Ruisha Yuan has always been interested in what makes the world’s biggest companies so successful. Growing up in Canada, and then China, he watched as startups grew into billion dollar companies that have influenced and changed society.
Now as a senior associate at CreditEase, a venture capital fund in China, his job is to search for that recipe for success. “We source out companies with the most potential to become a giant in its specific niche,” Ruisha says.
Launching a career in finance, at the intersection of China’s financial industry and booming startup scene, was no doubt thanks to his MBA at PKU Guanghua School of Management. We asked Ruisha how his degree helped him land one of the top MBA jobs in finance.
What is it like working in venture capital in China?
Ruisha’s job involves meeting startups offering interesting, innovative new products or services, and driving their growth through investment, in the hope of delivering returns for investors in the fund.
His involvement in this sector has coincided with a critical moment for China. The past few decades has seen China transform into a thriving startup hub, generating over 100 unicorns (startups with billion dollar valuations), including companies like Bytedance, Alibaba, and Xiaomi.
In China’s developing economy, Ruisha says, venture capital has a critical role to play. “VC funds are a big contributing factor to the country’s development, and I want to give entrepreneurs and dreamers a chance to make this world better, as well as creating value.”
It was his innate curiosity and interest in learning that drew him to the sector in the first place. This dates back to a young age: he recalls how he loved making new friends with people with different interests and passions, constantly striving to learn more.
Now, through his job, he meets and works with individuals from a wide range of sectors and industries. This has great mutual benefits.
“For companies I believe have a future, I am highly fortunate to walk alongside them and see them grow, while also seeing myself grow,” he says.
How can an MBA help you succeed?
Ruisha views his MBA as indispensable to launching a career in finance. This is particularly true for other students (unlike himself) with no experience in the finance industry.
“For those who have no experience in finance and want to transition towards finance, I think an MBA is the fastest route. It will provide you with the basic financial knowledge, which will help you learn how to analyze financial reports, and understand a company through numbers.”
While he already had some of this foundational knowledge from his undergraduate degree, it was brought to life on the MBA through real-life case studies. In class, they’d analyze the scenarios, come up with solutions or conclusions, and then compare these to the real results.
This really aided his overall perspective of how businesses function and make decisions, which has helped inform his investing career.
Ruisha benefited greatly from the diversity of the program. The PKU Guanghua MBA gathers a wide range of individuals from a number of sectors, bringing together a broad range of perspectives. This has been a huge asset to his career investing in companies from multiple industries.
“For someone who works in venture capital, it is suggested to have a broad perspective and opinions towards different fields of study. Sole knowledge of finance will not make you a good investor.”
Landing a job in China after an MBA
Although Ruisha already had work experience in China before his MBA, he wanted to use his time at PKU Guanghua to explore different career paths in finance.
PKU Guanghua’s link to Chinese companies proved to be very beneficial. He recalls how industry associations at the school would invite in career professionals from high caliber companies to share their experiences and insider knowledge.
This network—of alumni and faculty—was key to him launching his career. “Professors and alumnis gave really comprehensive and constructive suggestions as to how I could continue to pursue what I love.”
The PKU Guanghua career service was also helpful in helping target specific employers, and tailor his applications towards them. He in particular recalls how useful he found mock interviews organized by the school, which helped him understand what venture capital funds were looking for.
China is now on the brink of becoming a global financial power, with hubs in Shanghai and Beijing (where Ruisha works), it’s an exciting time to be in the Chinese financial industry. Ruisha is intrigued and excited by this opportunity.
“China’s financial system is still in its developing period and has improvements to be made. But this developing period will provide more opportunities for businesses, and of course more opportunities for the best talent.”
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Peking University Guanghua
Beijing - China