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Helping business students rise to new challenges

For student Yao Xu, Concordia is part of a welcome change of plans
November 1, 2016
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Concordian Yao Xu left a job in Qatar to pursue an MBA/CFA at the John Molson School of Business, with help from the Lord Shaughnessy Master of Business Administration Fellowship in Investment Management.

Yao Xu Yao Xu in Concordia’s Molson Building

For second-year MBA/CFA student Yao Xu, Concordia is part of a welcome change of plans.

“I needed a new challenge,” says the 27-year-old, originally from Dalia in northeastern China. “Concordia gives me that — and then some.”

Before enrolling at the Goodman Institute of Investment Management at the John Molson School of Business (JMSB), Xu worked in human resources in Doha, Qatar.

“It’s a small city in a small country,” says Xu, who was in human resources for a regional office of Chinese multinational construction company Sinohydro Group from 2011 to 2014.

Xu recalls that while considering new opportunities, one of his co-workers sparked his interest in studying abroad.

“He completed an MBA at JMSB, and recommended both the university and life in Montreal,” says Xu. “I know that with an MBA, the future is bright.”

Lightening the load: Three challenges of returning to school

Xu received a one-year entrance bursary in 2014, the Lord Shaughnessy Master of Business Administration Fellowship in Investment Management.

He says that financial support helped him manage these three challenges:

1. The steep learning curve

“When I arrived at Concordia, everything was new to me,” says Xu of his coursework and his new city.

Xu’s educational background is in Arabic, having completed a bachelor’s degree at the Dalian University of Foreign Languages in 2011. He also speaks English and Mandarin and is learning French.

2. Intense coursework

“I’m working on 10 different topics at a time,” says Xu, who is enrolled as a full-time student. “It takes a lot of effort.”

Accountancy courses are among his favourites. “I like them because you’re either right or wrong. There isn’t a subjective element you can see in other areas.”

3. Making it in Montreal as an international student.

“Above my courses, I’ve taken French lessons at Concordia’s School of Continuing Education,” says Xu. To buffer that, he also took French through Concordia’s GradProSkills program.

“I’d like to work in Montreal, so it’s important to me,” he says. 

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