Questions about Studying Abroad

Ephemeral's picture
Rank: Chimp | 6

Hi there,

I'm a soph at a target (one of HYPW) looking to get a SA internship in S&T next year. CS major, high GPA, although admittedly I haven't done much networking. I'm thinking about studying abroad at Oxford either next Spring for the entire year. (Edit: to clarify, I can choose between a full year abroad and only going for the Spring semester)

Couple questions:

1) Start date: I searched and the threads I found suggested that S&T internships generally start early-June, perhaps June 8th-ish. Oxford's last quarter wouldn't end until June 16th. Is this something I should be concerned about?

2) Networking: If I go to Oxford for the full year, I'll miss out on various networking events at my school. I've been to these events my freshman and soph years but didn't really make any lasting connections. If I'm still in the states next fall I'll try to do a better job networking at these events. If I go to Oxford I'll miss out on those, and although there may be comparable opportunities at Oxford (I have no idea tbh), I want to eventually work in NYC so I'm not sure if networking there would be as useful.

On the other hand, if I do go to Oxford for the full year, I'll have almost a full month between my summer internship for this coming summer and my start at Oxford, so I could theoretically try to reach out to alumni and actually meet up with them in NYC. This might be more effective than fighting through a mob of people trying to say something insightful at my school's networking events, too. I'm just looking for some input on how effective a strategy you think this is (will traders even be interested in meeting up with me?), especially versus sticking around for fall semester in the US and trying to network at school events.

Thanks for advice / sorry for seeming paranoid or toolish. I won't have much on my resume that screams finance (prior internships with big software companies) but I'm genuinely interested in working in trading next summer and beyond.

Comments (8)

Apr 2, 2011

Regarding start dates:

My personal experience is that most places I interviewed at explicitly said they did not want me to start late. This is because of the 1 week of training that everyone goes through (although this was IB, not S&T). So I didn't say anything about start date being a problem during my interviews. When I got the offers, I called and explained the situation before I accepted - 2 out of 3 banks I talked to about this said they would be willing to work something out, and I could start 1 week later if I ended 1 week later as well. The 3rd bank said it would be a problem.

So... yes it can be a challenge, but I say you should still study abroad. It's a risk you take.

By the way, I left my study abroad program 2 weeks earlier, in order to make my 1-week-late start date. I had to take final exams earlier and work things out with professors, but long story short everything worked out.

The thing with getting an internship when you'll be studying abroad is - START EARLY and GO HARD! Network as much as you can and stay in touch with people you meet at different banks. Let them know of your study abroad opportunity and ask them if there's a way you can work things out regarding interview dates. You seem to have good credentials, now you need to network.

Apr 2, 2011

Oxford has good recruiting in its own right - you could always do an SA in London, which would avoid any issues with start dates.

I'd definitely do a full year abroad; from all of my friends who studies abroad for only a semester, they really regretted that they'd only done such a short period. You'll have plenty of chances to go to boring networking sessions (I don't think I know a single guy in banking who went to that bullshit, btw); you'll only have one chance to enjoy college.

Apr 2, 2011

I highly recommend not doing SA recruitment here in the U.K. Having gone through the process and knowing how you Americans get recruited, I have to say our system is highly flawed.

If I were you, I would stay in the U.S. and just go through the process there.

Apr 3, 2011

I turned down the opp. to go to Oxford/LSE because I was concerned about the recruiting situation. Ironically I ended up working in the UK but that's another story. Honest opinion, it's not simple. It is quite difficult timing wise both ways if it is at all similar to how it was for me. Interviewing in the US is very difficult while abroad, and even without that you'll be starting late which is a tough sell. The process in the UK is different as Walkio mentioned, you'll have a more difficult time if you want to actually work in NY and often times their internships don't end until a week or so after US unis begin.

So yeah, those are the major reasons I made my choices, and I don't think I was incorrect. It's certainly possible to do, but there are risks involved. Best of luck deciding.

Apr 11, 2011

Thanks for the thoughtful responses guys. If I think it's helpful I'll come back and post about my decision and/or, if I do study abroad, how that affects my recruitment process.

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Apr 12, 2011

i'd say try not to let job worries get in the way of doing study abroad. i was way too 'serious' in college and regret passing up those opportunities. based on your background, you won't have trouble getting a job anyway.

is there anywhere with better weather / hotter chicks / non english speaking you could go to though?

Apr 12, 2011

Go study abroad. You are only in college for 4 years and you might as well just enjoy it. You have the rest of your life to work. I studied abroad for 1 year and I ended up getting a SA position in S&T.

Apr 12, 2011