Supportive professors and classmates who are always willing to help make the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance (SAIF) a great place to study, says former management consultant and part-time MBA Rebecca Fu.
Rebecca Fu, 31, completed the part-time Finance MBA program at SAIF.
Rebecca, 31, has always been interested in economics and finance. After five years of medical school, she switched to the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, China, and completed a Bachelor degree in Economics and Finance.
After graduating, she worked for five years as a management consultant for Deloitte Consulting, where she worked on projects for investment banks and trading groups.
Working in the consulting industry, she says that an MBA had always been in her plans. At Deloitte, one of her colleagues recommended SAIF’s MBA program for its faculty and networking opportunities.
SAIF launched two years ago with support from the Shanghai municipal government, as part of prestigious Jiao Tong University, to train China’s future financial movers and shakers.
Rebecca, who is currently working as a management consultant for IBM, Global Business Services, thinks that SAIF’s best feature is its professors: “They are great, with a good academic background and teaching skills”, she says.
“But they also care a lot about their students. I remember that one time, when I was upset because I was dealing with a very tough project, Professor Yen told me: ‘We all love rainbows, but how can we make a rainbow without a little rain?’”
In addition, SAIF has an amazing network: “I had great classmates, from different companies and industries. We shared our experience and knowledge and worked together to figure out case studies and assignments. And we keep helping each other, even now that we’re working”.
She recalls that when she was preparing a proposal for a famous multinational company, one of her classmates from GE helped her and gave her good ideas on how to handle lean management and the Six Sigma strategy.
“We had already learnt these concepts in our classroom, but he helped me to revise them and used some of the real examples commonly used at GE to show the proper and practical way to use them. This really helped a lot, and thanks to him I got the project.”
Finally, SAIF organizes many forums, where students have the opportunity to talk to senior people working in the finance industry.
At SAIF, Rebecca joined the investment club, where she met professional traders and deal-makers who work in major financial institutions, investment banks, and funds: “We learned a lot about the different tools and approaches to investment”, she says.
“We studied real cases, important deals that actually happened. We also organized a private fund ourselves and invested in bonds, equities, futures, and goods, which was really exciting”.
Rebecca, who was born and grew up in Beijing, enjoyed living in Shanghai: “It is a modern city, where you can experience different cultures. I didn’t spend too much time on campus with my classmates, since we were part-time students, but we went hiking and travelled together at the weekends”.
Rebecca is now a successful management consultant for IBM. The most challenging aspect of her job is that it requires her to be, “A quick learner and solve problems in a logical and practical way”, something that the Finance MBA has taught her.
In the future, Rebecca wants to join an investment fund as a fund manager, and help to, “Drive the transformation of Chinese enterprises. While consulting also contributes to this, I feel that working in a fund can help private enterprises better achieve their growth target”.