Life in university is a time for cultivating one's wisdom and spirit

Major: Finance

Direction: Master of Quantitative Finance, Washington University in St. Louis

ZhouQi, whose undergraduate GPA is 3.98 is smart and hardworking. She took more than the required course as an undergraduate. She issued an economic research paper and gained four internships with vibrant experiences. To Zhou, life in university is a time for cultivating one’s wisdom and spirit.

Zhou shows her foreseeability when she makes decisions. She said, “I know how to plan my life, when to do more and when to do less.”

During the first and second years, she tried a lot to enrich her life, such as working hard, joining in school clubs, doing voluntary work, and finding internships during vacations. Conversely, when Zhou stepped into the third year, she began to be more efficient with her time after deciding to study abroad. Unlike before, she changed her focus to academics during the school year but wasted no time in joining in extracurricular activities during vacations.

Zhou started doing internships during the winter and summer holidays of her first year, and her resume includes 4 separate internships. During the third-year summer vacation, Zhou worked as an assistant for the project manager in the headquarter of the trust company of PetroChina. That was the first time she wrote detailed reports by herself, including three due diligence reports, a program practicability report, and a risk and asset management report. The reports contained almost seventy thousand words and discussed two billion RMB.

To apply to the graduate program of quantitative finance, Zhou finished linear algebra, calculus, econometrics and other relevant courses to gain more knowledge after fulfilling her major courses. In addition, Zhou searched for application information on U.S. graduate schools’ official websites. She found that the master programs of finance in top American universities are prone to quantitative finance. She said, “An applicant has advantages if he or she gets high grades on the quantitative-related courses, like calculus, linear algebra, statistics, econometrics and other computer science courses.” Hence, Zhou got permission from Kean University to take calculus and linear algebra courses which are normally only open for Computer Science students. Additionally, Zhou proposed the idea of opening an econometrics course. She gathered 10 students to join in the course and met the student number requirement.

Zhou said, she never worries about personal gains or loses. She believes that there is no easy shortcut for anything. Diligence and optimism are the only sufficient sources of energy.

Currently, Zhou has offers from the finance program of Johns Hopkins University, Washington University in St. Louis, Brandeis University, University of Maryland, College Park (which also includes a $15000 scholarship), the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and Chinese University of Hong Kong. She chose

the Master of Finance-Quantitative of Washington University in St. Louis. In her opinion, her undergraduate program focused on management while her master program is quantitative-related. She wants to do research in the quantitative field and keep her fingers on the pulse of big-data era.

Author: Jiang Shumai