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Southampton Business School

Yi (Helena) Zhu MSc Accounting and Finance, BSc Accounting and Finance

Project Manager, Morgan Stanley

Yi (Helena) Zhu's Photo

We recently caught up with our alumna Yi (Helena) Zhi to speak about her new position and how she found studying at Southampton Business School.

 

What I learnt in the Business School was not limited to the financial sheets or return on investment, but a logical mind set with can-do spirits. The Business School gave me a great exposure to the real business world, such as career talks and networking events.

What does your role as Project Manager entail?

I manage projects both for mandatory compliance and discretionary changes across the Asia Pacific region, working closely with HK, SG, KR, JP and AU teams. I am involved with incident and stability project management, taking care of the requirements from business users. I also work to build strong relationships with senior technology, business and compliance stakeholders across the region to drive continuous improvement on project processes.

Why did you get into that role?

It seemed a natural fit for my personality and overseas experience and sustainable professional growth could be expected from the role. I also found it to be a fascinating exposure to international markets right after studying at the Business School.

What is interesting or unique about it?

I'm based in Shanghai but deal with projects across the whole Asia Pacific regions. It was a steep learning curve and I was given real responsibility from day one, associating with high profile, cross-domain stakeholders every day right from start. As a western company in an eastern setting, there's a good mix of cultures and English is the working language but there are still some informal conversations carried out in Chinese.

How did studying at the Business School prepare you for your role?

It gave me solid financial knowledge and business awareness, as well as quick learning abilities, like distinguishing the essential information needed and how to get it in the most efficient way. I also developed my multi-tasking, time management, coordination and teamwork skills. The Business School gave me a great exposure to the real business world, such as career talks and networking events.

Has studying business helped to shape your thinking and attitude to life?

Yes, indeed. What I learnt in the Business School was not limited to the financial sheets or return on investment, but a logical mind set with can-do spirits. Before making a decision, I would suggest trying to have a mixture of entrepreneurship, risk calculation, scenario analysis and an overall project plan.

What was your experience of studying at Southampton?

The University of Southampton has a very international and vibrant culture. The two years here have been the best of life so far. I've met so many wonderful people and participated in a great variety of eye-opening events. There are always some big names around you and all the resources are within easy reach. I have made close friends with local British classmates, European scholars, as well as international students like myself. Two of the most important programs I've been lucky enough to join in are the Student Consultancy Program cooperated with IBM, as well as the mentoring program. I would like to extend my true gratitude to my respectful mentor - Mr Julian Chisholm. It's overwhelming to start a new life in a country where no previous life experience could be avail of, as nothing is the same on the other side of the world. And it was Julian that helped me reshape my confidence and to build up the skill-set without getting drowned in confusions and self-doubts.

 

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