entry level in front-office job?

Hi, I am a MSC in finance student and will graduate next year. I am considering my future career direction and want some suggestions from you. I have already passed all the exams of CFA and CAIA (Chartered Alternative Investment Analyst), and considering to take CMT (Chartered Market Technician) someday in the future if necessary. I want to work in front-office and my long-term goal is to become a portfolio manager. The worst thing is that I do not have working experience in North America. Does any one think that I can make it in finding my first job in the front-office? If so, what will be the most possible job that I can try? I will work in a small company to be a market maker from next week on. But it is kind of a semi-self-employed job, will this help when I try to apply for a job as a trader or analyst?

Huakbbob, I’d recommend trying to get a job as a trade assistant to get some practical experience, then apply for Portfolio Management.

how did you find the CAIA level 2?

BosyBillups, thank you for your suggestion. Do you think programming skill (C++, Java etc.) is necessary for a trading or portfolio management job if I work my way up through trading? FrankArabia, CAIA level 2 is very different from level 1 and CFA stuffs. Need to spend more time on it. The worst thing is that too many details need to be remembered instead of just being understood. When I took the exam, there was no study note or sample test bank. I read through everything three times. Now it should be better because Schewester has the note. You can study them both. The only recommendation from me is that do not think about short cut, you need to follow the question list and know them one by one. For the essay questions, try to document all the answers and stick to them, otherwise, you will never find the end of preparation, just too much information.

If you know C++ and Java, it may be helpful to build some proprietary trading models. However, you need trading experience in order to know what to build. I know PM’s that don’t have any programming skills, so I don’t think it’s necessary.