When is best to study abroad??

jnijnijn's picture
Rank: Baboon | 154

Worried I'll miss recruiting/networking opportunities...Really want to study abroad though.
Plan would be junior fall/spring - whichever is better.
Already have sophomore summer paid boutique IB internship lined up. ~3.6/7 GPA.
Go to a top 50 usnews state flagship...maybe considered a regional semi-target?
also have a local pwm internship right now.

So would going in fall or spring hurt my chances? Ideally want BB IBD.

Comments (75)

Feb 28, 2016

Your resume sounds really solid. I went abroad to Europe my junior fall and I did a lot of phone interviews when I was there. They will fly you out for a superday if you make it that far. It might be easier to go abroad in the spring though. Definitely do it, because it will be the best time of your life.

    • 1
Feb 28, 2016
bullsandbears:

Your resume sounds really solid. I went abroad to Europe my junior fall and I did a lot of phone interviews when I was there. They will fly you out for a superday if you make it that far. It might be easier to go abroad in the spring though. Definitely do it, because it will be the best time of your life.

I definitely WANT to...BUT not at the expense of missing out on BB IBD.
Also, my study abroad would be at ESADE if that matters.

Feb 29, 2016

jninjinj: Listen to 'bullsandbears'... if you have the opportunity to live/study abroad, it will only increase your job opportunities, not hinder them. With the pace of globalization today, firms strongly take into consideration of a global experience. Plus, if you can pick up a second language, the stronger that resume will look!
I lived in Germany for a little over a year, and it was the best experience of my life... so far!!

Feb 28, 2016

ESADE (spain) or Boccini (italy) actually.

Feb 28, 2016

BB IBD recruit in the fall (Octoebr-December), so it would be best to go in the spring. I have a friend who studied in Italy in the fall and got JP, so it can be done no matter when you go. I do not know too much about the programs specifically, but it sounds like the spring is a better option for you. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you are really on top of your networking and interview studying this summer and early in the fall. Best of luck.

Feb 28, 2016
bullsandbears:

BB IBD recruit in the fall (Octoebr-December), so it would be best to go in the spring. I have a friend who studied in Italy in the fall and got JP, so it can be done no matter when you go. I do not know too much about the programs specifically, but it sounds like the spring is a better option for you. Whatever you choose, just make sure that you are really on top of your networking and interview studying this summer and early in the fall. Best of luck.

I thought most IBD superdays were spring for SA?

Feb 28, 2016

You're right that historically recruitment for SA usually happens during the spring. However this year there were a lot of accelerated processes that occurred during the fall. Also, keep in mind most European schools (I know Bocconi does) have a later spring start date so it will probably be easier going then.

Feb 28, 2016

I know you want to do Jr year, but if all goes according to plan, you'll be 100% done with recruiting/job search before senior year starts. If your school let's you, it might be the best option. I know a lot of people who have done that, and not having to worry about anything job related really adds to the experience. If you can graduate early and just spend a semester abroad (potentially with friends), that'd also be an incredible opportunity.

Feb 29, 2016
The Real Max:

I know you want to do Jr year, but if all goes according to plan, you'll be 100% done with recruiting/job search before senior year starts. If your school let's you, it might be the best option. I know a lot of people who have done that, and not having to worry about anything job related really adds to the experience. If you can graduate early and just spend a semester abroad (potentially with friends), that'd also be an incredible opportunity.

Fuarkkkk. Will call my SA office tomorrow and figure it out.

Feb 29, 2016

Ok so after spending hours researching this, there is a clear divide of when to go. Most of these threads pertain to Ivy/targets too. So please share your opinions on whether fall/spring of junior year is best. Can't go senior year based on my coursework.

Feb 29, 2016

Spring is certainly better. Stuff that you're coming across in your research is likely outdated. Almost every SA spot in IBD at BB's was filled in the fall this year. Last year was totally different - only accelerated programs did fall last year, but almost everyone did fall this year.

Feb 29, 2016

Yeah echo spring would be better to take off. Also I don't know how common this is but some firms like my MM do not interview SAs who are abroad unless more candidates are needed to fill slots left over from the initial round of interviews.

Best Response
Feb 29, 2016

The timing of my semester abroad was irrelevant given that I'd secured my positions well in advance, so anecdotal experience doesn't apply.

The recruiting schedule in recent years has shifted so far forward in the year that you simply must be available in the fall. Only five years ago GS was leading the BBs by institutionalizing an accelerated process in the fall with "AP1" and "AP2" superdays in the third weeks of November and December (with applications due a month before each). For years all the BBs had been doing super off-the-radar small superdays between the two major holidays for study abroad candidates or hotshots who had spent their sophomore summer at another major bank and were facing tight deadlines, but GS really led with that formal initiative.

Some of the other BBs started to emulate that, and GS went to three 'AP' cycles about three years back. From what I saw last year (though granted, I'm even further removed from it by degrees of magnitude), nearly every single BB had completed its traditional recruiting cycle either before Christmas or in the early weeks of January before the spring semester started. I know my alma mater moved OCR to January before classes started.

In short, anything you've read or heard from people about spring being the better time to be around (and thus fall being the better time to go abroad) is sadly dated. For one, going abroad in the fall would be suicidal for campus recruiting because you'd miss all the info sessions and networking opportunities (and that's presuming the old paradigm of January and February superdays still held true). For someone at a non-target with no OCR, that could be less of a factor, but it would still relegate you strictly to LinkedIn, email, and phone interactions with people. Secondly, the simple fact is that everything in this industry is an arms race and thus the talent war has shifted the summer recruiting process earlier and earlier in the academic year.

At this rate, in five years you'll be recruiting for PE the Saturday/Sunday after receiving your full-time return offer on the final Friday of your internship.

    • 4
Mar 6, 2016
APAE:

"AP1" and "AP2" superdays in the third weeks of November and December

Just had to say AP1/AP2 caught my eye and I thought you were comparing candidates to the clubs. Obviously the player's irons (AP2s) would be the most sought after kids, but was trying to figure out what kids would be game improvement irons....

To also comment on the original post: I have been telling all the sophomores I know to plan on going in the spring. With all the banks doing accelerated now you must be in the states to have a chance at BBs/MMs. I know that banks claim (and have been some anecdotes it's true) that they will work with you if you are abroad. However, someone I know partner-level at GS flat out said that even though they claim to work with you, they actually don't. (Disclosure: I don't go to a target, so maybe they are more willing to work with targets.)

Mar 6, 2016
very.chipper:

APAE:"AP1" and "AP2" superdays in the third weeks of November and December

Just had to say AP1/AP2 caught my eye and I thought you were comparing candidates to the clubs. Obviously the player's irons (AP2s) would be the most sought after kids, but was trying to figure out what kids would be game improvement irons....

To also comment on the original post: I have been telling all the sophomores I know to plan on going in the spring. With all the banks doing accelerated now you must be in the states to have a chance at BBs/MMs. I know that banks claim (and have been some anecdotes it's true) that they will work with you if you are abroad. However, someone I know partner-level at GS flat out said that even though they claim to work with you, they actually don't. (Disclosure: I don't go to a target, so maybe they are more willing to work with targets.)

What do you mean "work with you"? From my research, if abroad, they will fly you out for the superday, the only thing you need to be in person for...?

Feb 29, 2016

Sophomore or Junior fall.

"It is better to have a friendship based on business, than a business based on friendship." - Rockefeller.

"Live fast, die hard. Leave a good looking body." - Navy SEAL

Feb 29, 2016

Don't study abroad if you want equal footing in recruiting as your competition

Feb 29, 2016
JustADude:

Don't study abroad if you want equal footing in recruiting as your competition

This is very poor advice (and I say this as someone who lead recruitment while still in banking). Studying abroad is probably the best experience you can get out of college and all else being equal, having done so is a significant advantage when recruiting. Especially for SA recruiting, you end up at the final round with a pool of candidates that are very alike: they all have strong grades, relevant experiences, strong understanding of finance / good quant skills and motivation. So the hiring decision usually boils down to fit. Having studied abroad (or being about to) provides a great way to talk about yourself in a fun way that will make you seems more interesting and personable not to mention that it shows initiative and a willingness to trow yourself outside of your comfort zone.

I don't have much to add from APAE's post (which is very good) other to say that both ESADE and Bocconi are target for London IBD (and places really well, especially Bocconi) so recruiting for London would be an option if you go during the winter / spring (as far as I know, banks in Europe haven't all moved to accelerated recruiting in the fall).

    • 1
Feb 29, 2016
mtnmmnn:

JustADude:Don't study abroad if you want equal footing in recruiting as your competition

This is very poor advice (and I say this as someone who lead recruitment while still in banking). Studying abroad is probably the best experience you can get out of college and all else being equal, having done so is a significant advantage when recruiting. Especially for SA recruiting, you end up at the final round with a pool of candidates that are very alike: they all have strong grades, relevant experiences, strong understanding of finance / good quant skills and motivation. So the hiring decision usually boils down to fit. Having studied abroad (or being about to) provides a great way to talk about yourself in a fun way that will make you seems more interesting and personable not to mention that it shows initiative and a willingness to trow yourself outside of your comfort zone.

I don't have much to add from APAE's post (which is very good) other to say that both ESADE and Bocconi are target for London IBD (and places really well, especially Bocconi) so recruiting for London would be an option if you go during the winter / spring (as far as I know, banks in Europe haven't all moved to accelerated recruiting in the fall).

Should have expanded on my post. I'm talking specifically about US recruiting at target/semi-target schools. I 100% agree with you that studying broad is a great experience to speak to during the process, but the issue is that it prevents you from going through the regular process with everyone else. Study abroad people gets pushed into the a different pool of applicants on a different timeline, which on a relative basis is more competitive. That's what I meant by equal footing.

Feb 29, 2016

I didn't study abroad because I didn't want to miss out on sophomore or junior internships. Neither of which happened so I might as well have enjoyed myself.

I'd say either freshman year or senior year after you've secured an offer are the best times to do it. A major plus of doing it freshman year is that pretty much every other country in the world has their drinking age at 18. Plus now that I think about it I didn't do anything important my freshman year either in terms of internships/recruiting.

Feb 29, 2016

I can recommend ESADE - have recently completed an Exec MBA program there, so while i do not know about your specific program I can certainly recommend the school.

Also, I know there is the notion that you must get into your career right away; however, a X-month delay in your career will not significantly hurt you in the long run. And the networking you would experience abroad will be quite useful.

Feb 29, 2016

I will say there are some banks that specifically do not recruit while you are abroad. For instance, Barclays did not even interview kids studying abroad. I would recommend going in the Spring. Also, do an external program so your grades do not count. I went abroad this past Fall to Germany so let me know if you have any questions as I went through the entire process this year.

Feb 29, 2016

Spring it is. Will update with my decision.

Mar 8, 2016

I posted in your other thread (on seemingly the same topic: http://www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/when-should-...), but I will post it here as well:

The reason you are getting so much conflicting advice is because every group in every office in every city is different. As with nearly every piece of advice on this website, your situation will not be the same as anyone else's situation and therefore no experience anyone has had will necessarily apply to you. For this reason, you must weigh your options and pick a route that puts you in the best position to achieve what is important to you. If going abroad and having a sweet experience is most important, great - do that. If getting an investment banking job is most important, great - give yourself every opportunity to do that.

Now for my maybe-useful-maybe-inapplicable advice: I am very active in the recruiting process for my office and can say with certainty that we do not consider people who are studying abroad no matter how stellar their resume is. A college career advancement office will email us resumes from their resume drop, we will pick the 10-15 we want to do a first round with, and if someone is studying abroad the college will say "This person is abroad, but we can set up a Skype interview for you to talk to him/her" - to which we always decline due to inconvenience. From my perspective (and this is a generally held notion in my office), at the end of the day there will always be someone else who will do just as good a job, so why go out of our way to interview someone via Skype when there are so many other candidates we can just meet in person.

I apologize if this is overly cynical or depressing, but it is just what I have observed.

Mar 8, 2016
EBITDUDE1:

I posted in your other thread (on seemingly the same topic: //www.wallstreetoasis.com/forums/when-should-...), but I will post it here as well:

The reason you are getting so much conflicting advice is because every group in every office in every city is different. As with nearly every piece of advice on this website, your situation will not be the same as anyone else's situation and therefore no experience anyone has had will necessarily apply to you. For this reason, you must weigh your options and pick a route that puts you in the best position to achieve what is important to you. If going abroad and having a sweet experience is most important, great - do that. If getting an investment banking job is most important, great - give yourself every opportunity to do that.

Now for my maybe-useful-maybe-inapplicable advice: I am very active in the recruiting process for my office and can say with certainty that we do not consider people who are studying abroad no matter how stellar their resume is. A college career advancement office will email us resumes from their resume drop, we will pick the 10-15 we want to do a first round with, and if someone is studying abroad the college will say "This person is abroad, but we can set up a Skype interview for you to talk to him/her" - to which we always decline due to inconvenience. From my perspective (and this is a generally held notion in my office), at the end of the day there will always be someone else who will do just as good a job, so why go out of our way to interview someone via Skype when there are so many other candidates we can just meet in person.

I apologize if this is overly cynical or depressing, but it is just what I have observed.

Its not cynical, its straightforward and honest which i appreciate. I guess you've been around too much corporate speak lately lol.

But I am actually still going to go abroad for the year. You mention resume dumps, and from there, you say screw this resume he is abroad, i have 10 other good resumes...My reasoning for this not affecting me is any chance I'd get would be through networking. Not a resume dump. I'd hope my connection with the person would elevate me past the resume dump kids.

Mar 8, 2016

bump

Mar 8, 2016

anyone got any ideas?

Mar 8, 2016

Yes, most banks recruit during senior, first semester and obviously, it significantly diminish your chances.

You can't really bet all your chips on gaining FT through a summer internship offer.

I don't know what year you are but I would do it sophomore year.

Mar 8, 2016
spartahill:

Yes, most banks recruit during senior, first semester and obviously, it significantly diminish your chances.

You can't really bet all your chips on gaining FT through a summer internship offer.

I don't know what year you are but I would do it sophomore year.

ah but my school only allows me to study abroad either in junior or senior year. would the best time to do it be first semester of junior year in that case?

Mar 8, 2016

^^ Study abroad 1st semester jr year

u will shoot yourself in the foot for just about any internship/job (not just banking) if you are not on campus junior spring/senior fall.

granted some banks do have accelerated SA interviews for people going abroad in the spring however unless you are from a serious target i would not count on this program. also given budget cuts i dont know if they are still doing this

Mar 8, 2016

Studying abroad should be an opportunity, not a burden. You should do it your sophomore year, it'll make for some awesome stories for junior year recruiting.

Mar 8, 2016

Most people go abroad during their junior year. If you're deciding between first and second semester you obviously would want to go abroad first semester. If that's the route you choose, then that summer before you would go abroad you should set up the network with which you'll be interacting with when you get back from abroad for spring recruiting. This is important to do beforehand because once you're abroad you can get caught up in the experience.

Mar 8, 2016

I think junior year is the best time, but it fucks you for internship recruiting at BB's. I got a couple of informational interviews but basically were like "yeah you have to come in to the office for an interview to be considered." And I was halfway around the world. If you plan on studying abroad make sure that you get your networking and applications done real early and let them know you will be studying abroad.

If I was you I would go fall of junior year (get an internship soph. summer) and interview as soon as you get back.

Mar 8, 2016

First semester senior year is the best time. If you had and did well in a good junior summer internship, then you don't have to worry too much about recruiting and can just enjoy your time abroad. I'm planning on doing that and going to Italy my senior first semester.

Mar 8, 2016

I want to go before junior summer because I think it's a great experience and will give me something to talk about when recruiting rolls around. I'm also trying to gain fluency in German so I think going early would help out in terms of that.

So I guess fall of junior year is better than summer of sophomore year? Does it matter what program I do? Are there any schools considered more "prestigious" to study abroad at?

Mar 8, 2016
laftexas:

I want to go before junior summer because I think it's a great experience and will give me something to talk about when recruiting rolls around. I'm also trying to gain fluency in German so I think going early would help out in terms of that.

So I guess fall of junior year is better than summer of sophomore year? Does it matter what program I do? Are there any schools considered more "prestigious" to study abroad at?

Most study abroad programs are usually at the "most prestigious" universities in the country, respectively. I studied abroad at the "Harvard" of the country I studied in, and no one gives a shit. Especially since you just have to attend an American University that sends kids there, many of which are pretty shitty schools.

Mar 8, 2016

Depends on what type of career you want to pursue. If you are IB and study abroad during junior fall, you definitely will be in a lot of trouble. If you are pursuing something that recruits junior spring, it should be fine to study abroad. In general I would agree with your peers who suggested studying abroad during your senior fall- you wouldn't have to worry about recruiting or finding an internship by then.

Mar 8, 2016
chickenboy:

Depends on what type of career you want to pursue. If you are IB and study abroad during junior fall, you definitely will be in a lot of trouble. If you are pursuing something that recruits junior spring, it should be fine to study abroad. In general I would agree with your peers who suggested studying abroad during your senior fall- you wouldn't have to worry about recruiting or finding an internship by then.

Well wouldn't I still have to recruit for Full Time positions? Or does that take place during a different timeline. If so, that would be ideal.

I haven't decided between IB & S&T but I just assumed they would be the same timeline. Let's assume IB for now.

Mar 8, 2016

Doing a study abroad won't really add that much to your application, to be honest. Enough people have lived or studied abroad that it's not really a very interesting point. When I interned, there were 6 interns from my school at my BB, and three of us were international students anyway. Go abroad for the experience, not for the resume boost.

Senior fall could also be difficult if you need to recruit for FT positions. Are you sure that you can't go in the spring? I know you said that the course offerings don't sound as interesting, but the fall is so important for recruiting.

Mar 8, 2016
confusedanalyst:

Doing a study abroad won't really add that much to your application, to be honest. Enough people have lived or studied abroad that it's not really a very interesting point. When I interned, there were 6 interns from my school at my BB, and three of us were international students anyway. Go abroad for the experience, not for the resume boost.

Senior fall could also be difficult if you need to recruit for FT positions. Are you sure that you can't go in the spring? I know you said that the course offerings don't sound as interesting, but the fall is so important for recruiting.

Alright, well that's good to know I guess. I was under the impression that it helps quite a bit, but now it will just make me work harder on the rest of my resume.

Is FT recruiting a different timeline than Junior year, or is it the same, in the Fall?

And it's not the courses at all. It's the actual COUNTRIES. The Fall voyages go to Europe and South America, while the Spring ones focus on Southeast Asia, where I've already been.

Like I said, if I had to, I would do Spring, not do the Semester at Sea, and instead spend a semester just in Europe, but doing SAS in a fall semester is definitely ideal.

And also, if I do end up going in the Spring, do interviews usually finish by late December/early January?

Thanks for your help.

Mar 8, 2016

I'm not sure what your timeline will look like, but mine looked like this. I went to a top target, so there was a lot of on campus recruiting.

Junior fall: applied to some diversity programs at BBs. Was lucky enough to score a SA position at my top choice, so didn't have to recruit during the spring.

Junior spring: everyone else was doing recruiting through the first few weeks - I was lucky enough to relax. Halfway through semester, my bank started the placement process for the summer, where you interviewed and contacted different groups to find the best fit. This was very time consuming for about a month or so.

Senior fall: I relaxed, having signed a return offer. However, on campus recruiting ran for the first month and a half. Recruiting for finance positions here was almost impossible - it was much easier to land a consulting offer. One of my friends had a return offer for GS/JPM S&T and still wasn't able to secure another offer in finance. He did get McKinsey though.

I interned in S&T but I'll be working in IBD full time in a few weeks, if all goes to plan. If you're still deciding on what you'd like to apply for, I'd be happy to answer questions about my experience. IB and S&T have identical timelines, so I wouldn't worry about that.

Mar 8, 2016

Thank you very much, I will definitely message you at some point

Mar 8, 2016

If there was ever any doubt about the profit motive of higher education...

Mar 8, 2016

How so

Mar 8, 2016

If your school doesn't have much OCR, then I'd imagine interviews could be all over the place (i.e. potentially November through Feb). If that's the case, can you just study abroad senior year?

Mar 8, 2016

I'm in the same boat as you. I'm in a non target that has no recruiting at all. It seems that if you do your networking now, you should still be good to go abroad during recruiting season. I'll be abroad my entire junior year at LSE, and all the bankers I've spoken to said interviewing is not a problem abroad and that the banks will definitely fly you out to the states if you make it to the superday. I would focus on networking and making sure recruiters can put your resume in applicant pool if your school doesn't have a resume drop.

Mar 8, 2016
centralpark:

I'm in the same boat as you. I'm in a non target that has no recruiting at all. It seems that if you do your networking now, you should still be good to go abroad during recruiting season. I'll be abroad my entire junior year at LSE, and all the bankers I've spoken to said interviewing is not a problem abroad and that the banks will definitely fly you out to the states if you make it to the superday. I would focus on networking and making sure recruiters can put your resume in applicant pool if your school doesn't have a resume drop.

They fly you from Europe to the US?????

Mar 8, 2016

I would not study abroad at all during junior year. Do it senior year or something. I'm from a non-target and had all my interviews in the fall semester. Things worked out for me, but if they didn't, I would have needed to interview/network second semester. If you are really committed, I wouldn't study abroad. Too risky.

Mar 8, 2016

Spring. My MM doesn't consider SA students who are abroad in the fall either.

Mar 8, 2016

fuark. literally every post conflicts with another. some say go abroad full year, some say dont go at all, some say go spring...like lmao wtf. RIP.

Mar 8, 2016
jnijnijn:

fuark. literally every post conflicts with another. some say go abroad full year, some say dont go at all, some say go spring...like lmao wtf. RIP.

The reason you are getting so much conflicting advice is because every group in every office in every city is different. As with nearly every piece of advice on this website, your situation will not be the same as anyone else's situation and therefore no experience anyone has had will necessarily apply to you. For this reason, you must weigh your options and pick a route that puts you in the best position to achieve what is important to you. If going abroad and having a sweet experience is most important, great - do that. If getting an investment banking job is most important, great - give yourself every opportunity to do that.

Now for my maybe-useful-maybe-inapplicable advice: I am very active in the recruiting process for my office and can say with certainty that we do not consider people who are studying abroad no matter how stellar their resume is. A college career advancement office will email us resumes from their resume drop, we will pick the 10-15 we want to do a first round with, and if someone is studying abroad the college will say "This person is abroad, but we can set up a Skype interview for you to talk to him/her" - to which we always decline due to inconvenience. From my perspective (and this is a generally held notion in my office), at the end of the day there will always be someone else who will do just as good a job, so why go out of our way to interview someone via Skype when there are so many other candidates we can just meet in person.

I apologize if this is overly cynical or depressing, but it is just what I have observed.

Mar 8, 2016

Bump

To infinity... and beyond!

Mar 8, 2016

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Mar 8, 2016
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Mar 8, 2016
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To infinity... and beyond!