Hello fellow professionals,
I am a first-year law student who has no interest in practicing law, but I am interested in a career in finance.
My question is: which job will put me in a better position, a front office finance job in a decent sized PE fund back in Beijing or a non-front office finance job in a local/boutique PE/M&A firm in the U.S.? I would prefer to stay in the U.S. for at least few years for work after graduation.
I came from China, did my UG in a T50 State University with 3.76/4.00 on Econ and International Studies. With a mediocre LSAT, I got into a T20s law school. In my first year, I realized that I have a completely wrong expectation about the legal profession and I decide to peruse a career in finance with a JD (not a transactional attorney, just pure finance). I did a financial internship in college and I trade stocks/options for years.
My career goal would be a buy-side job in which my background could be beneficial: I am a Chinese, I am a people person and I consider myself having good communication skills, and I will have a law degree which focuses on finance. My ideal jobs would be an international PE role which focuses on international investment, either the U.S. to China or China to the U.S.
My plan is:
1. I will finish law school (because my parents funded my through college to law school and they will be very disappointed if I quit), but I will take as many b-school and business skills classes as possible, like negotiation/deals/M&A/anti-trust...
2. I am studying for the CFA level 1 and ideally, I could pass the level 2 before graduation.
3. I spend lots of time networking.
4. I will do finance summer interns so I could show my experience and interest when I graduate.
For my first summer intern in law school, I need some advice. My dad got me an intern back in Beijing, which is in a $20 Billion PE fund with government background. Since this intern is got from connections, it seems like that I could do whatever kind of work I want. Of course, I want to do the investment-related front office work, which is what I want to do in the future.
My second options are not secured yet, but I have spent a lot of time networking, and I might get an unpaid internship from local boutique PE firm or a small M&A advisory firm. But even if I get an intern in a boutique firm, it probably won't be a front office position.
Should I take the Beijing PE job and stop looking for PE jobs in small, local firms?
I think the Pro of the Beijing job is that it could be front office, which means I could learn a lot of things. But my dad could always get me that job, so should I do one in the U.S. for this summer? Which kind of intern will bring me a better position for looking for international PE jobs next year and after graduation?
Also, I would be really appreciated if anyone could provide me any advice on my career plan, or point out if any part needs to be changed.