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盧泓勝:我为什么选择去清华留学?

2019-05-17

盧泓勝(后排左一)与同学毕业合影于清华


“为什么你会选择去清华读本科?”这个问题几乎成为我遇到的每一个人问我的第一句话。无论是在社交场合、面试、或是牙科咨询(是的,连牙医都问我)。而这也确实成为了一个有趣的开场白,让我能有机会借此分享我对中国经济、市场和未来发展的一些想法。

过去几年,许多我在新加坡高中的学弟学妹们都曾向我征询在海外求学的建议。他们无法决定究竟应该去哪里完成他们的高等教育——留在新加坡,又或者是到美国、英国、欧洲、澳洲、中国。只能说现在的年轻人选择真的太多了!而这不单单是学生才有的疑问,许多职场精英也在选择MBA和研究所时有过同样的纠结。回溯到2010年,我当时选择去北京清华大学求学,主要有四点考虑:

第一,第一手感受中国翻天覆地的变化;第二,了解除了新加坡外的其他市场;第三,挑战我自己在新环境的适应能力;第四,为顺应中国经济与资本市场崛起做好准备。


 

 

盧泓勝(右二)2014年在瑞士银行实习时曾经参与中国资本市场的研究项目

 

中国的变化令我叹为观止

大学四年虽然不长,但非常精彩。我在第一时间见证了中国巨大的变化——尤其是电子商务与金融科技两个方面。其中令我印象尤为深刻的是微信从一个简单的通讯app发展为一个覆盖中国人民生活的多功能app,我可以用微信支付消费、社交、玩游戏、购物、叫的士、甚至还可以投资固定收益产品!中国科技的发展不止迅速,更是无边无际,让我深深体会中国“凡事皆有可能”的精神。

我在大学的时候也正好目睹中国资本市场国际化的进程,也见证了几个重要的里程碑。例如2014年,沪港通开启,上海证券交易所与香港证券交易所建立技术连接,使中国内地和香港投资者能够通过当地证券公司或者经纪商买卖规定范围内的对方交易所上市的股票。这也让我对观察中国市场国际化更有兴趣。

 

 

盧泓勝(左一)为清华EMBA国际班的学生做校内向导

 

在充满挑战的环境中力争上游

在清华学习时,我也面临了许多艰难的挑战——例如要用中文去学习微积分、线性代数、物理、编程这些本来就很有难度的课程。对于入学前两年在服兵役的我来说,学习曲线实在是陡峭。不过,这也成功逼迫我拿出200%的努力去适应新的学习模式,在与中国同学的交流过程中,我更是获益良多。

今天,与2010年相比,旁人对于我去清华的决定质疑少了,肯定则多了。事实胜于雄辩,有太多的数据帮我说话——理解中国有多重要已经不言而喻。上海与深圳证券交易所按市值已经成为世界十大交易所,世界各地的投资者们关注着中国是否会被纳入MSCI。过去6年,我看到中国金融市场得到更多外国投资者的了解、参与和关注。今天,积极参与中国资本市场的重要性已经不容置疑。

 

现在,当再有人问我相同的问题——“为什么你会选择去清华读本科?”时,我不再需要冗长的解释,很多时候甚至四个字的回答就已足够——“为什么不?”。

 


“Why did you decide to study in Tsinghua?” – A question I get with almost every new individual I met, regardless of whether it is in a networking event, a job interview or even a dental consultation (yes, my dentist asked me that!). This interestingly, has become a good conversation starter for me, and gave me an opportunity to share with new contacts my views on China's economy, markets and outlook.

 

Through the past years, many from my junior college in Singapore consulted me for advice when they were deciding between studying in local universities, or having an experience abroad in top universities in US, UK, Europe, Australia or China for their undergraduate studies. (youths today are spoilt for choice indeed!). I would also expect the same dilemma for working professionals who are considering the choice of location for their MBA/post-graduate programmes. 

 I was a part-time campus tour guide for international EMBA students - great experience!

 

When I made my decision back in 2010 to pursue my undergraduate degree at China's well-regarded Tsinghua University, there were four key motivations:

1.China's rapid development was an eye opener for me.

 

It was an exciting four years, witnessing first-hand lightning pace developments on multiple fronts, but what left the deepest impression in me was advancements in the e-commerce and fintech space. In particular, I was amazed how a simple messaging smartphone application could eventually evolve into a multi-function application that integrates electronic payments, social networking, online shopping, taxi booking and even fixed income investments into one platform! The developments in technology was not only fast-paced but also boundless, and made me believe that the spirit of "nothing is impossible" indeed holds true in China.

 

2. Gaining an understanding of China's capital markets

 

The past years were also a period where China further internationalized its capital markets. In 2014, the Shanghai-Hong Kong Stock Connect went live, allowing mutual market access for offshore and onshore investors to invest in a selected universe of stocks listed on the SSE and HKEx. The media coverage caught my attention and I grew to realize this was a major milestone for China's development of its financial markets. It was also then that I developed an interest for and started to observe closely on China's subsequent steps to further internationalize its markets.

 

Last day of internship at UBS back in 2014 when I worked on a research project related to China's capital markets.

 

3. Pushing my limits in a challenging environment

 

Though studying in Tsinghua brought many learning opportunities, it was not without its challenges. One challenge was to attend calculus, linear algebra, physics and programming modules taught in Mandarin! (Being away from textbooks for two full years when I was serving my military service before my undergraduate studies made the learning curve steeper as well.) Nonetheless, this forced me to adapt to new learning styles to cope with the academic rigor. I also learnt from my schoolmates who are the cream of the crop of their respective provinces, and it all turned out to be a humbling and enriching experience.

 
Graduation photo with my classmates at Tsinghua.

 

4. China's economy and market is growing in importance

 

Today, I am getting less doubts and more affirmations about my decision as compared to 2010. The facts and figures helped ease the burden of proof to explain the importance of an understanding of China. Shanghai and Shenzhen Stock Exchanges are the top ten exchanges in the world by market capitalization. Passive and active investors around the world are watching closely on MSCI's decision on China inclusion. The past six years have seen greater awareness, engagement and involvement in China's financial market by foreign investors. It is an unquestionable period to be involved in China's capital markets.

 

My decision is much better understood today

 

And when asked the exact same question again today – “Why did you decide to study in Tsinghua?” I no longer had to offer lengthy analysis or explanations, and could sometimes even get-away with a simple two-word response: “Why not!”

 


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