After graduating from the Masters in Management programme in 2012 Yujun returned directly to China. He now works as an analyst for China Development Bank in Beijing.
When I started investigating management programmes, I was looking for a practical learning experience that would enhance my financial analytical skills and expand my grasp of related fields like marketing and strategy. I had completed an undergraduate degree in Math and Economics, but I wanted time to think more deeply about my professional future. As I was fresh out of university, I felt it was important to fully explore a broad range of interests and career possibilities. I was also aware how much future employers in almost every field, from government agencies to start-ups, value the fundamentals of a solid business education.
I was admitted to some of the top US schools, but in addition to world-class faculty and a global reputation, London Business School gave me the opportunity to study in one of the world’s leading political, economic and cultural centres. I fostered my love of fine art visiting the National Gallery, Tate Modern Museum and satellite galleries along Cork Street. At the same time, I went to almost every major financial institution in Canary Wharf. During Business Immersion Week I visited companies including HSBC and Barclays at events held exclusively for London Business School students. A speech delivered by the youngest global head at BlackRock remains strong in my mind as one of the most inspiring and positive talks I have ever heard.
As a native Chinese, I feel very strongly that China is the right place for me to realise my dreams. My personal ambitions sit well against a dynamic backdrop, and the country offers endless business opportunities. During the Masters in Management programme I was heavily involved in the China Club, taking the role of VP and working to prepare the launch of the first ever China Business Forum. We put a lot of effort into sourcing speakers and sponsors; in the end the event was a great success and featured entrepreneurs such as Shi Wang, the former CEO of Vanke.
The School’s reputation definitely made me stand out from the wider applicant pool, and the skills I learned on campus helped me excel in both my individual and group interviews. I attended practical preparation sessions on CV revision and was coached through mock interviews, all of which has been tremendously useful. I love my job - I feel tightly connected to China’s development, and honoured to work at the heart of the country’s growth engine. My work has a discernible impact on the economy, offering long-term financial support to strengthen national competitiveness and improve living standards. It plays a unique role serving as a bridge between the government and the free market, closely aligned with my personal ambition to impact China.
Working at the bank I draw on many of the skills I learned on the programme. Negotiation techniques from my Strategy Analysis class have been particularly useful; theories about reservation and aspiration points have provided practical guidance at the negotiating table, and the mechanism of exchange interests has helped me facilitate deals. I’m also required to multitask to different deadlines, so it’s imperative I prioritise my tasks and manage them well. Juggling my academic workload with club activities was a great training ground, as was working with such a diverse and high-calibre group of peers. It requires maximum effort to integrate opinions and reach a mutually satisfactory solution in that kind of environment – and this, after all, is what the real business world looks like.
Every day of my degree was completely different and full of promise. My class had students from more than 30 countries, all with different academic expertise and personal interests.
One was a national water-polo champion, another a professional dancer, and yet another a Biology PhD who had worked in a research centre for a year. It was a unique opportunity to learn from peers and a once in a lifetime chance to embrace the culture of Europe. What really counts is that the Masters in Management programme remains a lifelong experience – it may have started with my year in London, but what I learned will stay with me for life.
Yujun Du was a recipient of the MiM LBS Fund Scholarship