Urgent Help Needed: Tier-1 IBD or Bloomberg in China

Hello everyone,

My background: US high school diploma, UK top 5 undergrad (think semi-targets in London), low GPA, but will likely gain a 2:1 next year when I graduate. Trilingual - Mandarin, Cantonese, and English.

No BB offers this year. Not surprised at all since I had my gameplan wrong at the first place. I couldn't decide if I wanna do IBD in Hong Kong or in London last fall. Ended up networking with both sides and wasting a lot of focus/time.

Done PwC M&A advisory in China before. Currently interning with EY Assurance in Shanghai for 4 week. I plan to do another internship in July and Aug this year to get my resume boosted.

My options are:
- tier 1-1.5 IBD with one of the Chinese Banks (Haitong/Galaxy/GF Securities).
- Bloomberg Analytics & Sales in Beijing.

In terms of my career trajectory, I'd like to stay in core finance and preferably in London. I know most of you would recommend picking one of the IBD gigs and getting the best out of it, and I would most defo agree. I am also preparing GMAT this summer and hoping to get into LBS or LSE if I don't get an IBD FT offer this fall. But the thing is, I landed these gigs by pulling family strings. Common practice in Asia (you know what I mean...). Being a vip intern sucks... and HRs in London surely aren't dumb to notice this. I really don't know how much weight a chinese IBD internship can add onto my resume, especially considering I will be going into FT recruiting without a significant SA experience.

Conversely, Bloomberg's rep is international and the Analytics & Sales program, though not respected, is still selective. I even had four rounds of interviews with them, including one on-site in HK. I know the Bloomberg gig is notorious for trapping people into a pigeon hole as you won't learn any marketable skills for IBD/S&T/AM. I wasn't seriously considering Bloomberg, but the HR told me there will only be 4 interns this year and the return offer is almost guaranteed. Hours are strictly 8-6 and they even offer global pay in Beijing (that's crazy). With the price level in BJ, you can live very comfortably with $60k+/- a year as a graduate. That is slightly less than what an analyst makes at a Chinese Bank. And I guess I can always go get my MBA in 2-3 years if I wanna crawl back to IBD.

I have only about 48hours left to sign the Bloomberg offer, so I seriously am having a hard time to choose. What are everyone's thoughts? Any advice is appreciated. Thank you guys!

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Comments (31)

Jun 8, 2017 - 2:49pm

IBD would probably open more doors for you in 'high finance' later on.

How is the networking environment in China? Is it who you know in Government or family name like we hear or not?

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
Jun 8, 2017 - 3:00pm

Thank you! Networking environment is less straight forward in China. Unless the people you try to network with are working in a 'west' bank (GS/UBS/MS/CICC/CITIC) and familiar with the western style of networking (coldcalling/ cold-emailing), you won't have much luck. The older generation of Chinese Bankers tend to be conservative and less warmhearted in terms of helping strangers.

The effective way to network in China is by pulling punches through Mom and Dad and having them call some of their friends for you....

Array

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Jun 8, 2017 - 3:00pm

That's what I gathered from my undergrad days with international students in our business school. Can be a blessing or a curse depending on your last name.

26 Broadway where's your sense of humor?
Jun 8, 2017 - 9:53pm

Take the IBD if you want to work in high finance later on in your career.

I don't think that Bloomberg will give you the needed skills to get into high finance, not like it is impossible, but it is just making it harder for yourself.

Personally, I wouldn't let the promise of hours and decent pay as a graduate draw you into Bloomberg - I am sure you would realize that money gets substantially better in IB as you get further along into your career. There will most likely be some sort of cap/roof on the progression at Bloomberg as from my understanding they run a rather horizontal structure.

Both are very different career paths, none of them inherently wrong. Just personally I would take the IB.

Good luck, OP!

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Jun 9, 2017 - 8:02am

What's there to say? Do you want to work hard or hardly work?

Array
Jun 9, 2017 - 8:18am

If you are planning to take a masters ( preferably LBS/LSE) , it will give you some more time to network and to establish yourself there in UK. If not, according to the linkedin data, the university you attend ( I understood where you did your ug) has a lot of alumnis working in HK and SG. So take the IBD offer and network with the people on the other side ( concentrate on HK, because they cover the chinese region and the nearby ones where the knowledge of cantonese and mandarin will help you a lot)

If you want good hours and an okayish pay go to Bloomberg
and If you are focused on your future prospects then join IB

Jun 9, 2017 - 11:45am

Thanks for the reply! Although I don't go to KCL. My bad for confusing ppl with 'semi-targets in London'. What I really meant was my school is considered a semi by the banks in the city, not that my school is actually in London (so think Edinburgh, St Andrews, Durham..). Tbh, not many from my school work in IBD in APAC, at least not many I could find on LinkedIn. Also, due to our alienation from London, networking isn't always accessible. I do agree that a master will allow me to establish myself in the UK a bit more.

Array

Jun 9, 2017 - 12:03pm

Well I am also an international student and will be attending a semi target ( not a strong semi target ) which is kind of like so away from London and I am really afraid about networking with the people but a lot of them have done it despite being away from London.

Well if you are planning to do a masters right away in UK, you have a chance of gaining Permanent Residency ( I guess you need to be in UK for 5 years) and if you are attending a Scottish university which has a course duration of 4 years and an extra year doing masters kind of nearly guarantee you a PE. So that's a point to consider. I am not an expert at this sp I would suggest you to do some research on internet. It will be better if you start your career in London and transfer to HK ( If you want to) after associate because London is a major financial hub and it has an upper hand when you compare you compare to HK.

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