AN EXPERIENCED TRADER ANSWERS YOUR QUESTIONS: I'm an Indian on a post study work visa. I've worked in an arcade. What are my chances of getting a job on the buyside?

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THE QUESTION: 

I’m an Indian living in UK on Post Study Work (PSW) visa.I hold a first class degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from a good university in South India .I have done my masters in Wireless Communications engineering from University of Southampton. After finishing my masters I developed an interest towards financial world and very much interested in making a career in it. I worked in a trading arcade and traded fixed income and STIR futures for 6 months (stopped in July). I'm currently studying towards completion UNIT 1 in IMC.Given these conditions how do you think of my chances of getting a trainee IM manager position in UK firms or getting into a buy side of any firm for that matter (please consider my visa status as well)?

Would my chances get any better after getting IMC?

THE ANSWER:

You have a number of issues working against you that will make your objective very hard to achieve (but certainly not impossible).
The first issue you must tackle is brand recognition of your university in South India.  Few in the UK will know the standing of your institution.  It would be good if you could put the international or national ranking of your institution on your CV next to the university name, e.g. "Ranked 14th of all universities in India".
You're degree subject is a good, staple choice for finance.   Given the vein of your studies has been in the engineering direction you must be able to defend your decision to move into finance with more than just "it interests me more" - why?  What makes finance more interesting that designing engineering outcomes?  What are the overlapping (and additional) skill sets you can bring to finance from engineering that can benefit an employer?
Your arcade background gives you good product knowledge of the hedging instruments a bank dealer would use but less so an IM (being long-only, real money investors).  Be prepared to explain why you left too.  CFA would be more prestigious and generally useful than IMC but it's not a move in that direction.
A major institution won't have problems sorting a visa for you (such as a top 20 bank) or large IM.  You will becomes less attractive to an IM when they become smaller (they won't want the hassle of arranging it - assuming their HR is even large enough to handle this).  So, focus on the medium & large IMs, prepare rebuttals for searching questions in interviews, continue your IMC studies, and make overt and highlight the quality of your Indian university.

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