I have always desired to make a huge impact in the business world and help businesses and states better prepare to handle foreseen and unforeseen risk likely to disrupt economic and business growth. I am convinced applying for Master of Finance and Risk Program at the London School of Economics is a bold step towards realizing this dream. My desire to pursue an advanced study in this field is driven by my passion to understand the complexity and diversity of the financial system. My passion in the field of finance and risk started way back when I was in the middle school. History classes opened my eyes, and I discovered the power of money in changing lives and political landscape for counties endowed with natural resources during the era of mercantilism. Economic classes in high school fired me up when I discovered how money influences social structures. Undoubtedly, the evolution of money has beamed the significance of money on the social and economic prosperity of every country.
My quest for education forced me to move to China at the age of 15 where I continued to build a strong foundation towards understanding the interplay of money in economic and social life. Coincidentally, my move to study China was at a time when the world was experiencing the worst crisis since the Great Depression of 1930. The Global Financial Crisis was biting across the globe, and no country was immune. The crisis shook big corporations that no one had imagined could exit the market. It was the unfortunate year for Lehman Brothers leading to its collapse after 167 years of successful operations. Huge sums of money were lost both big and small companies tasted the painful bite of the Global Financial Crisis. It was a horrific encounter, and financial analyst bit their fingers trying to offer countermeasure a little too late when the entire financial system was crumbling. Massive job cuts, declining investments, and organizations winding up operations became the order of the day.
The events following the global financial crisis of 2007-2008 informed my decision to enroll for operations research and economic program with financial engineering concentration in one of the leading engineering universities in China. My primary focus upon enrolment was to understand underlying reasons that precipitated the 2007-2008 global financial crises and how members of the society and economic players should make decisions when uncertainty knocks.
My undergraduate program was exciting. It made me understand the dynamics of mathematics and finance in the business work and how they create market opportunities. Interestingly, I learned how to make profits from existing market opportunities without great risk exposure which could significantly impact business operations. In particular, I was fascinated with understanding how much a bet is worth in pure mathematics and interrogated the usefulness of the gambling theory in making good decisions during the stochastic process. Further, the understanding of the interplay between mathematics and finance in preventing arbitrate opportunities was mind boggling during financial mathematics classes.
Rigorous study of computational mathematics combined with economic courses equipped me with essential knowledge of quantitative methods and programming tools. The skills acquired during these classes were extremely helpful in my research work with the guidance of Professor Han, Director of Financial Department of Beihang University. Professor Han also doubled up as my supervisor in writing my dissertation about the impact of cross-listing on Chinese stock returns. The contribution of my thesis was twofold. First, I implemented capital asset pricing model (CAPM) to determine expected returns of Chinese assets listed in both the U.S and Chinese stock market. The CAPM provided me with a methodology to quantify risk and translating that risk into estimates of expected return on equity. Second, in determining whether cross-listing have a beneficial effect on Chinese companies. The calculated expected returns of Chinese firms were modeled by GARCH process. The research established a significant change in prices in the American stock market lead high price volatility in the Chinese market which eventually drops to the same level as before. Such trends best explained why market participants were attracted to invest in emerging markets such as China during and the financial crises.
My undergraduate GPA score may not appeal much, however, studying as the only international student in my class and competing with sixty-eight smart Chinese classmates on a leveled ground was an incredible experience and equally rewarding. It provided me with a lifetime opportunity to horn my financial and mathematics skills and motivated me in learning new things and overcoming challenges. Moreover, I was privileged to gain work experience in various global companies operating in China such as the global auditing company, Mazars Group. The opportunity at the Mazars Group gave me the opportunity to put into practice what I learned in class and also immersed me into the word of auditing. Specifically, I was stationed at the risk management department where I learned to evaluate strategic risks, expanded my accounting skills and knowledge as well as learning international and practicing intentional financial reporting standards. Additionally, during my time at Mazars, I participated in interim and financial audit projects for multinational companies such as Schneider Electric and Clarin’s Group.
I currently work as a derivative trader in multinational derivatives broker-dealer, the Multibank Exchange Group. I am responsible for several hedging projects, on a daily average of 500 thousand dollars, to minimize losses and maximize profits. I work both on the day shifts and night shifts to periodically monitor the market. I found myself working under pressure in my current job and this has equipped me with stress management skills and the importance of staying focused in any situation.
My educational background and work experience have given me the unique opportunity to understand that I need to pursue a career path in risk management or asset allocation. I believe that my work experience in China, ability to speak four languages (Russian, Chinese, English, and Kazakh) fluently, ability to work under pressure and being ambitious person makes me one of the best and suitable applicants for consideration for the program.