BSc Finance at the Business School – what I loved about studying and living at Bristol

Jay Liu, BSc Finance graduateWe spoke to Chaojie (Jay) Liu, a recent graduate from our first cohort of BSc Finance students, about his reflections and highlights from his time as a student on the course. Here’s what he told us about how his journey over the past 3 years at the University of Bristol Business School has gone.

My name is Chaojie (Jay) Liu, I am a recent graduate from the BSc Finance course and am thrilled to graduate with an upper 2.1 from the University of Bristol Business School. Being part of the first cohort of BSc Finance students, I could never have accomplished this without the help of my family, friends, peers, teaching staff (tutors, lecturers, and professors), and administrative teams. I know that words cannot really express my great appreciation, but I would like to take this testimonial as a chance to share my fantastic experience here in Bristol and to thank all contributors along the way.

Settling into Bristol’s global community

I came to Bristol in September 2020, which was my first time going abroad. The first night I arrived, a kind old lady asked me if I needed any help taking my luggage across the roads and this was my first impression of the city: a beautiful place with nice, friendly people. In the student accommodation, I met my first group of international friends, who were from Birmingham, Ireland, London, and South Africa. They gave me support to be involved in the local community and encouraged me to be braver and more confident. We still keep in touch with each other now.

Academic support

I am also lucky to have met my personal tutor, although mainly online, Chinyere Uche (Senior Lecturer in Accounting at Business School), who always encouraged me to be confident and also reminded me to have a work-life balance. She also helped me to find my pathway to my future career and helped support me through struggles with academic learning and assignments. Thanks to Giuseppe Pratobevera and Anne-Florence Allard (both lecturers in Finance at the Business School), who gave me my first insight into the financial world, which broke down doubts and confusion at the time. They also provided me with strong support for my future academic career including suggestions on research topics, my research proposal, my CV, and even the selection of PhD universities.

In my second year, it was my honour to meet a group of outstanding academics at the Business School, Xinyu Cui, Manuela Pedio, Zeming Li, Ricky Tutin, and Zaici Li. They provided me not only with academic and professional techniques in finance but also guided me to develop my own future career path. Zeming Li was my referee for my master’s degree application. We talked through the facts and my goals, and he provided more than just support, also then sharing his own experiences, to give me more information for making my own decisions.

Development opportunities

Thanks to the University and the Business School for giving me the chance to work as a Research Assistant in the Widening Participation Programme, where I worked for Manuela Pedio. She was the other referee of mine – I took her lectures and worked for her twice as a Research Assistant. I regard her as my mentor, the one who inspired me to do academic research and guided me from the very beginning. Also, thanks to Anne-Florence Allard, Silvina Rubio and Ian Tonks who also gave me the chance to work for them as a Research Assistant.

I was also the course rep for BSc Finance in my second year, which was a great opportunity for me to learn more about leadership and teamwork with other students on my course. Having been the communication bridge between teaching staff and my peers, I understand that the school and the University do care about the students and are keen to hear from students with important feedback, which I think is one of the most important things for students: the students’ voices can be heard.

Due to great help from previous teaching staff, I decided to put effort into academic research in the future and the BSc Finance really provided us with opportunities to explore our future career, both professionally and academically. Professors and lecturers like Chris Brooks, Ronald Lui, Richard Harris, Yingtong Dai, Sonny Biswas, Sylvain Friederich, and Ruby Brownen-Trinh provided us with the most support they could so that we could have enough academic and professional skills to face our different futures. I would also like to thank the school’s Marketing Team for giving me the chance to be the Student Ambassador, to contribute to the school and help out at events like the Open Days and Offer Holder Events, which were great fun, helped me further develop my confidence and were an opportunity to meet other fellow Student Ambassadors.

Future plans and advice for new students

Overall, the most significant thing that I feel and would like to share with all is that by being brave and confident with your goals, you will have chances to improve and get to your dream. “You are in one of the best universities in the world. You have every opportunity. Don’t waste a minute” (BA 1990 Alumni, Samantha McFadzean, shown on the wall inside Beacon House). I am now about to start my MSc journey in Economics and Finance at the University of Bristol, and I know that this will be another correct choice I have made.

Chaojie (Jay) Liu, BSc Finance graduate

Find out more about our undergraduate courses at the University of Bristol Business School.