Zhifang Zhang

Country of origin: China

PhD Accounting and Finance, Lancaster University

Choosing to study at Lancaster was the best decision that I ever made. The friends I made and the courses I took will definitely stay with me for the rest of my life. I have some beautiful memories from my foundation year, undergraduate and Master's degree at Lancaster, and I am looking forward to continuing this amazing experience by completing a PhD in Accounting and Finance at Lancaster.

The Department of Accounting and Finance has an excellent reputation for producing highly qualified and skilled research students from a wide range of nationalities. By expanding my level of qualification, I hope to build upon the skills and practice of accounting and finance in order to pursue this as an academic career.

During my final year of undergraduate study at Lancaster University I went on international exchange to the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the US. I went with an idea of certain goals that I wanted to achieve, things that I wanted to experience, but came out with far more than that.

The tastes, sights and sounds of the US are so different from anything I had ever experienced in either Lancaster or my hometown of Guangzhou in China. During my Study Abroad period, I chose a variety of courses such as Bank Management, Derivative Securities and Real Estate Process. By taking these modules I hoped to gain diversified knowledge about different lines of business, to prepare myself for the pursuit of a higher degree.

In particular, I had the opportunity to take part in the State Street Halloween Party in Madison, Wisconsin. State Street has gained recognition as a gathering place for tens of thousands of party-goers from several states on Halloween. My friends and I had a great night there and the photo which was taken there enabled me to win the first-ever Study Abroad Photo Competition at LUMS.

The MRes in Accounting and Financial Management (please note that this programme is no longer available in an MRes format, however it is available in an MSc format) at Lancaster combines the taught course element which is based on the corresponding MSc programme and the assessed study of advanced research methods. The programme is intensive but at the same time it is extremely useful and rewarding. It provides me not only with the accounting and financial knowledge that I need to construct my research idea but also the related econometric methods for me to be able to build a suitable model for my idea.

After graduation I will go on to study for a PhD in Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University Management School. I feel that the research methods I learned from the MRes degree are incredibly helpful and will enable me to make a smooth transition to PhD study.