Mengfan Liu is from Hunan, China. He is a SME banking consultant and worked as a project assistant at the International Advisory Services at Frankfurt School for almost three years. He graduated from Frankfurt School’s Master of Finance programme in 2013. In 2018 he started his PhD at Erasmus University Rotterdam, where he is still currently working.
When and why did you decide to study at Frankfurt School? Why did you choose the Master of Finance as a programme?
I chose to pursue my Master degree at Frankfurt School because the FS is a research oriented business school with industry connections. The Master of Finance (MoF) programme is one of the key reasons why the FS gets its good reputation. Most of the professors teaching the MoF programme have lots of industry experience. I think this is definitely helpful for the students, for example when it comes to offering valuable practical solutions.
How old were you, when you moved to Germany, Frankfurt and what were some of the challenges you had to face?
I was 22 years old when I came to Germany for the first time. That was also the first time I’d ever stepped out of my home country. Almost everything was new for me. In the very beginning, I experienced the so-called “cultural shock”. The food, weather, entertainment, even the learning style were all among the “shocks” that I had to face.
How was your experience as an international student at Frankfurt School? How did you experience the city and the programme?
At FS we have a large group of international students from many countries, including of course Chinese students. One benefit of so many nationalities living and studying together is the sharing of different cultures. Frankfurt is like a melting pot that brings together people from all over the world. The programme is designed so that it successfully brings together students that have different academic and cultural backgrounds. During the programme I learned a lot, not only from my lecturers, but also from my classmates.
Mengfan, you’re a project assistant at Frankfurt School International Advisory Services. (IAS) Can you describe the work of Frankfurt School IAS in a few sentences? And what are your responsibilities and tasks?
IAS is like a big family with members from every corner of the globe. While working at IAS, I am constantly learning new things from my colleagues. Sometimes the work can also be challenging. On the way to a mature and independent consultant, one has to do lots of things by oneself, although teamwork is still important.
My job responsibility is to assist the project manager in ensuring a project’s smooth and satisfactory implementation but I am also assisting in new project acquisitions.
How has the Master of Finance influenced your job? Which parts of the programme were particularly useful for you?
The MoF programme has helped me to build up a solid and complex knowledge pool related to the financial industry. The methods and skills regarding financial analysis are among the most influential sessions.
From today’s perspective, which meaning does your time as a student at Frankfurt School have for you?
Having been a student at FS gave me the chance to meet many interesting people and also to gain better insights and access to the financial industry. Sharing and discussing your ideas with other member of the field can be very helpful in finding your way and making your career. Being part of the FS community helps me to build connections with former FS students as well as with other partner of the finance community. Also, I have realised and experienced many times that Frankfurt School is perceived as a high-end brand in the finance industry.
What is your best memory of your time at Frankfurt School?
The block week at FS was a really good time. Group members crowded in the library or basement to discuss and finish the assignment. At that time, people were not just classmates. They were real teammates who explored and lived together.
In your opinion, how important are alumni for a business school? What do you think alumni can do for their alma mater?
For a business school, its national as well as its international reputation are very important. In this regard, FS is already one of the most famous business schools in Germany. I believe alumni play a big part in this success story. If FS can build a long-term relationship with its alumni, the boost of connections can help both, the alumni as well as Frankfurt School. More and more, FS is also expanding its international FS alumni network and I want to actively engage in this process. In my personal opinion, communication channels like LinkedIn groups help a lot as they can offer a gathering house for the insiders and a more visible connecting point for the outsiders.