Liqiang Xu

Country of origin: China

Senior Associate, Deloitte Real Estate

There are several reasons why I chose to study at LUMS: because of its ranking position and prominent reputation in finance, and because the finance degree gets credit from the CFA. The flexible teaching syllabus allows students to choose the best portfolio of courses from both the Finance and Economics departments.

The best memory of my whole three years undergraduate time was having the opportunity to be taught by the well-known economist, Professor David Peel. I would also like to mention monetary experts Gerry Steele, who gavve me great inspiration in Money Economy, and Dr Efthymios Pavlidis who inspired me to love studying Macroeconomics.

In my third year, I was fortunately chosen as a member of the team selected to represent Lancaster University at the IBM Universities Business Challenge 2010. My role was to act as a director of a virtual medium-sized company to improve its business performance. Even though our team didn’t reach the final round of the competition, it was an enriching experiencing and helped me recognise various skills within myself.

I grabbed every opportunity to gain industry experience in my area of study. During my summer breaks I worked as an intern in the investment banking sector. This experience helped me extend my theoretical knowledge and apply it in the real world. Luckily, in spite of being an intern I was given real responsibilities at work and was able to work on a wide range of projects and businesses and interact with highly experienced professionals in the industry. This offered me the chance to see the different stages of the IPO process like deal structuring, due diligence and final listing. During this internship, I felt the power of 'the invisible hand' and saw how the financial market stimulated and rewarded entrepreneurship, and in this process the part played by investment banking, which I definitely want to devote my future career to.

I was proud to achieve a First Class degree, and that my performance in the second year qualified me to take a dissertation as an elective, an honour that only a few students in the Accounting and Finance Department get each year. Furthermore, I was assigned to be supervised by one of the most eminent members of the Faculty, Professor Ken Peasnell.

The 30 hours of one-to-one instruction he spent with me on my accounting and finance project not only deepened my understanding in these two subjects, but also enlarged my view in broad economics in a major way. Additionally, experiencing how a prominent academic such as Professor Peasnell analyses and sees the world first-hand was also enjoyable. Furthermore, I learned that as a student learning is my job, so excelling in learning now is the same as excelling in my career in the future.

On graduating from Lancaster, I started an MPhil Degree in Real Estate Finance at Cambridge University. Following this, I would like to apply for a one-year internship in investment bank. After gaining foreign experience both in study and work, I would like to go back to China to continue my career route in these areas for a local Chinese investment bank. I would like to specialise in the areas of initial public offerings and meanwhile actively participate in each IPO programme and accumulate as many industry IPO experiences as I can.