What made you want to study at a US university and CWRU in particular?
The United States of America has the most advanced and the best resources in the finance world. As a student that really enjoys finance, I am glad to learn about it in the United States. The most important thing that I cared about when I looked for the graduate school to apply to was the academic performance. As we all know, CWRU has a very high reputation for their academic performance. Moreover, the MSMF program in CWRU attracted me a lot. The entire program would help me understand finance better in both terms of academic theory and in terms of real life experience.
What do you miss most about your home country?
I think the thing that I miss the most is my family. I started to study in the United States in 2012. It has been almost 6 years that I have not had the Chinese New Year, the Mid-Autumn Festival, or even my birthday with my family. My entire family is in China. Although I have some really good friends here in the US, and I can have these special days with them, the feeling is still not as the same as my family member.
How has your global perspective changed now that you have studied in the US?
Before I studied in the US, I knew that nowadays the world is just like a global village, no matter where are you from, you can have a partnership with many other countries’ people. Once I was here in the US, this feeling became much stronger than before. There are many international students, who come from different countries. I need to do group projects and group presentations with them on the academic side; I also need to learn their culture, behaviors, and their way of living as their friend. This was really new to me at the very beginning. But all these things made me understand the world much better than before. I respect and try my best to understand the people around me no matter where they come from.
Name one thing about studying in the US that you had heard about before arriving and was surprised it was actually true.
This is a very interesting question. I mean no offense to any specific professor, staff, and my classmate in my answer. But honestly, accents is the thing I want to say. Actually, accents are very common. I have an accent as well because English is not my first language. My accent is mixed Chinese style into English speaking. I had heard that accents sometimes may make it difficult to understand a course. I thought this was an overstatement. However, this is true. I experienced some courses that made me feel totally lost just because of the accent. But this is absolutely not a problem. I have the textbook, handouts, and the tutor hours to use. Therefore, the accent is not a nightmare.
Name one thing you tried for the first time while studying a CWRU. Did you like it?
The thing that I tried the first time in my entire life and in CWRU is the computer in the Bloomberg Lab in Weatherhead. Those computers are awesome! They look like regular PCs (and yes, they do have the regular PCs’ functions) but they have so much data (include the real-time data) related to the finance world. I used it because one of my assignment was required to use the data from Bloomberg. And once I logged in, the data showing on the screens (you have two screens to see and use for one the computer) shocked me! Almost everything related to one specific company’s stock is on the screens. Even now I still feel this is unbelievable. So, if you are a student in MSMF program, go to the Bloomberg Lab. You will love it.
What advice would you give to other international students arriving to study at CWRU?
Here is some general advice to all international students that decide to go to CWRU. Firstly, tell other people your thoughts. Please feel free to say something different. Even if your idea or opinion is different than all the other people’s, speak it out. Let other people know what your idea is. And have a discussion. Trust me. No matter if your idea is right or wrong, you will be the person that understands the topic better than the person who only keeps quiet and agrees with other people.
Secondly, be a team player. I believe many people say they are a good team player in interviews. However, please take actions to be a team player rather than just say it. As a student in CWRU, you will have many group assignments, projects, and presentations. Sometimes you can choose the classmates that you want to work together with, sometimes the professor will choose the team members and give you a member list. Trust your teammates, respect their ideas and opinions, and finish your part on time-- these are the basic rules you should follow.
Last but not the least, find a hobby by following your heart. No matter how busy you are, you still have some time to do your own things. Do not waste your life and time. Follow your heart to find the hobby that makes you feel happy and makes you want to keep doing the stuff that is related to this hobby. This hobby may let you go to a whole new world and bring you many friends, memories, and exciting moments. In addition, make sure everything is legally approved.
What is your favorite place to visit in the Cleveland area?
The park near Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is the place that I always go to in Cleveland. The views there are really beautiful, especially in the summer. Enjoying an afternoon there is a good choice. But my favorite place in greater Cleveland area is the Summit Racing Equipment in Tallmadge. It’s about 50 minutes from school. Not far from Akron. As a car enthusiast, I have made many friends there and also learned a lot about cars.
What would you like to do after finishing your studies at CWRU?
I think I will go back to Beijing and find a job there. I had a great summer Internship in BMW China. I believe if I can mix my major and my passion together, that will give me a good feeling in my career. So, I may start my job in the auto industry.