“I like the strong academics and emphasis on experiential learning.”
John Zhang came to Olin from Mianzhu, a small city renowned for great liquor in China’s Sichuan province. Visiting the business school before he was admitted had been out of the question. So Zhang had conducted his MBA program research online, checking rankings and employment-report data, contacting friends in the United States, and emailing students who had studied at Olin.
“I loved Washington University the moment I saw it,” he says. “I was even impressed by the architecture; building styles are so classic.”
What he likes best about the business school
School size was one of the reasons he selected Olin. “There’s a collaborative culture here, with tight bonds among students. It’s like joining a big family. Everyone knows your name.
“I also like the strong academics and the emphasis on experiential learning. Olin knows what MBAs need to succeed in business. And the business school provides international students with all the resources they need to achieve their personal and professional dreams in the United States.”
Why he chose the finance platform
Working on cross-departmental projects at Citibank Singapore made Zhang realize he needed better grounding in business fundamentals and that he wanted to take on “a more financial role in the future.”
More specifically, he wanted to learn “the big-picture aspects of finance, help industries acquire capital, and benefit people’s lives on a much broader horizon.” Zhang says his goal is to become CEO of a bank in China, generate investment opportunities, and focus on community development in rural areas.
At Olin, Zhang is pursuing an MS in Finance, in addition to the MBA. And he is president of the Finance Club, which organizes events, puts together speaker series, and “serves as a bridge between first-year students and industries and companies.”
On the CFA Institute Research Challenge
Zhang was part of a team of five Washington University students who participated in the CFA Institute Research Challenge, an annual, worldwide financial-analysis competition. The team’s stock pitch for Emerson won the St. Louis contest and the first round of the Americas semifinals.
John Zhang, MBA/MS Finance 2016
Finance, with dual degree MS in Finance
Post-MBA employment: Investment Analyst, Washington University in St. Louis
MBA internship: CitiMortgage, St. Louis
Pre-MBA employment: Citibank Singapore
Education: BS, Electrical & Electronic Engineering, Nanyang Technological University; Singapore
Hometown: Mianzhu, Sichuan province, China
CFA (chartered financial analyst) research challenge
President, Olin Finance Club; VP of career, Greater China Club