Chen progresses to PhD

Name: Chen WangChen Wang
Course: MSc Finance and Investment
Graduated: 2010
Nationality: Chinese
Previous Employers: ISI Group, Manulife Teda AMC 
Current position: PhD Student in Finance, University of Edinburgh

Following my undergraduate studies at Renmin University in China I chose to study the MSc Finance and Investment at Durham University Business School. This was because of its world-class reputation, lovely environment, collegiate system and sound history.

The course was well organized and the structure provided an all round view of the finance and investment subject area. The course has CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) partnership status, which further ensured the quality.

My course was challenging and demanding but I did have time for extracurricular activities including playing for the Basketball Club in Ustinov College. There are many other experiences open to Durham students to enrich their time at university.

After completing my MSc I worked at Manulife Teda AMC from October 2010 to January 2011 as an intern assistant analyst in the Department of Global Investment. After my internship, I returned to the UK for my graduation ceremony in the magnificent Durham Cathedral. Upon my return to China I received job offers from the ISI Group, SPD Bank and Whitruth Capital Investment Ltd. I finally chose to accept the offer from ISI Group, in the China research team as an associate. The company is a Wall Street leading independent research type broker-dealer, with more than 10 offices located in major cities in the US, UK and China. The reason I finally accepted this offer is due to it being a leading position in finance research, excellent global package, and an opportunity to work with an energetic and knowledgeable team, from whom, as a fresh graduate, I could learn a lot.

The selection process was extensive, incorporating 8 interviews. There was one face to face interview in Beijing, one via Skype to Los Angeles, and six via Polycom to New York. Questions related to various aspects of my experience, including financial knowledge, personal background, research I have done, my academic scores, my personality and interests.

The post was varied and interesting and involved arranging corporate visits for fund managers, completing share strategy and banking industry analyses, collecting data from Bloomberg, Datastream, CEIC, Datainsight, Wind and Haver and working with the team to create the daily China research report.

While at ISI Group I was delighted to receive an offer to pursue PhD studies at the University of Edinburgh. My PhD supervisor, Dr Hou, was also my MSc dissertation supervisor at Durham. The knowledge and skills I developed through the course are very practical and helpful when dealing with the real cases during my work and research.

My one year at Durham passed very quickly. I majored in economics as an undergraduate and knew very little about finance, but after completing my MSc I had a very clear understanding about the area (judged by colleagues and supervisors in industry). So if you focus your time on study, you could develop knowledge at Durham to help you to gain an excellent position in the financial sector.


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