Notable Graduates: Bingzhao Yao MFIN ’23

Bingzhao Yao 

Degree Program: Master of Finance 

Hometown : Bozhou, China 

Fun fact about yourself:  
My favorite basketball jump shot is the Kobe-style fadeaway, it’s so cool. 

Why did you decide to get your master’s degree?  
After working in the field of debt-related work in China for several years, I found that I prefer equity investment. Freeman Business School offers excellent finance courses such as A Selber Course on Distressed Debt and Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund. Therefore, I have chosen to attend Tulane University. 

What was your favorite course and why?  
The Aaron Selber, Jr. Course on Distressed Debt is my favorite course at Tulane. Professor Yest is very thorough and dedicated in teaching us the details and important aspects to pay attention to in distressed debt investing. The mentors are all experienced practitioners in distressed debt investing, and they provide practical advice and step-by-step guidance to make our valuation more rigorous. Moreover, this course is highly competitive, and we are required to present our final analysis and presentation to the mentors and professors, There will be cash rewards for the top three performers. 

Who is your favorite business professor? What made them special?   
Professor David Lesmond is my favorite finance professor. He is very passionate in his teaching. He also cares about our career prospects after graduation and frequently invites MFIN alumni who are currently working to share their experiences with us, which has been very helpful for me. 

Did you participate in any extracurricular activities, community work or leadership roles at Tulane?   
I often attend the Global Cafe, where I have the opportunity to meet many other international students from different countries. It’s a great way to learn about their cultures and experiences, and I really enjoy it. 

What do you like to do in your spare time? 
I particularly enjoy fishing here as New Orleans has many areas that are great for fishing. Additionally, I like to work out at the Reily Center, where they have a wide range of equipment. 

What is your past work or internship experience?  
I have three years of work experience as a financing manager at Cango in China, where I gained an in-depth understanding of the process and details of the company’s debt financing. During my time at Cango, I successfully established partnerships with over 30 banks and financial institutions in China, and helped the company raise several billion dollars in financing. 

Where will you be working after graduation?  
Currently, I am seeking a job related to equity research in US. 

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list?   

  1. The ethical conduct of finance professionals is arguably the most crucial aspect of their job, as they bear significant fiduciary responsibility. 
  2. Having a solid financial knowledge base and the ability to generate positive value for society and clients is also essential for finance professionals. 

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of, and why?  
I passed all three CFA exams consecutively and became a CFA charterholder in 2022. 

If you were talking to someone who was considering Freeman, what would you tell them?  
The Freeman School of Business provides comprehensive finance education, and its flagship courses such as the Selber Jr on Distressed Debt and Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund offer hands-on learning experiences. For example, in the Darwin Fenner Student Managed Fund course, students manage an actual portfolio worth millions of dollars. 

What are your favorite things to do in New Orleans? Do you have a favorite New Orleans memory?  
Mardi Gras is the most impressive event I have ever experienced, as I had never seen such a massive celebration before. It brought me a lot of joy. 

Where do you hope to be in five years? 
I hope to work in a hedge fund where I can be responsible for equity investments and analysis in the U.S. 

What are your tips for balancing coursework, work and your personal life?  
Detailed planning of your time and focusing your main time and energy on the most important things is crucial. After achieving your goals, it’s important to enjoy life to the fullest with friends.