Spotlighted Student: Ruilin Xu '11
Bryn Mawr College student, Ruilin Xu, is majoring in Economics at Haverford College and minoring in Mathematics at Bryn Mawr College. She will graduate in 2011, having earned a four year degree in three years.
Born and raised in Heilongjiang, China, she is the first in her family to go to college. At the age of sixteen she was granted a full scholarship to attend the finest high school in Singapore where she graduated top 5% in her class.
The time she spent in Singapore prepared her well for her college bound life in the United States. With English being the most dominant language in Singapore she mastered both its written and verbal use. It also helped her adjust to the cultural differences between China and the United States.
Early on she had aspirations to attend a small liberal arts college close to a big city in the United States. The bi-co community further cemented her decision to apply early decision to Bryn Mawr College. After taking economics classes in high school she was quite sure she would major in Economics. Economics classes with Professors Saleha Jilani, Anne Preston and visitor Rob Tayon confirmed her decision to declare her major at Haverford because of the large course selection and the diverse pool of faculty.
Ruilin has explored internships every summer of her college career. Through funding from the CPGC, the summer following her freshman year she spent nine weeks in Indonesia interning at COMBINE Resource Institution, an NGO that helps the local communities build and develop community radio stations. She researched the social impacts of the economic activities carried out by community radios in Central Java. While she was there she learned Bahasa Indonesia and grasped the culture of the people.
For two months this past summer she interned with Janney Montgomery Scott’s rotational program where she worked with Fixed Income (Strategies and Public Finance) as well as Investment Banking. In Fixed Income she built models to predict US housing indicators, LEI (Leading Economic Indicators), and relationships between market inflows and performances. She also researched existing bonds and learned about appropriate assumptions to calculate the savings rates for debt refunding cases. In Investment Banking she gathered information to complete buy-side and sell-side M&A pitches and management presentations, as well as updated the company’s industry newsletter.
In the fall semester of her senior year she continued her internship experience with Janney by working part-time with Praxis III. Praxis III is a Bryn Mawr College course of study that offers “an experiential, community-based learning program that integrates theory and practice through student engagement in active, relevant fieldwork”. Given more responsibilities, she was invited to interpret management calls that were conducted in both English and Mandarin. The Praxis III job experience has integrated well with Professor Shannon Mudd’s Advanced Corporate Finance class, as well as with her thesis on 21st Century M&As in China.
Mergers & Acquisition (M&A) activities are very commonly seen in emerging economies such as China in the past decades. Generally there are two types of acquirers: strategic investors who acquire firms to increase market share and lower costs and; financial investors who expect return from their long-term investment in a firm. For her thesis she is looking at M&A activities in China since 2000, examining if the acquirer firms are creating significant values for their acquired firms. She plans to further investigate the differences in the values created for the acquired firms between strategic investors and financial investors. She is also curious about the factors that may affect these differences such as the overall macroeconomic conditions, firm-specific characteristics and transaction details. She’s currently consolidating a dataset she collected during the fall semester and is looking forward to finding some results in the spring.
Ruilin is involved in various student organizations on-campus. As a Representative on the Student Finance Committee, she advises student organizations on budget planning and monitors their spending. Being Co-president of the Asian Student Association (ASA), she co-leads club events and ensures proper allocations and reimbursements of funds. As the Treasurer of the Owl Investment Group, she collaboratively manages a portfolio worth more than $100,000 and oversees the club’s non-market cash. She is also a trained Peer Mentor, a tutor in Chinese and a Teaching Assistant for Linear Algebra at Bryn Mawr College.
During winter break she stayed on Bryn Mawr’s campus to work for the admissions office. Once she graduates she plans to take the CFA Level I Exam, followed by a visit to China to see her family. Then she’ll come back to Philadelphia to begin her career. Her hard work and dedication secured her a two year program with Janney Montgomery Scott as an Investment Banking Analyst in their Philadelphia based headquarters. She is excited to learn more about the field of corporate finance and is looking forward to becoming an industry specialist.