being south american is not the same as latin american but many of the cultural norms tend to overlap at times for instance love of football ( no one calls it fucking soccer)

He needs to learn either Portuguese or Spanish beyond conversational to have a competitive chance and as fast as possible. Roll the R's and try to listen to Brazilian or Spanish music/ shows if that helps to get a sense of the big difference between non native and native speakers. This is crucial because the deals there are in one of the two languages and others in the office barely use english for daily communication and i've no clue how you can even attempt to talk a hot chick if you call her a puta when getting her a drink lol or tell a mexican you love el salvador lool. Dress like them, i'm not saying to be a mirror copy but south american & latin american people love to look good that reflects in the sub culture of business men that take pride in image/reputation & money.

Name is king, you are either rich or poor in south or latin america that results in name/ family connections being passed down and even more important when used to get sons or daughters in high finance or government jobs. First hand experience, i am known by family and friends over there as my father's son not my actual name so it is quite an exclusive crowd that tends to all know each other from childhood to university life and then grow up to work and marry and pass down the family name.

No connections regardless of location means it's an uphill task but he has good experience and i think the university name might help with the GPA issue. He needs to network however i would assume that because of India's massive population there should be some IIT grads who have worked there before who could lend him a hand and mentor him through that process of applying, everything else i mentioned & Work visa etc etc. He's a smart guy so the opportunities should open up :)

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Oct 2, 2019 - 8:48am

Regarding language, he started learning Spanish a few months ago because he knew that it would help him in communicating in a lot of countries.
I just wanted to ask you a few questions that would clear my doubts.

  1. Which method of applying is better? Applying from Career Sections of JP Morgan , CITI etc, or connecting to one of the Seniors of those companies through LinkedIn and asking them for an interview?

  2. As both of us (my friend & me) don't have any contacts over there, could you help me by giving any potential contacts? It would be of great help!

I end this by thanking you! Your comment provided some really good insights.

Oct 2, 2019 - 11:00am

1) There could be a massive culture shock and may lead to being homesick if he just goes balls deep without taking to anyone so I would recommend talking to multiple alumni in that space to get a better sense of culture, fit & enough to information to make a calculated decision whether to stay in India or work in Latam. Once connecting i guess apply through linkedin or the website, i think far less people are interested in Latam Ib then the typical NYC IB so his resume won't actually be in a black hole but i would talk to people there to figure this out because i can't confirm or deny if this happens.

2) If i was a junior analyst then I would definitely help unfortunately i can't because my identity will be comprised and if people i networked with starting getting linkedin requests from dudes from India... there will have to be an explanation that i don't want to get into.

No problem :)

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