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About City

Graduate views: Yaming Yang

  • Graduated 2012: BSc Financial Economics
  • Nationality: Chinese
  • Studying MPhil Finance, Judge Business School, University of Cambridge

Can you tell us a bit about what you're doing now?

I'm studying for an MPhil Finance at Judge Business School, Cambridge, which provides me with an opportunity to build on my existing skills and ability in the field of finance and economics.  I mainly focus on two areas: one is application (part of my coursework is to undertake equity research, which is a valuable opportunity to investigate real companies via their financial reports) and the other is methodology. In the future, I can either choose to pursue my interest in academic fields or to apply for jobs in the financial market.

How did your BSc help you get to where you are today?

The quantitative methods I learned during the BSc Economics at City are very useful.  Generally speaking, what I learned at City laid a solid foundation for me and taught me how to carry out research. The overview of Economics that I gained during the course provides me with a range of ideas for understanding the world economy.  

I found it interesting that faculty members in the Department of Economics had different views on the same topic. Their different opinions drove me to re-think what might or might not be true, and to learn to think independently and work out what my own argument is.  

Cambridge expects its candidates to have a strong background in either academia or work experience. More importantly, Cambridge selects candidates by assessing whether they can think independently and I believe that the most valuable thing provided by the course at City was this training in independent thinking.  

Why did you choose Financial Economics at City?

I felt I would be able to learn how to think independently, rather than just gaining knowledge as an end in itself, and I believed I would be able to fulfil my potential at City. The course is focused on helping students to learn professional skills for when they graduate.  

Economics is about the art of choosing the right model by which to understand the world.  The reason I chose to study economics, finance and business is because I want to understand the world in the hope of one day identifying a way of solving resource shortages, perhaps by identifying an approach that could help reduce asymmetric distribution.

What was your favourite topic or module and why?

Macroeconomics, econometrics, labour economics and international finance. The coursework provided me with the chance to re-think what I had learnt, and to apply that knowledge in a more practical way, rather than just memorising for an exam.  Moreover, we were trained in professional skills, which are useful either for future study or work.  

We learnt to use a lot of methodologies in econometrics, which laid a solid foundation for my future study. Because I have that foundation in econometrics I can now choose to study advanced econometrics modules for my MPhil and I understand the fundamental ideas required to undertake empirical work.
I enjoyed the lectures I attended and I cherished each opportunity I had to learn as much as I could.  

Were there any lecturers who particularly helped you?

One of the most valuable things about the Department of Economics was the service they provided. No matter what kind of problems you had, you could discuss these with the Head of Department, Professor Michael Ben-Gad, or with your personal tutor (Dr Claudia Jeffries in my case). They responded to their students as soon as they could and always made sure the solution satisfied our requirements. The satisfaction from a student perspective is also one of the main reasons I chose City.

Were there any particular benefits from City's location?

City is located near Angel and my friends and I used to go to the Chinese buffet and to VUE to watch films. The location is wonderful and it allowed me to enjoy both my academic life and my leisure time. To be honest, I miss City very much now.

I went to the University gym frequently, which greatly benefited my physical condition and I had a very good lifestyle. City also has a good badminton team where I learnt to play badminton.

What are your longer-term career plans?

In the long run, I would like to be an expert in investment and personal wealth management.  The professional skills I learned at City have provided me with a foundation for this, as well as a road-map for realising my long-term career goal.