I am fortunate to belong to a business savvy Chinese family; being a part of my inheritance I gained exposure to the world of business and commerce at an early age. This exposure gave me an opportunity to explore the business world from the perspective of an insider along with the realization that by being engaged in the business activity people not just enrich their own lives but they are also yielding benefits to everyone around them. Since then I have been driven by an intrinsic motive to look for avenues or activities through which I can attain the dual goal of self and social enrichment simultaneously. I have developed the complimentary and competing goal that I would live my life in a way that fulfills both personal enrichment and social responsibilities.
When I was young, I was skeptical of the potential of the finance industry and its ability to provide value to the economy. But as my knowledge grew, so did my appreciation of the industry. In the summer of 2012, I had the opportunity to intern as a performance analyst at Noah Private Wealth Management which serves an intermediary between the buy and sell sides. At Noah my role was to evaluate the quality of sell side funds and explore their suitability for the buy side clients. The experience gave me a broad range of exposure to the financial industry and noticing the interest pursued by others in the financial activities as well as the associated rewards gave me a deeper appreciation for financial markets. For example, I analyzed one fund dealing with the opening and operating convenience stores in rural areas. It was able to achieve a double-digit annual return by leveraging its network of logistics and suppliers and in the process it created jobs in rural areas, brought modern conveniences to rural residents which could not be accessed otherwise. I realized that finance has the potential to create win-win situations for everyone though it is not possible for finance people to invent new technologies or create NGOs but they direct resources to support these developments though their financial knowledge and expertise yielding economically and socially positive outcomes. I could sense that the finance industry would allow me to reconcile my competing goals.
Another defining experience dawned this past summer while working as an analyst intern at the Investment Banking branch of China Investment Securities. During my research engagement in asset securitization in China a case study of the commercial property management company securitizing its future rent was studied. CICC usually used to practice a rather arbitrary estimation of future cash flows and discount rate for structuring the deal. I embarked on some deeper research as I believed that this practice undermined good risk management. My research suggested that the more developed financial markets, such as the United States employ financial engineers to build complex models for structuring deals. This was my first exposure to modern financial engineering and I began to see the field as a revolutionary force in financial markets. I was fascinated by the ability of financial engineers to exponentially increase liquidity and efficiency while reducing risk simultaneously. I believe that financial engineers are empowering traditional finance in the creation of win-win situations more efficiently and effectively.
Backed by my background in mathematics and computer science I envision myself in the role of a financial engineer in the future years. I sincerely believe that a career in the financial industry would allow me to achieve my competing goals besides an opportunity to work in an exciting and challenging field. The extensive coursework which I undertook at University of Virginia will be an added advantage for me as it is essential to financial engineering. My studies involving linear algebra, multivariate calculus, stochastic calculus, real analysis, software development, and programming will also be handy. The experience that I have procured in the finance industry will give me an assistance in my future career wherein I intend to apply financial engineering techniques in Chinese financial markets. Last but not the least; I have adapted myself to the high energy culture of the United States unlike most college students from China. I have displayed continuous balance between my school, work and other social obligations as exemplified by simultaneously management of the work as a DJ and responsibility of being the vice president of my fraternity while attending school full-time.
I am deeply interested in the Quantitative & Mathematical Finance program at NYU for the prestigious reputation it enjoys and its geographical and social proximity to Wall Street. My interaction with the past graduates of the program have communicated positively of the program’s ability to prepare students for a career in financial engineering both academically and professionally as they speak very highly about it. I intend to secure a job on the Street that will apply my skills and experiences acquired from this program after graduation. I have often visualized myself working for a fund that employs statistical arbitrage or algorithmic trading techniques and in the long term I would like to return to my homeland China and start my own quantitative fund creating value for myself and society both by bringing Western knowledge to Eastern markets. I sincerely believe that attending NYU Stern would be the best way to leverage my passion and experience along with accomplishing my long term goals.