Vanderbilt MS Finance 2008; Vanderbilt Finance PhD
After graduating with a degree in economics from Nanjing University of Science and Technology, Junlan Jiang knew she wanted to pursue a career in finance. What she didn't know was whether that career should involve the business world or the academic one.
The Master of Science in Finance program at Owen was the ideal middle route for her. It offered such diverse options," she says. "In a short time it poises you with all the practical tools" for the business world, while "the dynamic curriculum design provides a range of in-depth theoretical courses with world-renowned scholars" that equip students with the background to pursue a doctoral degree. The nine-month program's breadth and flexibility, Junlan says, was crucial to helping her discover her strongest talents and interests.
After earning the Dean's Award for Academic Excellence (with a perfect 4.0 GPA), Junlan decided that her strengths were leading her toward a career as a scholar and teacher. Now she's working on her Ph.D. in Finance at Owen.
The intellectual challenges are formidable, she says, but the pace is a little less intense than the MSF program. And that has left Junlan a little more time for other pursuits. In 2008, she helped Owen's Chinese students take one of the school's most sought-after awards: top honors in the yearly Global Food Festival.