Mr. Han Lin: Using Data to Tell Your Story

September 2, 2019


Written by NYU Shanghai Graduate Admissions

On August 17th, the graduate admissions office of NYU Shanghai invited Mr. Han Lin to be the guest speaker on the on-campus joint programs information session. Mr. Han Lin shared his education experience and industry insights with the audience by delivering an inspiring speech. We are sharing part of Mr. Han Lin’s speech here:

When I was young, I wasn’t sure where my future would take me. But I did believe that different experiences would help me learn I was good at (or not so good at), and what I liked. After high school, I served in the U.S. Marine Corps. After college I worked in corporate finance for GE. Then I spent over three years as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine working as a business advisor supporting the Odessa Philharmonic Orchestra, and teaching English to orphans. I always struggled, but learned from my failures.

After these three experiences, I understood myself better and was ready learn. So I went to graduate school – three times! One for International Studies, another for Chinese Law, and then a third graduate degree in Finance from the NYU program. I would say that of all three programs, the NYU program has been the most valuable in my career for the knowledge, and the support network.

What do I do today? In Wells Fargo bank, I help to manage the bank’s governance and China-wide operations. I’m also the senior banker overseeing relationships of U.S. corporate clients that come to China.

A lot of time is dedicated to working with CEOs and CFOs about their financing strategy, key risks and where we can help. As a member of the American Chamber of Commerce Shanghai (AmChamSH) Board of Governors, and former Financial Services Committee Chair, I interact with the broad 1500 corporate member population of company executives and senior leaders of financial services which include commercial and investment banks, private equity, venture capitalists, asset management, fintech, etc.

Two major issues that these organizations have in common is:

1. How does one manage the challenges and opportunities to their business in an increasingly changing US-China relationship.

2. There is plenty of big data; but how do you find the relevant data, and what tools are available?

Today’s financial sector job market is international by nature, and requires graduates who can see the forest from the trees and narrate the issues and solutions in an understandable and compelling way. At entry-level, a young graduate will be expected to have technical competence and familiarity with analytical concepts and tools. In other words, be able to organize and analyze data, and present it in a clear way that can lead to solutions.

As the graduate progresses in the career ladder, management of projects and teams become important. Finally at the senior levels, having an understanding of strategy and execution planning, as well as possessing the communication ability to get stakeholder support (clients, community, internal, government, suppliers, etc.), all become critical to success. 

This is where NYU Shanghai programs become invaluable. First, the NYU-SH school offers a superb education that exposes the students to both China and international perspectives. The familiarity of different political and economic systems, in addition to core financial skills, provide students a solid foundation of how to think about global financial developments. Second, the Data Analytics and Quantitative Finance programs leverage the best research and professors in the field to guide students on how to identify the key questions to find the most meaningful insights and communicate them. Third, the NYU name and network command global respect in the world of finance.

Particularly for students pursuing an international financial career, there are few more prestigious brand names. As a graduate of one of the NYU finance programs, as well as a returning instructor, I continue to be impressed by the rigorous and forward-looking programs that the university introduces. I encourage you to think about making the NYU-SH programs a stepping stone to your career success.