High Level finance/consulting careers in Taipei

I got hired into a HK owned stock brokerage on the merit of a liberal arts degree and someone who knew the boss.

I think the best thing you could do is to get to know people working in those places, they can get you the tips. My advice to you when it comes to finance would be to look for an editing job. They pay from between NT$60k to NT$120k.

One young guy got hired by a foreign stock broker with some 2-3 years of experience in electronics, and started out at the higher end of the bracket. He also entered a career path, which could take him rather far.

It is possible, however luck and hard work on the connection side is key.

MBA are not that neccessary to become a consultant. In the larger firms there are differents tracks in consulting. Usually broken down into Management Consulting, Business Process Consulting, Technology Consulting, Legacy Support Consulting.

Consulting has a high turn over rate because the work hours are extremely long, which doesn’t fit into people lifestyles if they want a family.

You might want to focus on Business Prosess or Technology career tracks in Consulting if you don’t have the background for Management consulting. Legacy Support is a slower career track, but it is more stable than the other categories of Consulting.

Sorry if I wasn’t clear later on, in the first post I mentioned I am only talking about management/strategy consulting. Hence the McKinsey’s and Bain’s and such, maybe Booz Allen…the high level ones that pay the big bucks…not Accenture, or some IT shop, which are quite low on the “consulting” totem pole. In my view IT consultants are just glorified programmers, who have to wear a suit and run around to client sites, with regular pay. To me that seems worse than working at a tech firm! The poeple at IT consulting shops might be more cool to hang out with than tech firm geeks tho, I heard.

Ahhhh…the good ol’ “guanxi”…gotta love it…I’m still working on that part.

By the way what’s an “editing” job at?? It’s not editing english is it??

Guanxi can be built.

Sometimes with a resemblance thereto, but oftentimes not.

Sometimes with a resemblance thereto, but oftentimes not.

[And if I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again and again and again - as often as the malfunctioning of the “Submit” dictates.]

Editing jobs tend to get boring after a while, however they can be the springboard to greatness and a ton of money, or 20 years of editing crappy chinglish.

A lot depends on you, and what you make of it.


If you want to enter the top Management Consulting firms either through the former big 5 or boutique shops, then make sure you have the pedigree education. The same with I-Banking, if you’re not recruited right out of college for the analyst program it is very difficult get in.

You can take other people suggestions of getting hired at other firms in the same field and as your gain experience get head hunted into the top level firms.

Or if working for a particular firm is the most important aspect in your career, you get hired into the firm in a support role instead of the fast track career.

I get the impression from your post that all are concern about is prestige. Nothing wrong in wanting status. But is it a wise career move? At the end of the day at $250,000 USD + bonus employee is still an employee.

Consulting is about helping companies implement change. If the client had the programmers, managers, and tech support to implement strategic changes on their own why hire a consulting firm. Large firms with large project require people with different skill sets. Do you have the skill sets to get hired into these firms at this point in your career? If not how to do get those skill sets, should be your concern.

Well said. I totally agree with everything you said.
Well to clarify, I’m not “just” looking for prestige, although that would be nice. I am looking for a top tier firm for 3 things:

  1. Networking. As someone above mentioned, networking or “guanxi” is extremely important for your career development. At the top tier banking and consulting firms, you work with some of the most successful, intelligent people. They are more international too, many went to top schools in the US. That network will come a long way in developing a career.

  2. Work Environment. Top international firms are run very professionally, and they have a system of doing things. They care about merit; if you perform, you will be rewarded. Local firms, small unknown firms, well that’s a completely different story, I think you know what I’m talking about. Basically, you have to put up with BS in every company, but you have to deal with A LOT more BS in no-name local firms compared to top international firms.

  3. Money. I know money isn’t everything, but 250K vs 30K is a HUGE difference. In the states, you can pretty much get 90-100K doing anything as long as you’re pretty good at it and you’ve been doing it for a number of years. At some point you need to buy a house, car, get married, etc. It all takes $$$, and local salary just doesn’t cut it. And we all know living in Taiwan isn’t really THAT cheap. If you compare living costs with the US, it’s not all that different. Maybe food/healthcare is a bit cheaper, but many of the major costs (house, car, electronics, phone bill, etc) are essentially the same. Most locals get by by depending on their parents, but I don’t have the luxury to do that.

  1. Networking - is helpful. But it is only a tool among the other tools you’ll need to have a career. Outside of school you might want to join professional organizations or clubs. But the most successful people rarely have time for these activities, so it is not the most dependable tool…but it is useful at times.

  2. Work Environment - Well it is nice to have a quarterly review in those fast track careers. But just because your performance is written down in black and white, doesn’t mean there are not shades of grey involved in career advancement and promotion within the organization. Perception managment, politics and performance are played at a refined level compared to other careers. But the loses are greater as well. Your whole career can be stopped with just 1 sentence in a review.

  3. Hmmm… I think this part shows a little bit of inexperience in the workforce. Nothing is guaranteed in the free labor market. Thinking that you will make 100K, just by sitting around, getting 3% raise every year is not realistic either.

Money is independent of working for Consulting Firms. After you get out of the “make ends meet” phase in your life, you realize Money is just a scorecard in the game.

But how do you get out the “struggling to survive” phase people usually ask. There is no straight forward answer. But I assure you the answer is not in I-Banking, VC, Consulting, or Hedge Funds. There are plenty of dead end jobs in those firms as well. Not to mention not everyone make partner either.

Most people in NYC Mahatten depend on the parents as well, when the first start out…

Well good luck.

Networking gets you to the front door only. After that you have to get in.

In terms of getting out of the “struggling to survive” phase, there are generally some hard yards involved for most, though a few seem to skate through. The important thing is not your current job, but what job does your current job lead to? Does it get you closer to where you want to be? So, where do you want to be? The answer should be more convincing than just more money (though that is nice).

Yes, 100k + perks + bonus pay packages are quite common these days, though they don’t exactly grow on trees. You will be expected to work quite hard for it.

I think the attrition rate of my MBA classmates was about 50% after 5yrs for consulting. Even these overachieving people who loooove their work couldn’t hack it in the long term. The joke however, was that in industry, the hours don’t always decrease relative to the pay check :laughing: The attrition rate for I-banking interestingly enough, has been much lower. Mostly moving from sell to buy.

AC is right. It’s not about the money after a while; it becomes what kind of life do I want.

Which is why you rather sensibly didn’t get into brokerages. :frowning:


You’re a better man than I am Gunga Din!

[quote=“Huang Guang Chen”]Which is why you rather sensibly didn’t get into brokerages. :frowning:


Still beats teaching in my book.

[quote=“Mr He”]Editing jobs tend to get boring after a while, however they can be the springboard to greatness and a ton of money, or 20 years of editing crappy chinglish.

A lot depends on you, and what you make of it.[/quote]

Now we’re talking! Do you need to know Chinese to score one of those gigs?

Some do some don’t, it depends.

A bit never hurts. I have known editors netting NT$130k, who had a chinese vocabulary of 100 words, and some netting less, who were near native fluency.

it helps though.

That’s not what he told me. I understood he was sent to Taiwan after working in London. My memory might be fuzzy on this one.

Ask someone who worked for him during June 2004 what they think of him. The answer might be illuminating. Mr Teflon.

Well, getting paid helps on the viewpoint, I guess.