Tuesday, May 3, 2016

HNC Mini Courses and Lectures

Hello Everyone! In this post I’m going to be talking about some of the mini courses and guest lectures given at HNC this semester. The HNC hosts special events on a weekly to bi-weekly basis. These events have ranged from Nanjing University professors giving lectures and leading discussions to mini-courses.

Mini-Course: International Banking
On Saturday, March 26 and Sunday, March 27, Wells Fargo Deputy General Manager and SAIS Alumnus Han Lin, and Ms. Joey Zhou, a Wells Fargo Senior Trade Specialist, came to the HNC to teach a mini-course on US-China Cross Cultural Banking. The course focused on Mr. Lin’s experience in international banking and assisting U.S. companies who want to either do business with Chinese companies or open their own wholly foreign-owned enterprises (WFOEs) in China.

On the first day of the mini-course, Mr. Lin focused on a number of issues revolving around: how US companies move money into China, how these companies facilitate growth in China, and how US companies move money out of China. In addition, Mr. Lin talked a lot about the risks that foreign owned enterprises in China face and the structure of these businesses in relation to their U.S. parent companies.

The second day focused more on how to build a career in the international banking world. Mr. Lin talked about skills needed at different levels of careers in banking, what management looks for in employees, and how to stand out among other employees for promotions. I know many of the HNC students who are eager to enter fields related to international finance/ economics, and trade found this mini-course incredibly informative.

In addition, Mr. Lin spent a good portion of his course talking about personal experiences and stories related to banking and how he found his current career. This in particular not only made the lecture much more personal, but also much more interesting as it gave us a little insight on the life of people in the international banking world.

HNC students with Han Li
Lecture: Moving Green Finance from Niche to Mainstream: Global Developments and Perspectives
Jessica Robinson, the head of Asia operations for the UN Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI), gave a lecture at the HNC.  Her presentation was titled, “Moving Green Finance from Niche to Mainstream: Global Developments and Perspectives.”  The United Nations-supported Principles of Responsible Investment (PRI) Initiative is an international network of investors working together to contribute to the development of a more sustainable global financial system, both environmentally and socially. Ms. Robinson focused much of her presentation on a lot of the measures that nations have been taking to address environmental concerns using market resources, such as green bonds and green investment banks. Ms. Robinson also stressed how responsible investing is not only beneficial from an environmental perspective, but also from a financial perspective as many “green funds” (investments in companies with exceptional environmental credentials) are outperforming “black funds” (investments in fossil fuels). This lecture was a great chance to see how nations around the world have made, and most likely will continue to make, environmentally responsible investments.

HNC students with Jessica Robinson
All of these events have been incredible experiences, not just for their scope, but also for their applicability. I know I speak for all of the students who participated in these events in expressing my most sincere gratitude to all of the professionals who took the time to meet and share information with us. The lectures and discussions were great resources to learn more about many fascinating fields and focus our own career aspirations.

Written by Andrew Retallick , HNC Certificate/SAIS MA student