Ruijie Fan (MSc (Mgt) '24), an international student hailing from Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China, came to the University of Lethbridge with a Bachelor of Commerce (Honors) in Finance and a Master of Finance from the University of Manitoba already under his belt. What Ruijie was looking for next was a master's program through which he could learn to conduct research– something he found in the Dhillon School of Business' Master of Science in Management (MSc (Mgt)).

Not only has Ruijie successfully defended his thesis The Relationship Between Cost of Equity and ESG: The Effect of COVID-19, he also was invited to present the paper at the Administrative Sciences Association of Canada conference and has further aspirations to pursue a PhD in Finance.

To achieve a long-term goal, we should look for a more valuable reward in the future rather than an immediate return in the short run.

Meet Ruijie: Industrious. Patient. Kind.
Hometown: Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, China
Program: Master of Science (Management) | Major: Finance

Why did you choose to pursue graduate studies at ULethbridge?

The curriculum for the Master of Science in Management MSc (Mgt) program at the Dhillon School of Business was promising. The program is AACSB accredited, and the research pathway includes a significant research component. The common core courses familiarize students with the basic research methods, research topics, and statistics, and the thesis required courses further enhance students’ research skills. Furthermore, courses Academic Literature Review (MGT. 5140) and Thesis Proposal Development (MGT. 5300) are two courses not commonly offered in other business schools. These courses are very useful and beneficial for students who conduct research for the first time.

In addition, cost and duration are also two important factors international students will consider when they select the program. The education and living expense in Lethbridge are cost-effective for international students. The MSc (Mgt) research program at the Dhillon School of Business takes 20 months to complete, which is time-saving compared to other 24-month master's programs.

What did your research focus on?

My research interest focuses on sustainability. During my master's program at Dhillon, I investigated the relationship between a company's conduct pertaining to environmental, social, and governance (ESG) and the cost of equity (the value of your company's assets once you've paid off all its debts) during the COVID-19 pandemic. My research mainly shows that ESG temper the increased cost of equity during the pandemic. This empirical finding indicates that firms with a superior performance in ESG practice are more resilient when shock and crisis arise. I hope my future research can address more gaps in the field of green finance.

What is your most memorable ULethbridge experience?

My final presentation with the thesis defence is the most memorable event during my 2 years at the University of Lethbridge. I will never forget the moment that I was told that I had passed my defence. That was the exciting moment when I felt all my hard work paid off.

What is the most important lesson you learned during your time as a graduate student at ULethbridge?

The ability to delay gratification is very important for career success. Research may require working back and forth. In other words, it heavily relies on peer review, which indicates that researchers may revise the theories, models, hypotheses, arguments for a wealth of times after they receive valuable feedback from co-authors, supervisors, committee members, external examiners and other reviewers. It is possible that the hard work does not pay off within a short time. To achieve a long-term goal, we should look for a more valuable reward in the future rather than an immediate return in the short run.

Is there someone specific who had an important influence on your ULethbridge experience?

My supervisors, Dr. Gloria Tian and Dr. Ebenezer Asem, had an important influence on my ULethbridge experience. They gave me guidance on my thesis; they encouraged me to participate in conferences. All these help me gain valuable research skills and confidence in my future research career.

Did you receive any scholarships or awards?

I did receive scholarships and awards. They allowed me to not spend much time on off-campus jobs since the scholarships and awards provided me with financial support to offset the tuition. Thus, I could better concentrate on my studies and research.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I enjoy taking the buses for a round trip in Lethbridge. This provides me with an opportunity to relax and to see the beautiful valley landscape.

What advice would you like to give those who are about to begin their journey at ULethbridge?

If you are a new international student, feel free to join the international student mentorship program. I participated in this program as a mentee in my first semester and as a mentor in my last semester at the University of Lethbridge. I find the program is very helpful for students who are not familiar with life and study in Lethbridge. The program allows new students to make friends with a senior student, get support and advice through individual conversation, and overall, adapt to life at ULethbridge. I also found the valuable mentor volunteer experience very beneficial because it enhanced my communication and other interpersonal skills.

Welcome to the ULethbridge Alumni Family! Remember to stay in touch. Stay connected with classmates, share your successes, mentor future ULethbridge students and enjoy Alumni perks and benefits!Update your contact information with Alumni Relations.Find us on Facebook, Instagram or LinkedInRead more about your fellow alumni.