This blog post was written by Zijun Yao, second-year QTEM Finance student.
I decided to join the QTEM program when I finished my internship in a private equity fund, where I found the lack of domain knowledge was hindering my career development, since my bachelor’s degree is not closely relevant to finance. The QTEM degree with a focus on finance not only gives me the access to finance knowledge, but also enables me to tailor my study according to my own need. This, together with the international experience gained in QTEM exchanges, will play a significant role in my future career.
I started my first QTEM exchange in the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. It was not a hard choice for me, even though there are many other prestigious universities among QTEM’s academic partners. I made the decision because UniL offers the most interesting courses on business intelligence, which is a field I’m extremely interested in as a minor. The study here is a bit more tiring than I expected: compared with life in Norway, there are much longer classes accompanied with challenging homework/projects, but I learned a lot during the process. I would definitely recommend traveling around Switzerland because it is just too beautiful and it will really be a shame to miss all these sceneries. I didn’t really encounter any culture shock but I found that the local people here are pretty fond of reading. You would see people holding a book in the metro, when they are walking, and even when they are on their bike.
I have five courses for this semester, hence there’s still some spare time left and most of them was spent on Kaggle competitions. As far as I’m concerned, the most remarkable thing this semester is that I gradually get to understand what really attracts me and how I should further hone my skills in the upcoming semesters. As I said in the beginning, I don’t really have too much prior knowledge about finance since it is actually a very broad domain, sometimes I feel lost and have no idea which direction to go. Therefore, I think it is really important to figure out which part of finance/economics you would like to focus on and try your best to develop the necessary skills, instead of doing a master’s degree blindly.
To conclude, I would really recommend joining the QTEM program. Given the numerous benefits it offers: international study and work experience, diverse pool of courses from various domains, the opportunity to meet people from different backgrounds but like-mined, along with exciting QTEM activities, I could not think of any more fulfilling study experience than this.