Zhifang Zhang

Country of origin: China

PhD Accounting and Finance, LUMS

Choosing to study at Lancaster is 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 Masters degree at Lancaster, and I am so looking forward to continuing such amazing experience with PhD study at Lancaster.

The Department of Accounting and Finance at Lancaster 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.

This MRes degree in Accounting and Finance 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. It provides me not only with the accounting and financial knowledge that I need to construct my research idea but also the related econometrics methods for me to be able to build a suitable model for my idea.

During my third year of undergraduate study at Lancaster University I went on an 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. I hoped to gain from this diversified knowledge about different lines of business, to prepare myself for a higher degree pursuit.

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 help me to win a first-ever Study Abroad Photo Competition at LUMS.

I am currently doing a PhD in Accounting and Finance at Lancaster University Management School. I feel that the research methods that I learned from the MRes degree are incredible helpful and enabled me to make a smooth transition to PhD study.