Monday, July 1, 2019

Hopkins-Nanjing Center Alumni Profile: Quinn Campbell

Quinn Campbell, HNC Certificate ’16 + Johns Hopkins SAIS MA ’17, currently serves as a consultant at Deloitte Consulting in New York. 

Tell us about your current role.
I currently work with Deloitte Consulting, where my projects revolve around helping our Chinese financial services clients operating in the U.S., as well as our international financial services clients operating in China. In my current engagement, I’m helping a large Chinese bank to redesign its anti-money laundering capabilities. Past projects have included work around helping foreign asset managers to develop stronger distribution strategies in China.

How did your experience at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and Johns Hopkins SAIS prepare you for this work?
My time at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and Johns Hopkins SAIS in DC helped me to acquire the skills, and built the narrative necessary to break into consulting. I think my path was most influenced by three major groupings of experiences in grad school: academics, internships, and clubs. The classes I took– most notably Professor Leeds’ Private Equity in Emerging Markets, Professor Bodnar’s Multinational Corporate Finance, Professor Kocjan’s Business Strategies for Global Financial Institutions, and Professor Armstrong-Taylor’s Corporate Finance – were very important in helping me to develop a consulting skillset while in school. Beyond academics, I was also able to take advantage of some really impactful internship opportunities. While at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, I interned with KPMG Consulting in Beijing during the Chinese New Year break. This was my first foot in the door with consulting. A few months later, and as a result of the Hong Kong/Shanghai finance career trek organized by the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, I was able to spend a summer interning with Deloitte in Hong Kong. During this experience I realized that Deloitte was a great fit for me. So when I arrived at Johns Hopkins SAIS, I applied through Deloitte Consulting’s on-campus recruiting path for summer associate positions. This internship turned into a full-time offer following graduation in December 2017. As a side note, the Certificate + MA has the added benefit of one extra summer internship period, which was extremely helpful for me as it led to my full-time job. Finally, I was very involved with the SAIS Consulting Club while in DC. It was a great group of classmates who were all focused on getting into consulting - which was critical in helping me to prepare for case interviews.

What drew you to apply to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center and Johns Hopkins SAIS?
I was drawn to the Hopkins-Nanjing Center because it provides a strong path to a China career. Senior year of undergrad, I was really struggling to find interesting on-campus recruiting options because none were related to China. I remember having a moment of clarity when I came across the Hopkins-Nanjing Center because it was a perfect fit. Later, I was drawn to Johns Hopkins SAIS as a result of the Hong Kong/Shanghai Finance career trek during my first semester in Nanjing. It was a really incredible experience that offered insights into the backgrounds of alumni working in finance and consulting in China. I realized that most of the alumni in the positions I was interested in pursuing were graduates of the Certificate + MA program, so it made sense to follow a similar path.

Do you use Chinese in your current position or other skills you gained while studying at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center?
Yes, in my current role I lead the only Chinese language workstream on our project. This role requires daily interaction in Chinese with our client’s China-based branches. I’m constantly creating new flashcards in Pleco as I come across new words – it feels like I’m getting paid to study Chinese.

What was your most memorable moment when you were studying in Nanjing?
My most memorable experience will always be our third place finish in the Nanjing Dragon Boat Competition. We had an incredible team that worked really hard – three months of grueling lake practices, late-night conditioning sessions, and a lifting routine – with the goal of reaching the final eight teams. But our team of first-timers (comprised of both Chinese and international students) surprised everyone with a third place finish! It seemed like all of the Hopkins-Nanjing Center, including the Co-Directors, showed up to support us from the shoreline. I’ll never forget the feeling of comradery that we all built throughout this experience.

What advice would you give to future Hopkins-Nanjing Center students?
First, practice reading academic papers before arriving at the Hopkins-Nanjing Center. It certainly requires an adjustment if you aren’t already accustomed to it. Second, lean in to everything that the Hopkins-Nanjing Center has to offer: academics, extracurriculars, and community. My time in Nanjing was a great experience with incredible people. Some of my closest friends are from the Hopkins-Nanjing Center.