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Why MBA: Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance

After studying in Canada, Bobby Huang enrolled on SAIF's renowned finance Master's program, and landed a job at Deloitte in Shanghai.

Wed Jul 30 2014

BusinessBecause
Bobby Huang graduated from the Master of Finance program at the Shanghai Advanced Institute of Finance in July last year.

For his undergraduate degree, he spent four years studying at Canada’s University of British Columbia and graduated with a Bachelor of Commerce in finance.

Some of his early career was spent at DBS Bank, a leading financial services group, in Shanghai. In 2011 Bobby moved back to Vancouver in Canada to work for RCI Capital Group as a research analyst. After six months he enrolled at SAIF.

Since graduating from the Master’s program, he has been hired by big four accounting firm Deloitte as a consultant, based in Shanghai.

You first studied at UBC in Canada – how important was it for you to gain international experience? 

It was incredibly important. However this opportunity did not only come from UBC, but also from the change of my entire living environment. I immigrated to Canada in 2002. The international experience broadened my thinking, allowing me to look at problems from a different perspective.

My enrolment on the business program at UBC also laid the foundations for my business mind-set, in a Western business context, and helped me obtain the necessary skills.

Why did you decide to enrol on a Master's program at SAIF in Shanghai? 

There are two major reasons. First, I was faced with the decision of relocating to Toronto or back to China. Since China is my mother country, I decided to go to the place I am more familiar with.

The second reason is that SAIF was introduced by my advising professor at the Sauder School of Business at UBC. She strongly recommended the school. At the same time I was considering heading back to China for job opportunities, so SAIF was positioned as the best choice for this transitional period.

What did a specialist Master's degree give you that an MBA could not? 

Although the Master of Finance course is run parallel to the MBA program at SAIF, it is a completely different program which targets a totally different student segment.

It is difficult to compare these two programs as the candidates have different skill-sets, backgrounds and demographics, and are looking for completely different things from these two programs.

What value do you place in your MF degree? 

I came from a pure finance background; I have an undergraduate degree specializing in finance. In that sense, most of the things I learnt from the program were similar to my undergraduate degree.

However, the most valuable lesson I learnt was learning how to collaborate with other students to complete projects in an advanced finance context.

The SAIF Live program provided by SAIF’s MF is extremely valuable. Students work with professionals to deliver finance or consulting-related projects, mimicking real-life scenarios. This is something that professors, books and classrooms will never teach you in any other Master’s programs in the world.

We have several classmates who were hired directly by the SAIF Live program professionals. This is becoming a great opportunity for students to demonstrate their capabilities in front of future employers.

How has your MF degree contributed to your career as a consultant at Deloitte? 

I believe the impacts are twofold. Firstly from a capability perspective, the MF degree has definitely prepared me to start a career in consulting. We have practiced every possible skill required for any real-life working scenario at SAIF. This has provided tremendous benefits to me and the rest of the class.

Secondly, from a mental perspective, the MF program has provided guidance and support, to better prepare us for facing real-life challenges after graduation.

Have you considered taking any CFA examinations? 

I am already a CFA level 2 candidate, and will continue pursuing the CFA if time allows.

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