Admission essay

Raised in an entrepreneural family, I have witnessed how important the roles of finance and economics play in the modern business world from a young age. My grandpa and my father run a company in the non-ferrous metal manufacture industry, whose non-emerging and capital-intensive characteristics have hindered large-scale capital financing for further development. Besides, in such a typical cyclical industry, the profitability of the non-ferrous metal production firm is greatly affected by the macroeconomic environment with factors ranging from supply chain, government policies, and international trade. Thus, motivated to solve the problems for our family business, I decided to learn knowledge about economics and finance to better comprehend the economic pattern and facilitate corporate decision-making.

My passion in economics and finance grows even stronger when I discovered that they are everywhere in life. For example, as a enthusiastic K-pop dancer, I was amazed to learn that beneath the pretty aesthetics and angelic voices of K-pop, there are interesting ties between the rise of the K-pop industry and the Asian financial crisis. Since then, the habit of juxtaposing small mundane details with economic/financial theories becomes a source of pleasure in my life.

My undergraduate studies have introduced me to a wide range of economics principles and financial analysis toolkits including financial reporting, investment analysis and corporate finance. Economics intrigues me due to its systematic framework to study resource allocation and resource creation, taking into account the dynamic balance of the present and future. Specifically, I have benefited a lot from the methodology of comparison, game theory and backward induction, which have made my thinking more comprehensive and objective.

Aware of the added challenges in today’s fast-evolving world, I have been making efforts to equip myself with interdisciplinary knowledge, which has brought me new perspectives and useful tools for economic analysis. In the course Public Policy, I learnt about how a public policy was brought into action since its formulation, covering topics including minimum pay, Obama Care, climate change and education segregation. In Evidence-based Decision-making in Organizations, I explored the essential components of an efficient organization: culture, incentives, decision-making, leadership, delegation, groups, etc. Inspired by this course, I would like to research more in my graduate studies on how the organizational structure of a company would affect information costs, and how to quantify the influence of the leadership styles on the overall decision-making of the company. On the other hand, I have strengthened my analytical skills through courses such as Calculus, Economic Statistics, Applied Econometrics, and Programming and Problem-solving with Python. In my internship at China Securities Index Co., Ltd, I utilized SQL to retrieve and manage data collected from the annual reports of listed companies, and programmed in Python to conduct data manipulation and analysis. I believe all of these skills and knowledge will contribute to my success in future studies in advanced financial economics.

The various rewarding projects in my college have inspired me to apply the knowledge I have learned in class into the real world. In a state-wide investment competition titled Tennessee Valley Authority Student Portfolio Competition, I utilized both top-down and bottom-up methods to analyze Real Estate Investment Trust (REITs) projects, and I gained hands-on experience in financial asset management. Based on the Discounted Cash Flow model and comparable valuation method, I adjusted the valuation to account for the impacts caused by the Covid-19 pandemic and the economic downturn. Furthermore, I paid extra attention to whether a particular REIT had deployed a unique strategy to improve occupancy and expand sources of income. As a result, I ranked #1 out of 10 participating groups, from which I tasted the fruit of combining financial valuation with economic analysis.

With a proactive attitude towards the business world, I took the initiative to explore multiple fields in the financial industry, ranging from investment banking, venture capital to equity research. During my internship at Huatai Securities, I participated in drafting an in-depth research report about the investment strategies of sovereign wealth funds, which I analyzed from a historical and intercountry perspective. By studying the asset allocation strategies such as tail hedging, active and passive strategies, asset-liability management and factor theories, I deepened my understanding of the importance of diversification and risk management. Moreover, to achieve high performance in the long-term investment, I felt the great necessity to master the evolution of economic cycle as well as its impact on various asset classes. Thus, I gained more clarity in pursuing higher education in finance and economics to acquire more insights, polish my skills and realize my career objectives thereon.

Having accumulated diverse experience in this broad area of finance and economics, I now wish to expand my scholarship through the advanced study in the MSc Financial Economics Programme at the University of Oxford. I intend to launch my career in the investment banking industry to provide value-added services including corporate finance, IPO arrangement and brand building. I hope to join an international investment bank, where I’ll be able to leverage both my qualitative and quantitative skills to work as a financial analyst. In this regard, the rigorous curriculum design of this programme such as Asset Pricing, Corporate Finance and Econometrics will further enhance my financial modeling skills, which will serve as my core competitiveness in the industry. Besides, tailored to my career direction and personal interest, I’m eager to take classes that center on the topics of Mergers, Acquisitions and Restructuring and Information and Communication in Finance. Taking advantage of the exclusive coaching provided by the Careers team, I’d be able to identify personal strengths and position myself properly in the job market. In particular, I’m very attracted by the programme’s strong influence in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, my ideal work place. The onsite networking sessions will connect me with working opportunities so that I could achieve my short-term goals right after graduation.

Additionally, I’m looking to gain a robust network in the business world that is rapidly becoming more interconnected. The Saïd Business School provides an unparalleled platform for me to interact with the outstanding peers, alumni and world-renowned faculties. Thanks to the Oxford Saïd Finance Lab, the precious practical experience in financial operations that I could learn from the industry elites will be of great benefit to my professional progress. My long-term goal centers around establishing my own investment banking advisory firm, whose ultimate success hinges upon an acute market sense and a solid understanding about clients. With the practical skills and industry insights obtained from the MSc Financial Economics Programme, I’m confident to become an investment banker ready to embrace new business adventures in the future.