Han Lin from SAIF MF 18: Shanghai & London, a Tale of Two Cities

2020-02-25

About the Student:

Han Lin
SAIF MF 18 and LBS MFA Student
Bachelor of Finance, Sun Yat-sen University

Hello! My name is Han Lin, with a bachelor’s degree from Sun Yat-sen University. I was very fortunate to have dual admissions to the Master of Finance (MF) Program of Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) and the Masters in Financial Analysis (MFA) Program of London Business School (LBS). Many thanks to SAIF for giving me an additional chance to choose and experience two different lives under two master programs in two cities in China and in the West.

Encountering SAIF and LBS

I think I am a quite easy-going person and the encounter with SAIF was destined. In the second half of my junior year, I realized that I was highly likely to study abroad for a master's degree, though in fact I didn’t have a clear idea. At that time, my Plan A was to go abroad, while Plan B was postgraduate recommendation by the university. I applied for SAIF Mini Camp in Beijing and received the invitation one week in advance. But I was in Denmark for an exchange program at that time, and due to a number of reasons, I didn't return to China. However, SAIF admissions team was very considerate to the applicants. When I was about to go back home, I was notified that I could directly participate in SAIF Summer Camp, which was also my last chance.

One week before the Summer Camp, I happened to know a SAIF alumnus who studied at LBS through a CUHK alumnus who was about to enter LBS. And I learned about the SAIF-LBS program. Since I didn't make up my mind about going abroad or studying in a postgraduate program in China, it was the best choice. The experience at SAIF Summer Camp was great. What impressed me particularly was the frankness of the admissions team. The admissions officer answered my questions about the dual program honestly and patiently, and objectively evaluate my pros and cons. In the end, with the help of many persons, I was lucky to get the offer of the program.

At LBS

The year at LBS introduced me to a different life. With the current tagline of "Minds Alive", LBS is a highly diverse community with students, faculty and staff from all nationalities and backgrounds. At LBS, every idea is free and respectable. I learned a lot from my classmates and alumni and received plenty of encouragement. My mentor at LBS resigned from a top-notch investment bank because he wanted to change his way of life. A former trader at an energy corporation, one of my classmates told me that he would go to New York and try to work at an investment bank in the summer. Some students even joined a few startups since they felt that finance was a bit boring. They seemed to take these actions easily or take them for granted, the things I could hardly understand or that take great courage, which deeply inspired me.

LBS is a big stage where everyone can do what they want to do and have their own space to play. Of course, the teaching at LBS is also first-class. The academic or industry backgrounds of the faculty are impressive, while the backgrounds of the students are diverse. There are students from more than 30 countries in my program. The curriculum is well designed and practical, laying a solid foundation for our career journey in the future. Studying and working in this diverse environment is extremely interesting, challenging and valuable.

In addition, the School also cooperates with companies in the industry and introduces us to real-world cases. Each year, LBS will arrange every student to travel to one of six destinations around the world and participate in specific topics. For example, during the London Business Challenge Week, we completed a project selected from various industries. In Global Immersion Field Trip, after several weeks of research and preparation, we investigated the industries in different regions across the world and presented our findings.

London is also a magical city, a perfect mix of tradition and modernity, hitting the ideal balance between work and life. In London, to perceive art, you can go to see a variety of musicals, plays and ballet. To pass the time, you can pick from an endless list of museums. You may visit a variety of royal parks either in a good mood or not, for example, the Regent's Park across the road from our School. It is also extremely convenient to take a couple of days and enjoy a get-away in different countries in Europe. In London, as long as you want, you can always find something to do. I also made full use of such convenience to travel to many countries, see many world-known landmarks and paintings, and also visit my friends in Europe.

At SAIF

SAIF at Shanghai Jiao Tong University is an international institution in China, known for its academic rigidity. The curriculum of SAIF MF Program focuses on theories and is taught in English. Many faculty members are top-notch professors with tenure at leading international business schools or doctors who have graduated from the world's top business schools, who are fully devoted, pay close attention to the experience and feedback of the students, and carefully prepare every and all sessions, with the support of responsible and competent teaching assistants. The students are also graduated from reputable universities around the world, with various backgrounds.

For the sake of the dual admissions, I had to take up some first-year courses after returning to SAIF in my second year. Although the workload was extensive and the pace was fast, I learned a lot of knowledge and skills in the process. I also exercised my capabilities of time management, self-regulation and stress resistance. The faculty and classmates helped me a lot, and I gradually found the balance of life. The time I spent at SAIF also gave me a better understanding of China's financial markets and strengthened my competitiveness. The Career Development Center (CDC) at SAIF provide training and one-on-one consultations to the students, along with abundant resources to facilitate our job hunting.

SAIF is located at Xuhui Campus in Shanghai, which is cozy and has a breath of life. It is a good place to experience Shanghai’s culture and presents a rich and colorful lifestyle, including various musicals and exhibitions.

Grow with Outstanding Peers

Whether at LBS or SAIF, I feel that my classmates and senior students are all remarkable. We can only be the better selves by “emulating those better than us". During the study, we help each other to solve problems together. When looking for intern or job opportunities, everyone works hard and boast a strong willpower. Never give up until the end! This spirit of struggle infects everyone. We are also enthusiastic about sharing our learning as well as job search experience and resources and cheer on each other. No pain, no gain. Hard work will pay off and our efforts will lead to excellent results!

The joint program between SAIF and LBS allowed me to study two programs, experience two international metropolises full of financial vitality at home and abroad and join two large communities and their alumni network around the world. I am very grateful to the joint program between SAIF and LBS for giving me such an opportunity. This experience of studying at home and abroad has made me grow rapidly and broaden my horizons, enhance my competitiveness and harvest a lot of gains. I’ll welcome more friends to join us.

"Dream irrigates hard work". I hope that everyone can live a true self in the future and devote to their dreams. Finally, I wish you all the best, with peace and joy!