How did studying at Henley Business School change my career?

My name is Fenghui Guo, a Chinese graduate of the MSc Finance programme at the ICMA Centre. I graduated from the Business School in December 2018.

Before studying at Henley Business School, I had worked as a marketing manager at a securities company for about five years. Responsible for market development and customer relationship maintenance, I provided clients with advice for their personal wealth management, offered them guidance on securities investment, maintained good relationships with existing clients and found potential clients as well. During this period, what challenged me the most was to satisfy clients with various investment demands. To be more specific, the key and most difficult points of my work were to design investment portfolios including stocks, bonds, funds and financial derivatives, to make gains that met or even exceed each individual client’s expectations.

At that time, I hoped I could work in a top securities company as a securities investment advisor or an analyst. With my goals set, I wanted an opportunity to study international securities and investment in the UK where there is a highly developed finance industry. I was greatly attracted by the ICMA Centre of Henley Business School, the largest training centre for financial practitioners in Europe, because I believed I could benefit a lot from the rich experience in finance teaching and research the university had accumulated over the years.

During the course of my study, I benefitted vastly from the broad-based curriculum of the programme by taking a number of advanced modules in quantitative analysis, portfolio management, derivatives pricing and trading, etc. The course learning not only helped me build a firm theoretic foundation but also bolstered my confidence over my learning ability. Our group projects let us know how to apply theoretical basis into practice. The Portfolio Management module has a challenge that was typical of the teamwork required in my study. Every student in our group worked as a fund manager, discussing together and rehearsing before the final presentation. From these group assignments, I have grown accustomed to viewing any issue from multiple aspects and with an open mind, which enabled me to make sound decisions when facing difficult choices.

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Our team that completed the Portfolio Management Challenge, finishing as the top team for 2017/18

Besides professional courses, there were also some professional events, like Industry Insights (held every Wednesday evening), that offered me great opportunities to communicate with bankers from top financial institutions, such as Bank of England, Goldman Sachs, Fidelity, etc. I obtained fresh advice about how to work in banks. Also, Henley Careers helped a lot with my job seeking, I wrote my CV and cover letter according to their advice and tried to apply for jobs in the UK and, fortunately, I have attended some interviews which really enriched my experiences in communicating with interviewers.

Now, I have successfully become an investment consultant at a top securities company in China and am now building my own investment portfolio based on what I have learned. The most brilliant part is my option trading strategy. I can advise my clients how to trade options and manage the trading risk in an appropriate way. I have to say that my period of study at Henley Business School, part of the University of Reading, was the best time in my life, I was able to learn how to become a professional, happy and confident person during my career.

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Hard work pays off – A Henley graduate!

Find out more about Master’s in Finance programme here.

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