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Student Spotlight: Li Yawen

Photo of student Li Yawen

“The challenge was real. If you are passionate about math and finance, and considering a MScFE program, I’d say go for it!”

Li Yawen began her career at a Silicon Valley start-up right out of college, and has seen quite a bit of change in her years as a digital marketer. While working as a Territory Manager at WorldQuant LLC, Yawen met WorldQuant University’s founder, Igor Tulchinsky and was inspired by his dedication to offering equal opportunities to aspiring, diverse talent.* A firm believer in the transformative potential of data and machine learning, she dusted off her statistics skills, aced the entrance exam, and dove into WQU’s MSc Financial Engineering program.

Yawen is no stranger to forging her own independent path. As a child, Yawen developed a love for math and analytical thinking. She moved across the world for high school and college from China to Singapore, and her experiences in Singapore prepared her well for the joys and challenges of working with students from all over the world. “It was a pivotal moment in my life. It not only broadened my horizons but also fostered a sense of adventure in me. The experience of immersing myself in a different culture made me more adaptable and open-minded,” said Yawen.

She was thrilled to work with students and instructors from all over the world, although like so many WQU students, her schedule could be a little bit overwhelming at times. Yawen credits the WQU support team with helping her juggle work and graduate school. She made the most of her well-honed multi-tasking abilities, turning “train and bus rides into mobile classrooms and gym sessions into 'audible' lectures.” Communicating her needs to her instructors and classmates was the key to making sure she got the most out of the learning experience.

As a strong believer in the power of network and collective intelligence, fostering community was also one of Yawen’s goals. She spearheaded the first WQU investment club, which quickly grew into 18 members from US, Canada, India, Singapore, Kenya, and Uganda. Their meetings were relaxed, casual zoom sessions, and topics ranged from how to edge in Forex trading models to opportunities in sustainable finance. Yawen is optimistic that the investment club will continue as it is a “unique opportunity to engage industries and prepare students for their future careers.”

The skills she gained at WQU have offered Yawen unique advantages. In her current digital marketing role, she uses her robust new understanding of machine learning and financial markets fundamentals helping to shape her company’s marketing strategies to be more focused on data and improving ROI. Her proficiency in Python allows her to craft algorithms to mine information easily from different sets of data, and her deep understanding of data enables her to make judicious decisions that amplify her company’s marketing results. Yawen’s experience at WQU is a testimony to the diverse applications that the MSc Financial Engineering offers graduates across a range of sectors, all with the support and engagement of a global community of fellow learners.

*Yawen was already an employee at WorldQuant LLC when she began at WQU. Students who enroll in WQU’s programs are not eligible for new employment at WorldQuant LLC for 12 months after their engagement with the University.

To learn more about WorldQuant University’s MScFE program, visit the offering page.

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