Country of origin: China
Risk Analyst, ING Wholesale Banking
In 2009, when I came to Lancaster University for a Master’s degree in MSc Money, Banking and Finance (MBF), I never thought I would graduate with a PhD in Economics. Things changed at the end of first term. The MSc MBF programme director - Professor Ivan Paya (later my PhD supervisor) - saw potential in me and introduced the PhD programme to me. During the second term, I transferred to the Research Master Programme and began to develop skills required by PhD studies. After passing all the training, I started my PhD journey with a full scholarship from LUMS.
When I look back, I strongly feel that Lancaster University is an institution that helps young people to unlock their potential and empower them to grow. My supervisor Professor Ivan Paya helped me realise my potential in quantitative research and encouraged me to embrace the challenge of PhD studies. For me, he was not only a supervisor, but also a teacher and a mentor. He carefully guided me through the PhD journey, provided abundant support whenever it was needed, and inspired me with his life stories and research ideas. The whole PhD experience was rewarding and enjoyable. I completed my PhD Economics degree with a successful thesis defense and a publication in a top ranking journal. I don’t think I would have achieved this if I’d have chosen a different university.
Another unforgettable part of my PhD experience was teaching. As an award-wining Teaching Assistant, I undertook a large number of teaching each academic year. I enjoyed the time with my students and found joy from helping students achieve academic success. Teaching stretched my knowledge in Economics and also helped me build up excellent presentation skills, time-management skills and interpersonal skills. All of these skills enabled me to step out the crowd during my job hunting journey in the city.
One last piece of student life at Lancaster that made me a strong candidate in job market was my experience as a Student Ambassador. I joined Lancaster University International Office as a Student Ambassador during the first year of PhD. I was privileged to be involved in originating several international partnership conferences, setting up the University’s official Chinese social media platform, and serving students and parents on more than 40 open-day events. At Lancaster, students were provided with many part-time positions to help them improve employability.
In 2016, after serving the University as an Associate Lecturer for a year, I joined ING Wholesale Banking as a Risk Analyst. The research experience I gained and skill sets I developed at Lancaster University opened the door to my career in the city, and I do believe I’ll keep benefiting from them in future.