Portrait photograph of: Zhihui Huang

Zhihui Huang

Country Of Origin: China

Degree: MSc Accounting and Financial Management, 2015

Associate Financial Analyst, Shanghai Disney Resort

LUMS is well known worldwide for its academic excellence, especially in its Accounting and Finance programme. The School is young but energetic and vibrant, and I believe that it is full of opportunities for students to develop as long as they are diligent enough to grasp them. For example, LUMS offers many training courses for professional skills, such as Excel, financial databases, VBA, Matlab and so on. I firmly believe that these complementary training courses can help students to become adept professionals in preparation for their future careers. Moreover, LUMS has a long-established partnership with the CFA, and thus many high quality CFA-related training resources. If students plan to go further in the finance industry then LUMS can help them to set their sails one step earlier, and if students do well enough academically then LUMS can offer scholarships to support them in taking the CFA exams. This helps to relieve financial burdens. In summary, I believe that LUMS cares about their students, rather than just their exam results.

My most unforgettable experiences when studying at Lancaster were probably the group assignments. Though sometimes a bit tough, these assignments broadened my horizons. During the process I learned how to work well with teammates from different countries and cultures. At first, I found it difficult to express myself accurately, especially when arguing about some questions involving professional vocabulary. It was funny that I always used a lot of body language, but practice makes perfect. Our group cooperated more and more efficiently, and it became much easier for us to express ourselves and to understand each other. My critical thinking and presentation skills both improved a lot, and I believe the courses were set properly and that the lecturers and professors were kind, patient and helpful.

My best Lancaster moment was probably when my teammates and I finally overcame all of our difficulties and completed our group assignments successfully. The result itself was not the most important thing; instead the process of discussion and perfection, and the friendships we developed were what have left me with lifelong memories. I also valued the wonderful extra curricular activities such as GradBar live music nights, the departmental ball and BBQs, and the Sports Centre witnessed many exciting badminton and table tennis games between my friends and me. I even learned a new kind of sport called frisbee there. What an interesting experience it was, to join their trial training with their School team! The School’s UNICEF fund-raising volunteer activities also enriched my life experiences, and it really felt good to help others. What’s more, it was always a really fantastic experience to walk through the vast green fields with my friends and enjoy the fresh air, beautiful hills, blue sky and pretty clouds, with the birds’ music echoing around on campus after the day’s hard work. I cherished the opportunity to get close to nature and enjoy the beauties around me at Lancaster, and this taught me to have a more positive and happier attitude towards my study, my work and my life.

My Lancaster experiences have left me with a lot of unforgettable memories. Intensive but helpful courses, lovely friends and professors, a busy but peaceful life; I will remember them all deep in my heart forever. All of these experiences have helped to shape me into the person I am now.

When I applied for the MSc Accounting and Financial Management Programme I was lucky enough to be invited for a telephone interview for a scholarship, and then (based on my performance) I was offered a postgraduate academic excellence scholarship of £6,000. This helped to relieve my financial burdens, and also encouraged me to study hard and make more progress during the year. Also, at the end of the programme when we graduated the Department also gave awards to those students who had performed well, including the Chancellor’s Medal Award, the Dean’s List Award and the Departmental Graduation Award. These awards acted as an appreciation of students’ diligence, and an encouragement to fulfil our future potential. LUMS values every student!

I went to many careers fairs in Manchester and also some company visits, such as to Mazars. The LUMS Careers team would frequently post upcoming events online, and we were able to find what we were interested in and sign up for it. They provided a lot of opportunities to choose from, to help us to progress towards our future careers. The School provided coaches to take us to events, and thus making the trips much easier for us. Moreover, the Careers Team put on workshops each term to provide us with the necessary skills and information for CV-writing, career planning and how to succeed at interviews. These workshops provided us with opportunities to think about our future, and equipped us with helpful skills.

I intend to find a job related to accounting and finance back in China after graduation. I hope that I can apply what I have learned at LUMS to my future work. I believe my interesting Lancaster experiences helped me when I was interviewed to be an Associate Financial Analyst at the Shanghai Disneyland Resort. The international horizons I have gained and my interdisciplinary academic background, as well as my passion for work and life, will definitely help in my job search and in my career. I believe that, whatever I do in the future, the soft skills I developed at Lancaster such as communication, presentation and critical thinking will all play a role.