January 2018: Reflecting on a busy December with coursework deadlines

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The first semester ended on 15 December 2017 and our two group projects were due on 13 and 14 December respectively. With the two deadlines approaching, we were all very busy at the beginning of December.

The first group project was for Portfolio Investment. We were a team of asset managers and had €1bn to invest in each of the country fund and the industry fund. To outperform the benchmark in a medium-term horizon, we constructed portfolios based on benchmark analysis and macroeconomic analysis. We also used Bloomberg, one of the financial world’s primary information systems, to analyse the risk and performance of our two portfolios. Bloomberg terminals are available in the Finance Zone at Dover Street for 24 hours. It was unforgettable to work and discuss with my teammates for the group project in the Finance Zone from morning to midnight.

The second group coursework assignment was for Cross Sectional Econometrics. In this assignment, as a team of researchers, we were required to perform an empirical analysis of corporate debt maturity structure. We used Stata to support our empirical analysis. This coursework gives us a good opportunity to practice what we have learned in class and develop deeper understanding about conducting empirical analysis using Stata. This is very useful for us because Stata is a pre-requisite for many dissertation topics.

Although I was very busy at the beginning of December, I went to the Christmas market in Albert Square with my friends to replenish our energy levels and get into the festive spirit. That was my first time to visit the Christmas market. European and local producers offered everything from Bavarian beer, wine, pancakes and regional cheeses, to handmade beef burgers and French soaps. It was fantastic to shop, enjoy food and soak up the atmosphere.

Our Christmas break lasted until 12 January 2018 and we will have four exams between 15 – 26 January 2018. During the Christmas break, some of my classmates went back home while others travelled around Europe. I travelled to Sweden and Finland for eight days and then stayed in Manchester to prepare for the exams. I will talk about my journey in my next blog entry.

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