First Semester Lessons- Linwei

Hi everyone! Happy Thanksgiving! Would it be a little bit boring talking about academic life today?

Linwei Zhang Master of Finance

Linwei Zhang
Master of Finance

Being a student means you might not yet be overwhelmed by life’s burdens; you got lots of time to spend on just one thing, which is learning. I am sure this can be something to appreciate of being a student despite all those annoying homework and exams!

This is my first time studying in the U.S. Lots of unexpected things? Yes, and No.

  1. Group project, group project, and group project! I thought I was ready to do lots of teamwork. However, I was surprised to find almost all of the homework in Term A in the Master of Finance is group projects. I should admit I did have difficulties in getting used to this situation since back to my undergraduate time, we do not have so many group projects. I was frustrated to find it was hard to motivate others to do what you want them to do. I got to realize cooperation is not a word to brag yourself on cover letter. It is about how you learn from interaction with others.
  2. Quantitative and programming skills are emphasized. I was told that Smith doctoral students do lots of empirical research. Thus, I assume it is Smith style. One of our beloved professor referred quantitative and programming skills as “what your employer pays you for.” I can not agree more. I did not know anything about programming before. I feel fresh and interested in learning Matlab and SAS. It is a big plus since nearly every employer requires some technique skills. After all, think about future- we will be in a world where we have to communicate with computers.

    Friends at the Smith School

    Friends at the Smith School 

  3. Be a self starter. Masters programs will give you bunches of career opportunities. However, you still have to reach out to these opportunities. There are classmates who give up weekends to study for database certifications. Networking is another way to dig potential possibilities.The Smith School is a good platform to show you a broader horizon yet it is important to motivate yourself to start walking towards it.

That’s pretty much of today- the first semester is busy and challenging. However, the incredible feeling of accomplishment when you are finished will make it worthwhile!

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