Yongting Yang

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What made you choose GCU and your specific course?

I was offered the Chevening Scholarship by the British Foreign & Commonwealth Office in 1998. The British Council advised me on a list of UK universities offering financial service program, including GCU. I chose GCU because the Risk & Financial Service courses offered by the university were among the top in UK. The course offered me not only invaluable academic knowledge, but also practical and working experience.

What are your memories of University?  Were you involved in any clubs or societies?

Two words – modern and diversity can describe my memory of the university. The one aspect I enjoyed most about the university was the fact that I had an opportunity to study and work in a diversified team with fellow students from different parts of the world. Besides, the university is one of the modern universities in UK, with great sports and library facilities which I thoroughly enjoyed. Regarding the social activity in the campus, I was elected as the class representative at that time. Although it is a little bit challenging for a foreign student, I still believe it was exciting role, as I had the opportunity to present a summary of our class performance to our faculty and propose recommendations for course improvement on behalf of MSc students.

How has your career progressed since graduation? Did your qualification aid you?

Since my graduation in 1999 from GCU, I am glad to be promoted 4 times. My career has been successfully transformed from back office staff to a frontline, sales leadership and marketing role. I have also successfully changed industry, from banking to insurance.

My GCU qualification played a critical role in my career progression, it made me distinctive from other peers and won the opportunities. Since my graduation, I was promoted as General Manager of Corporate Banking and Retail Banking in Shanghai Bank of China, and then extended my career to insurance industry as Chief Partnership Distribution Officer for multi-national companies in China, such as Allianz, AIA and Manulife as well.

Can you tell me more about your current role?

My current role is Chief Partnership Distribution Officer in Manulife-Sinochem Life Insurance Co. Ltd., responsible for the nation-wide cooperation with financial and non-financial institutions to distribute life insurance products in China market. 

What is your greatest professional achievement?

My greatest professional achievement is firstly to satisfy the customer financial needs by providing professional advice and service to help them make appropriate decisions in their most important moment of life time, and secondly to provide employee a sense of achievement in their daily work and improve the value of their job in the market. As a result, I have achieved a pretty competitive score in both NPS (Net Promote Score) and EES (Employee Engagement Score) in China market.

What advice would you give to current students and new graduates?

My advice - be proactive in seeking opportunities in GCU. Learn as much as you can, take advantage of team building exercises and make as many friends as you can. Most importantly, enjoy the Scottish lifestyle, including Haggis and Whiskey, which will be the treasure for your memory in your life time.

From my experience of working in the life insurance industry, my hints to the new graduates is that – to be honest and professional as much as you can, no matter to customer, your colleagues and to your boss as well. Building trust and reputation, hard-working and do not easily give up are some elements for your future career success.

What are your future plans, both professionally and personally?

My future plan is to develop my career further in the financial industry in China, developing more sustainable business model and nurturing more talents for the industry. Secondly, I am interested in assisting GCU development in China market, sharing my experience in GCU and my story after graduation with potential students seeking UK education. GCU provided me invaluable education opportunity in my life time and made me successful in the career path, now it is the time for me to do something in return.

What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?

I like travel and sports, I will travel with my family every year in China or overseas, learning different culture, tasting different cuisine, and enjoying different sceneries, travel makes me physically connected with different parts of the world.  In spare time, I enjoy sport activity, particular like running and swimming, which makes me physically strong enough to handle new challenges.

 

Yongting Yang

Risk & Financial Service 1999