Studying Abroad Fall Semester: OCR and Phone Interviews

lyon1013's picture
Rank: Chimp | 5

My apologies in advance if parts of my question seem repetitive to what's already on this forum, but I'm hoping for some advice from those of you who've been in the same situation as I really am quite stumped right now.

I'm a rising Junior at a target with OCR. If it matters at all in this context, I have a 3.7, along with research experience in finance/economics and an IBD internship (non-BB but well-reputed financial conglomerate: think BNP, RBC, Wells Fargo...) lined up for this summer. Because of certain constraints, I will only be able to study abroad Junior Fall. As part of my curriculum, I will be placed into an internship while I'm abroad (likely in finance).

Although there seems to be a lot of conflicting information with regards to timing on this forum, my understanding is that since the past year or two, OCR for SA positions have been pushed forward to the Fall semester (at least at my University as this has been confirmed by our on-campus recruitment staff.) There are clearly pros and cons to my situation:


  • If this decision were to be made on a purely personal and not professional basis, studying abroad is clearly the better decision for me in terms of mental health (needing a break from burnout), desire to travel and experience a new city (instead of visiting, for say, a week), etc...
  • The city (a financial capital) I'll be travelling to I can see myself potentially working in or studying in at some point in the future, and so this will be a chance for me to ascertain if it is indeed somewhere I'd like to spend substantial time in. I probably won't get a chance to spend this much time in another city with this little responsibility after graduation.
  • The university career centre will arrange an internship for me, which, although likely won't be at a well-reputed BB will still provide me with an interesting experience of working abroad and within finance/business. I'm not sure if this point is immaterial or not, but maybe this saves me the trouble of having to apply to a myriad of internships in my home city for the Fall semester if I were to stay.


  • Primarily, that I won't be in my home city for an OCR, which for the most part will take place while I'm abroad. Also, not being able to network during Fall semester events.
  • The classes that I will take abroad will be of a similar calibre (in terms of quality of teaching) and will be relevant to my major, although the classes I would otherwise take in my home city will be most relevant in terms of being able to choose from a larger number (and thus potentially better) professors, more business classes, the perfect timing for particular classes given other requirements etc...
  • Lack of continuity in certain aspects. For example, not being able to apply for leadership positions in finance and non-finance clubs.

My question is whether or not you think I should study abroad, given the constraints (of not being able to do so any other semester) and pros/cons listed.

Although the career centre has reassured me that many companies are willing to conduct phone and virtual interviews, there are some, I'm sure, that will be reluctant to do so. What is the logic here (referring specifically to BBs)? Is it that there are as many qualified candidates locally that BBs will not be inclined to be inconvenienced to set up virtual interviews? Or do they encounter so many students studying abroad that they generally accommodate for these situations? Might they accommodate because they truly want the best candidates out of the pool?

I know that a few BBs have begun to conduct first round interviews through online platforms such as HireVue, and that some are willing to fly SA candidates out for super days when it comes to that stage, but how common is this? Which specific firms (BB or boutique) do this? Or, in other words, how much of a disadvantage would I really be at if I do decide to study abroad? I'm currently leaning towards studying abroad based on my feeling that I might really regret not doing so, and staying for an internship I may or may not get seems counterintuitive. I think a lot of this rests on whether or not I'm competitive enough to even get the initial OCR interviews.

What would you do?

Thanks in advance!

Comments (3)

Apr 12, 2017

Oh, go for it, no question. Especially since you're at a target, you shouldn't have any problems. I know more than a few kids who were at targets or semi-targets and went to BBs after doing all video interviews (so, no, they weren't flown out from what I understand) while they were abroad during the fall. If you are a competitive enough candidate to get the interview, you will get it, and study abroad won't have anything to do with it.

Apr 13, 2017

Thank you for your comment! Were they not flown out for super days?

Best Response
Apr 13, 2017
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