BSc Economics in Finance, Sun Yat-sen University
IBD Senior Associate, CITIC Securities
Owen was interested in the field of investment, with the aim of becoming more quantitatively skilfull, building on the knowledge he gained from his undergraduate course. The programme provided a great fit for him to improve his understanding of the industry.
Your time at Imperial College Business School
Why did you choose to study your programme and why specifically at Imperial College Business School?
I was interested in the field of investment, and was looking to build on the knowledge I gained from my undergraduate degree. The programme looked quite technical, thus a great fit for me to improve my understanding of the industry. Also, the fulfilled experience during and after the programme of some alumni that I knew impressed me a lot and made me determined to apply. Enjoying global recognition and celebrated academic ranking, Imperial College Business School specifically appealed to me as it is renowned for its first-class teaching faculty, well-devised curriculum, and abundant practical resources.
What was the most important learning point you took with you from the Business School?
Global vision. Imperial is a highly diverse community, in terms of both teaching staffs and classmates. Lecturers, with different backgrounds, are all experienced in academia or industry. In the programme, which focuses more on industry career, what I learned from many industrial practitioners was enormous, including financial market mechanism from global perspective and international macro economies. The Dubai elective, for example, was also a wonderful experience to develop a basic understanding of the current macroeconomic situations in the UAE, broadening my global vision. Apart from that, it was nice to meet all my classmates with various cultural backgrounds and study together.
What advice would you give to a prospective student considering studying the same programme as you?
As the Business School offers many different programmes, make sure you choose the one that is the most suitable for you, in terms of your career goal and what knowledge or skills you need. Once you make the choice, make the utmost of all the resources at the School to help achieve your potential. But even if you adjust your career goal during the programme, you can talk to the Careers service and seek support on what to do next.
What was the most surprising thing about the programme?
As someone who did not have any preliminary knowledge on machine learning, I found some courses like Big Data in Finance quite interesting but not as hard as I thought to understand. Like most other electives, we did coursework as a group with people from different programmes, so that everyone could contribute from various angles.
Tell us about your current job
How was your career transformed following your programme?
Although my experience is not typical, as I adjusted my career path a bit during the programme and entered investment banking field after, I think in general the programme equipped me with essential soft skills that can be applied to many different careers. First of all, the global vision I gained from the programme helped me with job interviews, where I had chance to show myself comprehensively. Second, I enhanced my interpersonal skillset including teamwork and networking, contributing to my future career in the long run. Last but not least, the alumni community was of great importance and I think it will be more significant in the future.
What do you enjoy most about your current work and what are the main challenges that you face?
As an investment banker, I enjoy the fulfilment and satisfaction that comes after putting much hard work into a project and it finally succeeds. Also, working with many talented people who graduated from other schools that are as well-known as Imperial is very exciting.
One of the main challenges is that there is never an end to study when it comes to the financial industry, but time is limited compared with student life. For example, China recently launched publicly-traded REITs rules after years of discussion. I had to learn those rules and compare them with global ones in a very short time so as to better serve the clients and make quick response to their questions.
In what way is remaining connected to your alumni network important to you?
As the alumni network is wide and huge and everyone works in a different sector or position, it will be meaningful to remain connected and learn from each other on industry trends or global economic issues. After all, being comprehensive about as many insights as I can is crucial and profound to my future career. Moreover, the alumni network can be helpful if I decide to change jobs at some point in my career.