Country of origin: China
Hedge Fund Associate, Oriental Research Capital
I majored in mathematics as an undergraduate in China, and so I had a solid mathematical background, but only a limite knowledge of finance and investment. The MSc in Quantitative Finance at Lancaster is very balanced and covers economics, mathematics, finance and programming.
The modules broadened my horizons and considerably advanced my knowledge of the quantitative finance field. The programme compares favourably with those on offer in China, where the focus is solely on accounting, whereas my interest was in quantitative finance.
The skills provided by the modules on the MSc Quantitative Finance were particularly useful when I was applying for jobs after graduation. For example, when I applied for a job as an Options Analyst (China will open its options market, stock options and commodity options this year), I found that the Derivatives Pricing and Financial Econometrics modules were particularly helpful in getting me the job offer as most of the questions during the interviews were covered in these two modules.
Other elements of the programme have also been helpful: when I applied for the job of Risk Analyst, I found the modules on Statistical Methods for Financial and Economic Applications and Assessing Financial Risk: Extreme Value Methods very relevant.
In addition, in China, macroeconomic analysis is a must for every practitioner in the finance industry, and so Economics for Money, Banking and Finance and International Money and Finance have been very useful to me. Programming skills are also valuable, and VBA and R programming are frequently used in China these days. Indeed, with the development of the derivatives market in China, these skills are more and more valued.
I have now chosen to work as an associate in a hedge fund based in Beijing Financial Street. We focus on A shares in China and H shares in Hong Kong, and derivatives will be covered when the market is mature. Compared with traditional firms in China, we are very quantitatively orientated, and the firm has a partner who is a Quantitative Finance professor (US tenure).
I cherish the days I spent in Lancaster and the UK where the sky is blue and the memory is sweet!