Shenzhener returns to innovative finance studies
Chris Edwards | 09/05/2020

While many of the postgraduate students are newcomers to Shenzhen, that is not the case with Jiayi ZHUO. She has returned to Shenzhen to complete her doctoral studies within the Department of Finance.

Jiayi ZHUO is a born and bred Shenzhener. She studied at Yucai School in Nanshan District for her primary and secondary education. While she was studying, she took part in many student organizations, particularly several environmental protection groups.

Once she graduated in 2015, Jiayi ZHUO spent her undergraduate and postgraduate years at the University of Washington (UW) in Seattle. During her studies, Jiayi tutored undergraduate students. She helped them with their knowledge of fundamental microeconomic and macroeconomic concepts. Over 80% of students reported higher grades as a result of her support.

She has always enjoyed engaging with different people from a variety of cultural backgrounds, providing her a unique perspective on her studies and her life. In her limited free time, Jiayi ZHUO found time to fit in her hobbies, student clubs, and volunteer activities. One example is her participation in the Seattle IT Architecture Competition this year, in which her team won 5th place.

Jiayi ZHUO is a voracious reader, finding comfortable places in her home or dormitory to bury herself in her favorite volumes. While she was in the United States, her most perused book was “The Rural China,” by famous Chinese sociologist and anthropologist Xiaotong FEI. “I have read this thin volume of lectures many times. Every time I read it, I get new insights into his ideas.”

Coming to SUSTech was a different sort of homecoming for Jiayi ZHUO. During her high school years, she volunteered with the development of a public bus app, brainstorming with other people. The volunteers met near SUSTech, which was not as vibrant or energetic as it is today. The changes surrounding campus have been substantial, much like the changes seen across Shenzhen. One thing that she pointed out that the coding skills that she learned from the experience have been invaluable in her studies.

“Even though I had spent time near SUSTech before, I never realized how big the campus was. Now that I am here, I can see all the facilities, equipment, and resources that are available to the students. I am looking forward to my studies and life back in Shenzhen over the next few years. It feels good to be home!”

Jiayi ZHUO has known SUSTech for a long time as a Shenzhener. She already had an appreciation for SUSTech’s academic strength and the personal touch of the tutors. Many of her friends spoke about this emerging research university in the innovation hub of China, which she could proudly say was in her home town. All this discussion led to her yearning to return to this world-class university.

It was the advice of one of her professors at UW that saw her attend SUSTech. Jiayi ZHUO had sought out a professor on where to go for her doctoral studies and had expressed the desire to return to China. She told the professor that she was from Shenzhen, and he recommended SUSTech to her. He had previously been a short-term distinguished visiting professor at SUSTech and had enjoyed his experience. He found that the emerging research university had enormous potential and believed that Jiayi ZHUO could do exceptionally well in her hometown.

Jiayi ZHUO will be studying under Assistant Professor Shuo YAN. Her research is focused on behavioral finance, an area of study that focuses on how psychological influences impact market outcomes. It is an area that Jiayi wants to learn more about, particularly given her internships at HuaTai Securities and Mindray as a data analyst. Her time in both companies was in their research and development departments but incorporated different fields of data analysis & knowledge. The conversations that Jiayi ZHUO has shared with Assistant Professor Shuo YAN have been excellent and reflect her positive feelings towards SUSTech.

The specifics of Jiayi ZHUO’s research direction are still being determined but will fit broadly within behavioral finance. She will spend much of the first year building her foundations in the field before moving onto the research in later years.

She is looking forward to meeting the global community of students and scholars at SUSTech. Jiayi ZHUO wants to understand more about the SUSTech community. Developing an understanding of the campus and getting back into the habit of a colorful extracurricular life are all priorities for her.

“I have returned home, and I look forward to taking every humble step into the future with SUSTech.”

2020, 09-05
By Chris Edwards

From the Series

Campus Life

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