UK Sophomore at a Target US College - Struggling with Summer Ideas Watch

Amida1237
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Quick background about me - Current sophomore at a target US school with strong alumni network. Econ major. GPA is around 3.75. 13A* and 3A* at GCSE and A-Level. Some okay past work experience - but think 1/2 week schemes in law, consulting, and finance - no solid internships. Didn't do anything great last summer - just worked in ASDA and did a 1-week AM insight week as I couldn't find anything good in the UK and I didn't want to use my OPT in the US. However, I would love to work in IB in the US one day - although am happy with any finance experience anywhere this summer.

I thought things would be different this recruiting season but I'm struggling. Sophomore offerings seemed to be more directed towards ethnic minority groups/LGBT+ candidates and most of the on-campus recruiting was done by companies not interested in sponsoring visas. Had a few interviews and one superday - but usually got rejected in favour of juniors at my school.

I know traditional advice would be to use the alumni network to find an internship but most are unpaid and I'm from a very low-income background and simply can't afford living expenses for 8-10 weeks - especially in cities like NYC or Chicago. I have been networking though and hoping this pays off more in the future.

I can't do UK spring weeks because they conflict with my class schedules. Does anyone know if/what banks are flexible with non-penultimate year students applying for summer internships in London?

An unpaid internship in London would be feasible but struggled with finding one last year - doesn't seem to be as much of an 'internship culture' and I have basically no alumni connections. Any advice for networking remotely in London and finding unpaid internships?

Any other summer ideas? I'm beginning to wonder how much my sophomore summer truly matters if US recruiting is being pushed so far ahead.

My current backup is seeing if I can get scholarship funding for the Tuck Bridge program and potentially pairing that with something else.

Any advice would be appreciated!
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Amida1237
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