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Old 22.10.2013, 00:13
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Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

Hey guys,

Guess everyone here is looking to find something in CH while I'm doing the opposite. Maybe you guys can still be of a help.

I'm a Swiss citizen but like to work in the U.S.
I'll graduate in December 2013 and currently intern at CME Group in Chicago.
Believe me finding a job in the U.S. is as hard as every bit of finding a job in Switzerland. Ok, I'm not from Harvard

Maybe we have some American friends who are willing to give some advises.
Based on what you read here, it seems that getting a US work permit is doubly hard than getting a Swiss work permit. It just seems impossible to find a H1b sponsor in Chicago.

What do you guys think? I appreciate your thoughts and tips.
Thank y'all!
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Old 22.10.2013, 09:24
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

Your best bet is with the people you are interning with.

Otherwise, have you considered New York? It would still be difficult but NY is a lot bigger financial center than Chicago.
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Old 22.10.2013, 18:56
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

Thanks Brian.
I've only applied for chicago area.
I might give a shot in NY. As of now it's been a mixed bag.
Some of my friends got job and some of my friends didn't get the job.
I would say it's 4 to 6, maybe 3 to 7 scale in terms of the success rate
Some of my friends got job just by applying on the web.
I'll keep trying.
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Old 22.10.2013, 23:15
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

Why not try applying with UBS or Credit Suisse in the US? It's my understanding that the US is UBS' biggest market, and they have operations all over, including Chicago, NY and Miami.

Good luck!
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Old 22.10.2013, 23:18
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

I believe that Washington may be looking for someone to sort their finances out
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Old 23.10.2013, 05:33
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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Why not try applying with UBS or Credit Suisse in the US? It's my understanding that the US is UBS' biggest market, and they have operations all over, including Chicago, NY and Miami.

Good luck!
That's right! I'm working on that currently. CS is fairly small in Chicago, they've got a much bigger headquarter in NY area, I believe.
But they are not going to take me just because I'm Swiss, believe me. So I think it's equally good to apply for Morgan Stanley or JP Morgan.

Good tips. I'll give a try for sure.

Last edited by lulumink; 23.10.2013 at 05:45.
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Old 23.10.2013, 05:34
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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I believe that Washington may be looking for someone to sort their finances out
LOL, government shutdown is over I believe. They almost hit the debt ceiling
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Old 23.10.2013, 07:19
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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LOL, government shutdown is over for now
FTFY. They will hit the new ceiling again soon and the "party" will start again.
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Old 23.10.2013, 13:45
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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Hey guys,

Guess everyone here is looking to find something in CH while I'm doing the opposite. Maybe you guys can still be of a help.

I'm a Swiss citizen but like to work in the U.S.
I'll graduate in December 2013 and currently intern at CME Group in Chicago.
Believe me finding a job in the U.S. is as hard as every bit of finding a job in Switzerland. Ok, I'm not from Harvard

Maybe we have some American friends who are willing to give some advises.
Based on what you read here, it seems that getting a US work permit is doubly hard than getting a Swiss work permit. It just seems impossible to find a H1b sponsor in Chicago.

What do you guys think? I appreciate your thoughts and tips.
Thank y'all!
From you post above you have an internship. First question to ask is what is your Visa Status? Or you considered a Student per US INS? (J1 Visa)

This will be your first barrier, but depending on Visa can be leveraged specially if your are on a J1. If you have J1, upon finishing your internship (if linked to University Program, you can apply for an OPT, which should allow you and additional 6 months of job search.

Ok the job search, Networking is the first step. The Big Finanical companies are the ones where you may have more chances..... maybe. There are group on meet up. Even a "wine tasting" meet up group can open doors.

Get use the American way of networking fast. We move, we shake, we schmooze and its acceptable per the culture contrast to Switzerland. We have a saying, "if you want results, you gotta get out and make the calls". And if you ain't the one doing the schmoosing, well..some one else is and he or she will take the first opportunity to crap on you. Welcome to America..land of the free. That's one thing I miss about the US, the competitiveness and performance-based culture...but i digress.

But, you should also look at companies have have a history of supporting visas, in your case, you would need an H1 visa. There use to be a website where one would be albe to search companies to see how many employees were on H1, but I'm not sure if that's avaialbe anymore. But DO look at the smaller firms, you may actually have more opportunity the them vs. the larger ones. Try to find others with H1 status.

When job searching..YOU would be responsible for "telling" the employer that they would need to file a visa for you. Notice I didn't say "ask". They will need to either provide or pay for the Lawyer services to support your application. You may need to be very assertive.

The companies that have H1 employees should be easier for you as they would know the process. The ones that don't..well, you will have to educate them. Whether they listen or not is pot luck and subject to open-minded ness of the company staff.

One can easlity say "oh its hard" and why should a company hire you contrast to US citzen. To that, I say bullocks! I know enough asskicking non-US, non-visa holding people who didn't take a defeastist attitude and they made it.

One in particular was my wife, then girlfriend. She was in a situation like you, J1 on OPT status, then looking to get into a consulting firm. The big companies wouldn't take her due to her visa status (McKinsey, Boston etc). But She hauled ass, found botique/speciality consulting firms with H1 employees, and got them to push her visa applications through. Not Once, not twice, not three times, but 4 times.

In one company,a new start-up firm, no H1 staff, the hiring manager was a former US Army Colonel and dead on Republican and NRA member, and she pushed massively on him to put the H1 though, it was the first time he ever made such a hire.

So its doable but, key message to this post... pound the pavement.

Good luck.
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Old 23.10.2013, 15:27
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

Parkadam's comments are clearly coming from someone who's been there. Perseverance is the name of the game.

Just want to add an additional caution - please do consult with a reputable US immigration attorney who specializes in employment-based visas before making visa decisions. **DO NOT rely on internet forums for immigration advice.** ***Every person's situation is different.*** What will work for one person on a J-1 visa (or F-1, or any other student, work, or other type of visa) will not necessarily work for the next person. Each situation is a mix of many different factors. And if you're planning on applying for OPT or are currently on OPT, remember that deadlines - and expiration dates - are critical.

A bit of friendly advice from an experienced professional :-)
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  #11  
Old 25.10.2013, 03:45
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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From you post above you have an internship. First question to ask is what is your Visa Status? Or you considered a Student per US INS? (J1 Visa)

This will be your first barrier, but depending on Visa can be leveraged specially if your are on a J1. If you have J1, upon finishing your internship (if linked to University Program, you can apply for an OPT, which should allow you and additional 6 months of job search.

Ok the job search, Networking is the first step. The Big Finanical companies are the ones where you may have more chances..... maybe. There are group on meet up. Even a "wine tasting" meet up group can open doors.

Get use the American way of networking fast. We move, we shake, we schmooze and its acceptable per the culture contrast to Switzerland. We have a saying, "if you want results, you gotta get out and make the calls". And if you ain't the one doing the schmoosing, well..some one else is and he or she will take the first opportunity to crap on you. Welcome to America..land of the free. That's one thing I miss about the US, the competitiveness and performance-based culture...but i digress.

But, you should also look at companies have have a history of supporting visas, in your case, you would need an H1 visa. There use to be a website where one would be albe to search companies to see how many employees were on H1, but I'm not sure if that's avaialbe anymore. But DO look at the smaller firms, you may actually have more opportunity the them vs. the larger ones. Try to find others with H1 status.

When job searching..YOU would be responsible for "telling" the employer that they would need to file a visa for you. Notice I didn't say "ask". They will need to either provide or pay for the Lawyer services to support your application. You may need to be very assertive.

The companies that have H1 employees should be easier for you as they would know the process. The ones that don't..well, you will have to educate them. Whether they listen or not is pot luck and subject to open-minded ness of the company staff.

One can easlity say "oh its hard" and why should a company hire you contrast to US citzen. To that, I say bullocks! I know enough asskicking non-US, non-visa holding people who didn't take a defeastist attitude and they made it.

One in particular was my wife, then girlfriend. She was in a situation like you, J1 on OPT status, then looking to get into a consulting firm. The big companies wouldn't take her due to her visa status (McKinsey, Boston etc). But She hauled ass, found botique/speciality consulting firms with H1 employees, and got them to push her visa applications through. Not Once, not twice, not three times, but 4 times.

In one company,a new start-up firm, no H1 staff, the hiring manager was a former US Army Colonel and dead on Republican and NRA member, and she pushed massively on him to put the H1 though, it was the first time he ever made such a hire.

So its doable but, key message to this post... pound the pavement.

Good luck.
Thanks a bunch! I really appreciate your words.
You're absolutely right and I've already known the rules of this job hunting game.
Although I am Swiss, but I went to high school and college in the US. I know the culture, but still thanks for giving me the insider info.

Yes, I'm on F1 visa. It's just a student visa. I'm eligible for OPT after graduation. So there's no problem with the work authorization for now.
There is no magic wand or mushroom. I have to put time into this and try very hard.

If you guys know anyone work in finance industry in the U.S and you think you can hook me up with someone, that'll be awesome.

anyway, thank you again!
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Old 25.10.2013, 03:48
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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Parkadam's comments are clearly coming from someone who's been there. Perseverance is the name of the game.

Just want to add an additional caution - please do consult with a reputable US immigration attorney who specializes in employment-based visas before making visa decisions. **DO NOT rely on internet forums for immigration advice.** ***Every person's situation is different.*** What will work for one person on a J-1 visa (or F-1, or any other student, work, or other type of visa) will not necessarily work for the next person. Each situation is a mix of many different factors. And if you're planning on applying for OPT or are currently on OPT, remember that deadlines - and expiration dates - are critical.

A bit of friendly advice from an experienced professional :-)
Yup, he's an American, I think. Believe me I know the game too, because I'm playing it now. But how good you're at this game, it's a different question.

Thank you too for the precious advises.
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Old 25.10.2013, 04:36
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

are you just finishing undergrad or your MBA? and what part of finance are you focused on? whether or not you find work in Chicago will depend largely on what kind of work you want to get into, since the finance market there is considerably different from the market in NYC or elsewhere.
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Old 25.10.2013, 08:07
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

The only thing I can add, about the Chicago market in particular, is it is very crowded. There is a lot of finance talent in Chicago. So much so companies with Chicago offices are sending their talent elsewhere for promotion. I know of two individuals who, in order to receive large promotions were sent elsewhere. One to NY and one to WI. My spouse was sent here to CH. You really need to be one of the best and brightest. Talk to your superiors where you are currently interning. Hopefully the company has a mentoring program you can tap into. Good luck.
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Old 25.10.2013, 20:59
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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are you just finishing undergrad or your MBA? and what part of finance are you focused on? whether or not you find work in Chicago will depend largely on what kind of work you want to get into, since the finance market there is considerably different from the market in NYC or elsewhere.
Undergrad. With MBA it's even harder to find anything. Wage higher and you're foreigner. They like to hire undergraduates, unless you want to do equity research or IB associate.Thanks for the input.
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Old 25.10.2013, 21:12
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

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The only thing I can add, about the Chicago market in particular, is it is very crowded. There is a lot of finance talent in Chicago. So much so companies with Chicago offices are sending their talent elsewhere for promotion. I know of two individuals who, in order to receive large promotions were sent elsewhere. One to NY and one to WI. My spouse was sent here to CH. You really need to be one of the best and brightest. Talk to your superiors where you are currently interning. Hopefully the company has a mentoring program you can tap into. Good luck.
Thanks for the info. NY is even more crowded and competitive don't you think?
You're right. Chicago is super small in terms of its size. It's like finding a finance job in Zurich area - competitive and crowded.
A lot of ivy league students come compete with Chicago local workforce.
Everywhere needs the best and the brightest. The jobs are taken before we even know they existed. I think I just have to network like crazy and try harder. That's the only solution and outcome.
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Old 27.10.2013, 20:13
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Re: Swiss looking for finance jobs in the U.S.

New York, hands down (Dons flame-retardant suit for plethora of groans).

I understand that Chicago is good (Caveat: I've only visited and never worked there), but NY has virtually every bank on the planet there. If you can't get in via your internship, it may be easier to (as an earlier post mentioned) get in with a local bank in CH and then do a transfer, maybe even via London (Hey, sounds familiar!)

New York has a seriously high bar, however. It's extremely competitive and VERY unforgiving, but the rewards are also very high. Perseverance and obstinence will get you much further than anything else. If you want it bad enough, refuse to take "no" for an answer. It will be hard, especially with just an internship under your belt, but it won't be impossible.

Good luck!
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