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For those who Planning to work at Asia

For those who Planning to work in Asia

I'm an Asian student who came to America a year ago to get an undergraduate degree. I'm planning to get a master degree of FE right after I get out of college and hopefully I can get a job in Chicago or NYC (that would be the best-case scenario). However, after I realise how bad the US job market is now and how unwillingly the employer would like to sponsor a visa to the foreigner, my PLAN B is to get a job in Asia in some top international banking/investment firms, countries like Singapore, China, Taiwan or Hongkong.

I know there a A LOT of FE graduated who are Chinese. For those who already got a job in Asia or knows someone got a job back there,
DOES THE BRAND OF THE SCHOOL REALLY MATTER?

As I know so far, a degree from Columbia or NYU would definiltely put me at an advantage if I wanna work on Wall Street, comparing to the degree from Illinois Institue of Tech or GIT or Rutgers, assuming all else qualifications equal.

FE programs seem to be very RARE in Asia. Maybe the employers view the program from different aspects..
 
Just a question? Do you speak Mandarin?

As for your question, it does matter a lot in China than in the US. Top school degree certificate will get you a good start job, but you need the abilities to live there before anything else.
 
First thing, improve your English. It will make substantial difference in how employers perceive you. Read and participate more on a quant community like this one will help you a lot both in your finance knowledge and language.
my PLAN B is to get a job in Asia in some top international banking/investment firms, countries like Singapore, China, Taiwan or Hongkong.
This is too vague a plan. Chicago and NYC are two different markets with unique local flavor. Same applies to different countries in Asia. You need to know the need for each market and what do you have offer for them.
People aren't going to open the door for you because you have a piece of paper with you. How do you plan to get your first job? Does your future program provide job assistant in remote locations? Do they have a good alumni network there? How successful people with your background tap into that network?

It's a lot of questions that I don't know how you plan to get answers for. Don't make the naive mistake of assuming just because you graduate from Columbia, jobs will be automatic and any easier. You have to fight tooth and nail with a lot of hungry, hyper-competitive people today and it's only getting worse.
 
not trying to hijack your thread here, however i have the same question but coming from an American.

is it considered 'valuable' to be an American in FE whom also speaks Cantonese (Mandarin is mentioned below, but isn't Cantonese more preferable?)
 
Cantonese is essential for the Hongkong market i.e if you actually intend to live and work there.
The worldwide language for business is still English so it depends on how you plan to leverage that extra talent.
Maybe try to get a summer internship in Hongkong. There is a career fair in Boston a few months ago where employers recruit specifically for positions in Asia. Most positions require that you speak Japanese. And English, of course.
Boston Career Forum Guide General Info
 
Cantonese is essential for the Hongkong market i.e if you actually intend to live and work there.
The worldwide language for business is still English so it depends on how you plan to leverage that extra talent.
Maybe try to get a summer internship in Hongkong. There is a career fair in Boston a few months ago where employers recruit specifically for positions in Asia. Most positions require that you speak Japanese. And English, of course.
Boston Career Forum Guide General Info

Is it specifically the city of Hong Kong, or is it Cantonese is spoken in cities in China? I heard Cantonese in cities, Mandarin in suburban areas.
 
Yes I do speak Chinese (Mandarin).

@Andy
Yes, I need to improve my English. I knew that the first day I got here. And I know, it takes time....
Did I made some English mistakes in my post? How do you know I'm not English speaker? I thought my post is perfectly fine....

@Tylor
Cantonese is only useful at Hongkong, Chinese Mandarin is still widely used at China Beijing and Shanghai.
 
Is it specifically the city of Hong Kong, or is it Cantonese is spoken in cities in China? I heard Cantonese in cities, Mandarin in suburban areas.

Cantonese is spoken primarily in HK.

And no, you don't need neither Cantonese nor Mandarin to work as a quant in HK or, even more so, in Singapore. As for quant job market in Asia, it's growing. Although entry level positions are very rare.
 
Don't worry, in the long term, cantonese as well as its culture will be reduced at a point that it won't be matter any more, just like any evolution.

So I will suggest go long for mandarin, as for cantonese, forget about it. it's depreciating faster than the value of the dollar.
 
Don't worry, in the long term, cantonese as well as its culture will be reduced at a point that it won't be matter any more, just like any evolution.

So I will suggest go long for mandarin, as for cantonese, forget about it. it's depreciating faster than the value of the dollar.

It may happen. In the very long run, it's possible that it may not even be useful in knowing Mandarin because Chinese people by that time will mainly speak in English and I'm afraid if you speak "too good" Mandarin you'll be looked down by those people.
 
I like your sarcasm.

How's this -- if your are non-Asian (white esp.), decent-looking, and you can speak mandarin or cantonese, why you wouldn't want to work in Asia in finance? You would be worth much more over there than London or NY.
 
It may happen. In the very long run, it's possible that it may not even be useful in knowing Mandarin because Chinese people by that time will mainly speak in English and I'm afraid if you speak "too good" Mandarin you'll be looked down by those people.

Very interesting point! As a Chinese, I do acknowledge that there' s this "fad" going on--speaking fluent English while crappy Chinese is regarded as "cool" or "modern" by some, especially in the south. Self-abase, I guess. However, I think it's just a phase that will pass eventually.

PS, I am from the south and don't like mandarin that much. It was just a northern dialect superimposed on us by the government (not by the CCP actually, but the KMT first).
 
I agree.
Mandarin is a must, Cantonese is just an advantage.

Don't worry, in the long term, cantonese as well as its culture will be reduced at a point that it won't be matter any more, just like any evolution.

So I will suggest go long for mandarin, as for cantonese, forget about it. it's depreciating faster than the value of the dollar.
 
Mandarin is used in China, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, and people speak in Cantonese is likely to understand Mandarin as well, so Mandarin is the way to go.

However for foreign people (especially white), it's not a good idea to speak fluent Mandarin, just basic is enough. By knowing some (not too much) Mandarin, Chinese people will adore you because they think you are friendly and cute, and at the same time think you are superior. I'm serious, though it looks sarcastic.

Also, people working as quant in HK or China is very likely to be educated enough to speak OK English, so language shouldn't be a big problem in the workplace.
 
I know some people working in Singapre and Malaysia. Thier first language is Mandarin and they speak OK English. I do know some chinese working in China, and they speak very little English.

So by the time I graduated from college, if I still can't speak fluent English, working in Asia might be another good option for me. As Singapore, HK and China are one of the top business capitals in the world now.
 
All the jobs I looked into applying for last year in China and HK required the applicant to be fluent in Mandarin and English.

please show me a quant position in HK that requires Mandarin.
I work as a quant in HK, and I've been looking at the job market here lately. none of the quant position I've seen had Mandarin as a prerequisite.
 
please show me a quant position in HK that requires Mandarin.
I work as a quant in HK, and I've been looking at the job market here lately. none of the quant position I've seen had Mandarin as a prerequisite.

Can I know which university you were graduated from?
Is Cantonese a MUST if I want to work in HK?
I know just a little bit of it...OK in listening, BAD in speaking
 
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