Application Essay. As my father works in one of China’s largest banks, I have grown up with a ringside view of the fascinating world of international finance. This background made Financial Engineering my natural choice as an undergraduate major at the Yunnan University of Finance and Economics in China. As I studied a wide range of financial and mathematical courses, I realized that the strongest foundation for a career in Financial Engineering is undoubtedly a complete immersion in Mathematics, exemplary skills in Computer Science, and the added advantage of a familiarity with international finance and cultures.
With this objective in mind, I transferred to Indiana University to major in Mathematics, with Computer Science as my minor. As I approach the end of my undergraduate study, I am confident that my objectives have been met, and I am now qualified to enter the higher academic world of Financial Engineering. As my decision to opt for Financial Engineering as my career was taken very early in my academic life, I have ventured into several areas which have contributed to my mathematical abilities, and the development of my creativity.
I believe that, while building up a theoretical framework is essential, it is equally important to hone one’s skills through practical, hands-on application. My experience as an undergraduate tutor of Calculus, and as a peer tutor of Java Programming Language, tremendously strengthened my mathematical and computational skills. Again, in search of practical applications of my growing financial skills, I opened my own clothing store in Kunming, China. My venture into entrepreneurship was one of the learning experiences of my lifetime! I acquired inventory management skills, learned the art of creating a financial forecast, and gained valuable entrepreneurial experience.
Above all, I learned to trust my business instincts and overcome my ambivalence in demonstrating initiative. The defining project of my career has been my stint as an intern at the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China, Yunnan, Kunming, Nanping Branch (ICBC) in the summer of 2010. As a financial analyst, I experienced a deep sense of job satisfaction, and the reinforced conviction that this was the career meant for me. It was a great experience to be a part of ICBC, which boasts the achievement of successfully weathering the global recession and the slowing down of the Chinese economy.
My assignment concerned a company called ‘Dao, ’ which was involved in a wind farm project. ICBC was interested in acquiring this concern, and my responsibilities included providing evaluations and appraisal reports to the senior management team, as they consolidated information to fix the right offer price. I went into an in-depth study of the renewable energy industry, in order to strengthen my credentials as a worthwhile team member, and assisted in financial analyses.
It was great to participate in company meetings, and make a genuine contribution to the decision-making process, through my weekly and monthly reports and presentations. I learned to prepare various spreadsheets in Excel, which provided a clear picture of the relevant financial data. My mathematical and analytic skills improved in leaps and bounds as I addressed the task of managing a specific set of deliverables, gathering financial data, interpreting and expressing this complex financial and mathematical data in comprehensive terms, and effectively communicating my opinion to the team.
This internship also gave me the opportunity to gain knowledge of capital markets, portfolio management, and financial sales. I believe that Financial Engineering is not just about crunching numbers, but a field of creative endeavor. It is finance which keeps the wheels of the global economy turning. Financial Engineering is rich with myriad opportunities to help the world to reach a level of prosperity which will benefit all, especially the developing nations. I am confident that I can do my own part to contribute to the betterment of the global economy as a financial engineer.