Manage my future risk

As a senior student, it will not be long before I need to consider how to manage my income risk. This post will mainly focus on two different parts and the first one is how I try to minimize the risk in choosing my major as well as my experience in student organization. In the second part I want to talk about what I’ve learnt from my mentor of my summer intern.

For me, university life has three major components: study, student organization and internships. In terms of study, the very first thing is choosing my major. I used to be a finance major student in China because my parents think that will help me get a good job with decent salary. It turns out I did like my parents’ suggestions as well. However, when I was preparing for transferring to U of I, my consultant told me that based on his experience, it is difficult to transfer into business school directly and you are very likely to graduate late. Instead of applying for finance I chose Econ as my major in U of I. But I find being an Econ student is actually not my first but right choice after being here for more than one year. I like learning economics and I think it will help me development my analysis skills on different events ,not only on stock market. What is even better is that most of my credits are transferred here, I could pick up another major I am interested in like statistics without delaying my graduation. Compared to many of my friends who have to study for one more year to finish their finance major, I can finish my study on finance in my master program. I think learning both statistics and economics enables me to think both analytically and technically, which is quite helpful for my future study and career on finance. Choosing Econ as my major in U of I minimizes the risk of graduating late and provides me with a better opportunity to learn things I am interested in.

Taking part in the student organization is also a very important part of my university life. Back to China, I was a vice president of Model United Nations Club and I was responsible for contacting with members of different schools. After participating in this activity for two years , I have been to 12 different universities and 10 different cities in China, communicating with students with different backgrounds and majors. Many of friends I made in this activity have graduated and worked for top law firms, consulting companies and finance institutions in Shanghai, Beijing and Hongkong. It was an amazing experience I got an internship opportunity because of my experience in this event. I worked as a program management of MUN study abroad plan and sent students to University of Chicago to take part in the model united nations there. Taking part in student organization not only practices my communication skills but also  provides me with some future resources.

This summer, I went back to China and found an internship as a client manager of an investment bank and it is the first time I have the chance to experience my dream job. My mentor, who is a former employee of Pwc Shanghai is really nice and helpful to me in the two-month internship. He graduated in 2007 when the economy is about to collapse and he told me that even in the worst situation, you should keep your mind clear and stick to your dream. In the next seven years, his career path is just like what he has planned, not because he is lucky but because he always works hard and sticks to his dream. ” On this road, many people will tell you that you can’t do it but don’t be afraid, just do what you think is right.” He was rejected by SPD bank (a famous bank in China) seven years ago and the HR told him that he didn’t have the acumen for investment. After working in Pwc for four years, analyzing hundreads of companies’ balance sheets and income statements, he went to England and achieved his master degree of finance, in 2013 he became the manager of investment department of SPD bank. What I learnt from him is not to give up easily and always stick to my dream and believe in what you’ve done will pay off someday.





  1. profarvan · October 20, 2014

    I gather from this that you are planning to go back to China after you graduate from the U of I. If that is so, I wonder whether you might comment on going to college in the U.S. instead of in China and what impact that has on your future income risk. I’d be interested in the response to that.

    I agree with you about sticking to your goals and that a very important factor in ultimate success is persistence. But I will disagree with your characterization of the role of luck. In the book Thinking Fast and Slow, that I cited in class lasted week, Daniel Kahneman argues that most of us don’t know how to use randomness as a causal factor so incorrectly attribute good outcomes to deterministic causes. So let me suggest a compromise on this point that is embodied in the expression – luck favors the prepared. What we can do is be well prepared for situations. Then luck can have its say too. Sometimes there are bad breaks, even when prepared. The key is not to let that distract from preparation for the next time around.


    • shiyuchen1992 · November 4, 2014

      I think what I appreciated most of US college is the freedom of choosing what you want to learn and the “work hard and play hard” culture. You can’t imagine how difficult it is to choose the class you are interested in computer science, if you are an economics student, not to say transferring to engineering department. Also, the study culture here helps me learn to manage my time to make the most of it and enjoy myself at the same time. Also sorry for replying so late.


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