Business degree prepares Chinese student for globalized job market

The globalization of the professional jobs market means that there is more pressure than ever on students to think strategically when choosing courses. For Wenwei Li from China, a Stockholm University MSc in banking and finance has helped secure a job as a financial analyst in Shanghai.

Business degree prepares Chinese student for globalized job market

Wenwei gained his place at Stockholm University’s School of Business (FEK) after graduating with a Bachelors Degree in Economics from prestigious Chinese University UIBE in 2009.

“The University has a very strong international reputation, and Stockholm is the political and economic centre of Scandinavia,” says Li, adding that the growing links between Sweden and his home country also played a major role in his decision.

“As the economic connections between China and Europe, especially the Nordic region, become increasingly important, more and more companies from both sides wish to invest in each other and there is a huge demand for professionals who understand business issues in both countries. I believe the experience of studying in Sweden could help me gain a greater understanding of Nordic culture, business and politics, and thereby help my future career development,” says Li.

Attracting high calibre international students is key for the University. By bringing together researchers and lecturers from all over the world, it offers a broad perspective and a chance for students to learn about the latest global developments in business administration.

A wide range of Master’s courses are available, all of which are taught in English, including Accounting Auditing & Analysis, Consumer and Business Marketing, Management Studies, Strategic IT Management, and Banking & Finance. 

For Li, who opted for the latter, a combination of factors, both academic and social, made the School of Business an ideal choice. The School of Business also recently introduced a Bachelor’s programme in Business Administration and Political Science to complement its range of courses and programmes.

“I think it is an excellent programme for those who want a career in the financial sector or who want to carry out research in finance. The whole programme is well designed, and students are well trained, either for working as a finance professional, or for going into academia as a PhD student. All the courses are well balanced between theory and practice and include both lectures and seminars in which students are required to analyse various real business cases, and to give presentations to the class,” says Li.

“For example,” he continues, “on the Corporate Finance course, we are requested to value the share price of Hufvudstaden, one of the largest Swedish real estate companies, by using different equity valuation models and then to write a valuation report, which is then presented to the company.”

These links with the business world are crucial. Among Li’s counterparts, several have had placements or been offered jobs by the likes of SEB, GE Bank, Bank of China, E.ON Energy, East Capital and Handelsbanken.

During his studies, Li also spent time in Norway, studying energy management at the Norwegian School of Economics (NHH) in Bergen, as part of an exchange programme. He is also undertaking the CFA charter, one of most prestigious certificates in the finance industry, successfully passing the level 2 exam in June 2011.

The School of Business cooperates closely on education and research with private and public sector organizations in Sweden and abroad, with the aim of helping the business and academic fields to learn more from each other. This practical help is another reason for its popularity and one that Li feels was a great help in his search for employment.

“I have already received a job offer as a financial analyst for a large Chinese financial institution in Shanghai, and will start working after my graduation. The study experience at Stockholm University helped a lot in getting this job. First, it is well-known globally and the graduates are regarded to be of a very high standard; second, my experience of Europe and Scandinavia is also a plus,” he says.

A distinguished alumni list is testament to the reputation of the University and functions as a mark of quality for the institution, while further evidence of its growing reputation came recently when the Master’s Programme in Banking and Finance was awarded the highest grade, “Very High Quality”, in the 2012 Swedish National Agency for Higher Education’s quality audit.

“For those who want to work in the financial industry or who want to do research in finance, the MSc Banking & Finance programme is truly a great choice to achieve your dream.”

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Worker workouts work: Swedish study

Working out during office hours can lead to higher productivity for companies, according to a Swedish study carried out by researchers at Stockholm University and Karolinska Institutet.

Worker workouts work: Swedish study

“This comes on the one hand from people getting more done during the hours they are at work, and on the other hand, from less absenteeism owing to sickness,” Ulrica von Thiele Schwarz and Henna Hasson, researchers behind the study in a statement, said in a statement.

A large Swedish dental organisation took part in the study and employees from a total of six work places were divided up into three groups.

One group was asked to devote 2.5 hours to physical activity, distributed across two sessions a week.

The second group had the same decrease in work hours but without the obligatory exercise, and a third group maintained their usual 40 hours work a week.

All employees retained the same salaries and the workload of the practice, in this case the number of patients treated, remained the same while study was being carried out.

The study showed that all three groups were able to maintain or even increase their production level during the study compared with the corresponding period the previous year.

Those who exercised also reported improvements in self-assessed productivity – they felt they got more done at work and had a greater capacity for work, as well as being absent from work less often.

A total of 177 participated in the study to its completion which lasted for 12 months.

Participants were asked to fill in a questionnaire at the beginning, mid-term and end of the study period.