Can Study Abroad Help Your Investment Banking Career?

Business has become increasingly globalized, and business schools have been quick to capitalize on this phenomenon, luring more foreign students to cross borders and attend their programs.

In the UK, for example, there are more foreigners in MBA programs than British students, according to an article by Philip Delves Broughton, published in American Chronicle. The London Business School has students from more than 120 countries. Harvard Business School asserts that 35% of its students are from outside the United States.

Foreign students coming to America are often eager to break into Wall Street. Many of them to bring the prestige of an American University “brand name” back home. Or they want exposure to the American way of doing business which dominates so much of global business.

But is plunking yourself down overseas, if you’re American, for an MBA program somewhere else really worth it? What do employers want? Are you better off just building your network where you live?

Philip Delves Broughton, who’s written a book about the subject, suggests that it is worth the effort. With so many large firms (including investment banks) operating multiple offices around the world, speaking a foreign language and being familiar with other cultures is increasingly a “must-have” for potential top executives.

“You may well stand a better chance of working for a major investment bank if you’re willing to forgo London (or New York, for that matter) and start work in Shanghai, Hong Kong or Mumbai,” he writes.

Studying abroad demonstrates both willingness and a recognition of the global nature of business and global flow of capital today. What’s more, the foreign experience can help even if you end up working at home. Broughton points out that more and more foreign money is pouring into our country these days.

What’s your opinion? Have you thought about or acquired MBA training or investment banking¬†job experience¬†overseas? Add your comments below.

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{ 1 comment }

BC July 3, 2010 at 4:14 am

I have been dreaming of getting my advance degree from Hong Kong and making it my second home for various reasons. I think I will definitely be in a better position vis-a-vis others as interviewers prefer someone with exposure to diverse education systems and cultures.

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