Too early to ask?

I'm currently studying abroad in Hong Kong and have luckily secured an 8 week full time internship at a fairly prestigious but slightly small PE advisory firm that specializes in fundraising. They are between 50-100 employees worldwide and with a pretty relevant NY office.

I am yet to secure a summer internship and I want to ask if they can refer me to someone in their NY office. However, I think it might be too early to ask. My interview only consisted of a phone interview with a VP and then with a director that was very thorough and lasted about 2 hours. I have not met them in person. Is it too early to ask for a referral? Will I be overstepping my boundary given that I have never met them?

It's already March 7th and I'm starting to become very worried about the summer, especially because I'm in Hong Kong until late May.

Comments (4)

Mar 7, 2019

How far into your internship are you?

Might be worth asking him for a coffee or something to discuss your current internship and your future career, including the summer internship. Something along the lines of "I'm very happy here, and as you may know I'll be moving back to the US in May and I'm aware we have an office in NY. I'd like to keep working here, but as I'll be in the US this summer is there anyone in that office you could recommend me reaching out to to discuss a further internship over the summer months?"

Obviously it depends on the culture of the firm, do the offices work together, who your VP is (personality wise) etc. but I can't judge that for you.

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Mar 11, 2019

Thanks for the reply. I completely forgot to explicitly say the most important part in my post which is that I don't start until April. I haven't met them in person yet. Only my 2 hour long phone interview with 2 of the 10-15 people in the office. This is the reason why I might feel like I'm overstepping.

Another option is just reaching out to the NY office without speaking to the HK counterparts and just mention that I am an incoming spring intern, but again I don't know if that's a bad look when they inevitably ask the HK people


Most Helpful
Mar 12, 2019

Oh right, I would have thought you'd at least have met them for an interview. I would definitely ask to meet at least one of them for coffee or something before starting.

Would you be able to stay in Hong Kong later than May? That could potentially be an option - During your internship ask if it can be extended. It might be pushing it but if they like you they might be open to the idea of having you for the summer as well.

If you need to do it back in NY, I can't really provide the perfect advice for what to do right now besides applying elsewhere obviously.
But that's another reason you should meet with someone in HK ASAP - you can get a feeling of how much they'd be willing to help you.
If the pre-internship catch up is going well, you could say something about how excited you are about joining but that it's a shame it's only 8 weeks and that you'll be moving to NY afterwards. Don't mention anything about extending your internship there or joining the NY office, but hopefully if they're intuitive they'll suggest it to you (if they can).

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Mar 13, 2019