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‘There should be a better way to start a day than waking up every morning.’ Encouraged greatly by this brainy saying from animated character Garfield, I always push myself to seek new challenges and to fulfill every goal in life. When it comes to pursuing a master degree in quantitative finance, it means another new challenge in my life. Two reasons account for my choice.
Firstly, quantitative finance offers a new perspective to learn the finance industry. Quantitative finance aims at evaluating financial securities in terms of physics-inspired models, mathematical science, computer skills and probability technique. In my opinion, it is not a hodgepodge that only combines several subjects, but a creative thinking based on techniques to bring crucial market sight into correlation between value and uncertainties under all sorts of risk. In other words, there are still significant questions being worthy of exploring. The more ideas interact, the more possibilities quantitative finance becomes systematic.
More importantly, quantitative finance could bestow me the capabilities needed for realizing my career goal of addressing the challenges faced by small and medium enterprises (SME) in China. My past involvement in extensive projects informed me that SMEs are the potential engine for China’s economic growth. However, when compared with state-owned companies and public corporations, SMEs receive a disproportionately small share and are financially constrained in many aspects (e.g., market research, brand extension, and product updates). I aim to run a small investment bank primarily for SMEs, where I could apply the theories learned at University X into providing bigger room for SMEs’ development.
In addition to my aspiration toward quantitative finance, I have also endeavored to face any challenges in Financial- Engineering program. To begin with, a work experience as a credit analyst in Yantai Bank Co., LTD (YTB) benefited me a lot either in intelligence quotient or in emotion quotient. For one thing, I gained invaluable work experience in financial risk analysis, cash flow projection and credit risk control measures. In order to better understand risk analysis, I often talked with senior officers and corporate managers. Through these interactions, I realized that only grasping systematic financial model analysis technique that we could improve our competition, thus avoid the risk effectively. The secret of success for an individual or a business does not lie in what one has learnt, but what one creates using the knowledge he/she possesses. My experiences in the bank and my interaction with other employee enhanced my communicative and cooperative proficiencies, which should be beneficial as I take on my graduate study.
Furthermore, I am moderately skilled in C++ programming. During preparation for China Computer Rank Exam of C++ in 2006, I developed a software program named ‘Physiology Reaction Testing Model’ aiming to test people’s reaction speed and accuracy rate. The whole testing process included three modes. The first is ‘simple’ mode, testees needed to press the ‘enter’ key when the screen turned green as fast as they could. The reaction time and grade (best, good or slow) would show on the screen. The second is ‘judgment’ mode. When any one of the four colors (white, black, yellow and red) appeared on the screen, testees should respond to it by pressing corresponding key (1, 2, 3, and 4) on the keyboard. If a testee made a misjudgment, ‘Press the Wrong Key!’ would display on the screen. The last was ‘game’ mode. There were three levels. Only testers gained twelve points on level I could they proceed to the next level. Each level would present a string of characters composed of ‘←’, ‘↑’, ‘→’and ‘↓’. The degree of difficulty increased from level I to level III. Testees faced greater challenges when the movement speed became faster and the characters were in intense disorder. (This paragraph, if possible, can be shorter)
Additionally, I have solid knowledge in mathematics and Matlab I was frequently invited by other researchers to solve problems relevant to C++ programming or Matlab simulation. Based on the several considerations presented above, I confidently make quantitative finance as the best choice for my career development. As we all know, a broker selling insurance could become Warren Edward Buffett; an exchanger could become George Soros; a quant could become Jim Simmons. Everything is possible as long as you have the passion and will to pursue the real happiness, to contribute your ideas, and to grasp every opportunity. For me, devoting into the quantitative finance makes me full of energy and morale to fulfill my career goals.
Four months ago, I declared my departure from YTB, which shocked all my colleagues. In fact, two weeks before the announcement, I was recognized as the exemplary employee and gained the opportunity to work in HSBC (Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Corporation) for one year. Compared to one-year experience in HSBC, pursuing a MS degree in Quantitative Finance would benefit my career goals greater via offering advanced knowledge in finance and specified quantitative skills that are necessarily required in investment bank industry. Therefore, I gathered courage to endeavor for higher educational opportunities at this time.
Enough preparations have given me great confidence to face challenges in MS program in Financial Engineering at University X. Above all, I have solid mathematics knowledge and strong interest in calculus, linear algebra and probability. When I was a sophomore, I took part in National Mathematical Modeling Contest in China. I created an evaluation model for searching the optimal route in Beijing transportation system. The model was based on the consideration upon minimum transfer times. In the case of concerning only the bus, I built up the transfer time/ line selection model and defined a minimum cost function through weight analysis, under the conditions of minimum time and cost required. Then through breadth-first-search and Matlab programming, the model was extended to select the best line among all lines between any two sites from the known data. In addition, while working in YTB, preparation for CFA Level I test laid a well foundation in finance knowledge for me. I intended to take the test in June before admission. Continuous learning always made forward progress toward my dreams.
What’s more, I would like to take an example to illustrate my computer skills. During the preparation of C++ Language Test, I designed a software application named ‘Physiology Reaction Testing Model’ aiming to test people’ reaction speed and accuracy rate. The whole testing process included three parts. The first part was ‘simple’ mode. While the screen turned green, testers needed to press the ‘enter’ key as quickly as possible. Then the reaction time and grade (best, good or slow) would show on the screen according to the reaction speed. The second part was ‘judgment model’ based on a corresponding between four colors (white, black, yellow and red) on the screen and four keys (1, 2, 3, and 4) on the keyboard.
When any one of the four colors appeared on the screen, testers should respond to it by pressing corresponding key. If testers made a misjudgment, the display on the screen was ‘Press the Wrong Key!’ If they were correct, the reaction time and grade would show on the screen as the first mode would. The last part was ‘game’ mode. It had three levels. Only by gaining twelve points on level I could they proceed to the next level. Each level will present a string of characters composed of ‘←’, ‘↑’, ‘→’and ‘↓’. The degree of difficulty increased from level I to level III. Testers faced greater challenges when the movement speed became faster and the characters were in disorder.
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