First post here!
I'm a UK native looking for a career in finance (with an eventual aim to get into the buy side- asset management- later on). I hold a first class degree in Geography and a diploma in Engineering, both from semi-target universities in the UK. I did physical geography which involved a lot of computer modelling, statistics (in R) and using large databases in Excel which should be well useful in financial sector roles.
I'm looking to start a job hopefully in Asia (although I only speak English), but I realise London seems much easier to get started in. From what I've researched, I've realised getting straight into a front office position at an IB or other financial firm will be too hard. I would be competing with finance/economics masters graduates from Oxbridge with multiple internships. So I spoke to a few friends who work in IB and they gave me these options:
1. Get into middle/back office positions (e.g. risk, compliance, operations) at an IB or other financial firm.
2. Get into one of the big 4, gain an ACA qualification and then move to an IB or other financial firm.
3. Get into a vendor like Bloomberg.
4. Work as an analyst or in accounts for a non-financial firm.
5. Get into a finance position at a financial firm with a focus on environmentalist/sustainability. Usually these are buy-side firms; asset management firms, funds etc. I think for this my degree in Geography would be useful.
Ideally I would like to get into 5. But I think the easiest option would be 2. However it requires 3 years to gain an ACA and I think if I got a middle office position at an IB I could work up to front office much quicker than that, maybe?
I've already applied to positions in Asia at big asset management firms like BlackRock without any success so far. Maybe I should look at their graduate programs instead, but for some reason they are only accepting applications from those who graduated this year (I graduated last year). I've also thought about applying to much smaller firms in London, but I really would like to start in Asia.
What are your thoughts, I'm struggling a bit here.