Before coming to the United States, I earned my bachelor’s degree in finance at Shanghai Jiao Tong University. I hadn’t decided which career path I wanted to take, so I chose to pursue higher education and enlarge my understanding of the financial world. Among many available choices, I chose the Whitman Master of Finance (MSF) program due to its flexibility and its good reputation among international students. It’s a decision that I have never regretted.
The MSF program provided a broad range of curriculum that could satisfy every student’s needs. It allowed me to get a depth of the subject of interest depending on my personal abilities, interest and goals. I developed a strong liking for corporate finance in my first year during my course with Professor Tom Barkley. After taking more advanced courses, I was determined to set financial analyst as my career goal after graduation.
Knowing my strong interests in financial analysis, Professor Barkley offered me a great opportunity to team with four other students to represent Syracuse University to compete in the CFA Research Challenge. The competition exposed me to technics and financial models used in the real-life financial world–skills that I lacked in my preparation for being a financial analyst. To improve my technical skills, I contacted Professor Xu and Professor Skewes and got the opportunity to work with them as a teaching assistant for the Financial Management Tools course, which was a precious experience to teach and, at the same time, learn how to use financial models to deal with practical issues.
Equipped with technical skills and analytical skills, I got an interview with Estee Lauder Companies at the beginning of 2015 and soon a job offer followed. I have been working as financial analyst in the International Finance Department for one year. Often times, I find myself using knowledge that I learned during my master’s courses. Even when I make presentations to the senior management, I realize I am utilizing presentation skills that I developed during school projects. There is no doubt that Whitman has had a great impact on my career development.
Though I now live in New York City due to my work, I miss Syracuse a lot. Without the huge support from faculty, fellow students and friends, I would not have been able to start my career successfully in the United States. I am proud to be a graduate of Whitman and I hope to make Whitman proud of me.
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