Shuoyu Chen from SAIF MF 17: Fulfill My Financial Ideals with Rigidity by Challenging the Unasked Questions

2020-04-07

Hi everyone, my name is Chen Shuoyu, graduated from the Master of Finance (MF) Program at Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF), Shanghai Jiao Tong University (SJTU). Meanwhile, I am based in Singapore and work for a leading hedge fund. I am honored to be here to share my experiences and feelings with all of you.

SAIF MF: A Place Full of Great Curiosity

Looking back, during the winter vacation of my junior year, I was interested in studying for a Master of Finance. When consulting my college counselor, I learned that many outstanding Fudan graduates had chosen SAIF MF Program and realized their ideal career plans in the financial sector. Therefore, I hoped to follow their roadmaps and set SAIF MF as my target.

Now that I have graduated and embarked on my dream career path, I look back and feel lucky. I am very grateful to SAIF for bringing me, a novice, into the world of finance, which helped me to successfully transit from campus to workplace. The two years of study and knowledge buildup at SAIF MF brought a lot of gains in my life and career, opening up my horizons and illuminating my way forward. This precious experience is undoubtedly my lifetime treasure.

I admire the academic rigidity and profound knowledge base of SAIF faculty. Here you can always find specialized and insightful professors to answer any finance-related question, which greatly meets the curiosity of the students. One of the courses that impressed me most was Econometrics, which still imposes a profound impact on my current job. Now I engage in the domain of empirical asset pricing, while the study of econometrics has helped me grasp the techniques of analyzing financial markets from a quantitative perspective.

Science + Finance = Core Competency

I studied my undergraduate program at the School of Mathematical Sciences, Fudan University. During my sophomore year, my roommates and I did a research on options volatility, which inspired my interest in applying what I learned to financial markets. The subsequent study of financial mathematics and financial time series analysis further consolidated my intention to transit to finance. Since I wasn’t major in finance in my undergraduate years, I did suffer from my weak foundation in the early stage at SAIF MF. Fortunately, SAIF MF’s curriculum was extremely friendly to major switchers. It allowed me to systematically study the basics of finance and make up for my shortcomings. The background of science + finance helped me quickly grasp some techniques of quantitative analysis, while using a less mechanistic approach in the process of analysis and focusing on the applications in the financial markets.

Cherished and grateful, I finally concluded my study at SAIF MF and got the ideal offer. I came to Singapore and worked with excellent colleagues from all over the world to evolve in the field of hedge funds that I have always been yearning for. In my opinion, I found the job smoothly because my personal competitiveness comes from two sources. First of all, in terms of breadth or magnitude, I have a solid foundation of the fundamentals of finance and quantitative modeling, completed by plenty of internship experience. And second, in terms of depth or quality, during my study and internship, when analyzing and solving problems, I was used to drill down and wrap up instead of staying on the surface. In addition, SAIF’s teaching in English and the international learning environment also helped me a lot. At SAIF, I often exchanged my ideas and worked with many international students, which enabled me to quickly adapt to the English-dominated workspace both during job seeking and at my current position. At present, I definitely realize that the curriculum design at SAIF MF is closely connected and properly aligned with cutting-edge international markets. The solid knowledge base laid at SAIF makes me confident that I will not lose my way when exploring global market issues.

Singapore, 2019

Looking Foward

Regarding my future plan, the next five years will still focus on research and accumulation. I hope to do more researches with both depth and breadth in the position of a research fellow, and at the same time build up more market savvy and pave the way to become a distinguished fund manager.

I would like to take this opportunity to share my experience with existing SAIF MF students with non-financial backgrounds, just like me, who are seeking to enter the financial sector. First of all, you need to develop your own awareness and abilities to search and analyze information, understand the components of the financial markets and the needs and career paths of various positions as early as possible, and find a roadmap that suits your personality and capabilities. In addition, don't be afraid to make decisions and move firmly towards your goals. During your study, it is important to read more, actively absorb all kinds of knowledge, wrap them up in a timely manner, and try to build your own knowledge framework by connecting the dots into a line. While at work, stay curious, pay attention to details and always challenge unasked questions.