My name is Rachel Li. I am an international student from China and I’m now a candidate in the Master of Financial Risk Management (MFRM) program at SFU.
The MFRM program is an excellent program from which I have learned a lot of new and useful material. I came to SFU in August last year. I have learned a lot in this program about not only finance, but programming and statistics as well. The subjects taught outside of finance were completely new to me. With the help of the Career Management Centre, I’ve learned that a multitude of employers in financial industry are looking for potential employees who know about more than just finance. Since the financial crisis in 2008, financial institutes have attached more importance to financial risk management. Thanks to this program, I’m now on my way to having a more diverse level of knowledge. I believe my decision to enroll in the MFRM program was a wise choice.
Besides the courses offered, this program also provides a lot of real-world experience. In the student-run endowment fund, SIAS, I’m a fixed income analyst. In the first semester, I was mainly focused on the analysis of the whole fixed income portfolio against the benchmark. I was fortunate enough to meet two professionals in fixed income to learn about how a fixed income portfolio is managed. This semester, I’ve shifted my concentration to the credit risk analysis of bonds. This is also quite new for me, so I’ve been reading some books about it. My teammate and I have made a template of credit risk analysis based on credit rating agencies and financial ratio analysis. I look forward to learning more about this as I take the course offered later in this program on Credit Risk.
Before joining the SFU’s MFRM program, I attained a Bachelor of Finance from Shandong Financial University. I was awarded the “National Scholarship” and graduated as an “Excellent Graduate Student”. I also passed the CFA level I exam in the fourth year of university, and am now a CFA level II candidate. In this process, I have learned a lot about finance and now I’m trying to put what I have learned into practice in SIAS.
Vancouver is really a wonderful place to live in. The weather here is always cool; neither too hot nor too cold. There are many scenic spots to visit; I have been to Stanley Park, Cypress Mountain, Central Park and a lot of other beautiful places. Throughout my stay in Vancouver, I have gotten more of an idea about western culture such as food, lifestyle and how to be open to people from different cultures.
As an international student who first arrived in Canada five months ago, I still need time to adapt to the environment. Language is one of the biggest difficulties I’ve faced. However, throughout the first term my English has improved a lot. This improvement has come from communicating with people around me as much as possible.
The following months will be much more fulfilling and intense. However, I’m confident that I can manage my time very well to balance the social & academic activities and the participation of SIAS.
Rachel Mingying Li