Spotlighted Student: Yanxi Li '16
Yanxi Li '16 learned about Haverford College by accident. She was in her hometown, Shenzhen, China, browsing through books in a bookstore when she ran across Haverford’s brochure.
Yanxi Li '16 learned about Haverford College by accident. She was in her hometown, Shenzhen, China, browsing through books in a bookstore when she ran across Haverford’s brochure. She hadn’t heard of the term ‘liberal arts education’. She had planned on only applying to large Universities. But after learning about Haverford’s Honor Code and Customs Week, she got excited about applying. It’s been the right environment for her, feeling included in the community and engaged as a student.
When she took Professor Anne Preston’s Introduction to Economics class, Yanxi decided to major in economics. Her father’s plan was for her to earn a degree in a financial related discipline but since Haverford does not offer such a program, it made sense to pursue economics. This worked out well since she likes the subject. She enjoys the application of economics in daily life, politics, and international matters, with a particular interest in macroeconomics.
She spent a year abroad at the London School of Economics where she found the coursework to be more mathematical and quantitative than Haverford’s approach. She enjoyed all the resources that London has to offer, especially the cultural and entertainment happenings. She also took advantage of travelling around Europe on the weekends.
The summer after her freshman year Yanxi returned to China to work at Agricultural Bank of China where she shadowed a financial advisor in the private wealth department. She learned about prevailing investment products, mutual funds insurance and calculating returns on investments.
The following summer Yanxi was awarded a Whitehead Internship at EconSult, where Richard Voith ’77 is President and Founding Principal. Working predominantly in the real estate and retail economics sectors, she researched and reported on the economic impact of relocation of New Jersey’s Port Authority from the city of Newark to New York. The major project she worked on was a low income housing application, which she was responsible for reporting on comparative housing values, and market competitiveness.
This past summer Yanxi went back to China and worked at Golden State Securities in the margin trading department. She was educated about selling short in the stock market, money lending to clients for stock market investments, trade reporting, and the vetting of client applications.
Her thesis examines the effect of Foreign Direct Investment and Ownership Structure on indigenous innovation capability of Chinese provinces and how this effect can depend upon industry concentration and absorptive capacity across regions. Innovation capability is measured by the total number of patent applications received each year for each province. She is going to use different measures of absorptive capacity to testify whether they can strengthen, mitigate, or undermine the effect of foreign competition on innovation. She will also run regressions by regions (coastal regions vs. non-coastal regions) and by time (before the financial crisis in 2007 and after the financial crisis). Her data is mainly drawn from the provincial dataset for the period of 1998-2013 from the National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS).
Yanxi was a member of the MicroFinance Club and is now the Co-President of the Bi-Co Finance Club. She is involved with the Travel and Backpacking Society and the Asia Careers Society in LSE. Yanxi is applying to graduate schools in the United States in pursuit of a Masters in Finance, although she may work for 2-3 years before heading off to school.