Qianyi Guo

Qianyi Guo
Class Year
Beijing, China
Areas of Interest
Previous Education
Renmin University of China

What brought you to business school? Why did you choose Columbia?

I developed a strong interest in investment banking and private equity as an undergraduate, and after reflecting on my skillsets, I figured that I might need further learning in certain business fields to improve my technical and soft skills. Luckily enough, I was a visiting student at Columbia in my junior year and had the chance to take Accounting for Value with Professor Stephen Penman. I was impressed by that course, and had a chance to learn about the MSAFA program. I was really attracted Columbia Business School’s great reputation in value-investment and the course structure of the program. I knew that this program could give me everything I needed: The best professors and academics in the world, the most competitive and supportive community, and valuable connections.

What has been your favorite part of the MS experience so far?

Columbia Business School has so many clubs, which gave me the chance to meet many different people. I personally joined the Investment Banking Club, Private Equity Club and Greater China Society. I really liked meeting new friends and other MBA students, all while learning from them.  

The Career Management Center (CMC) was also extremely helpful. Apart from the resources that CMC already offered on their website and the general advice they provide for interviews, when I told them I received an opportunity for a Superday interview with Morgan Stanley, the staff introduced Michael (co-president of the Investment Banking Club) to conduct a mock interview with me. We met twice to prepare. I would definitely say that Michael’s mock interview contributed a lot to my final offer. This is another thing I love about this program; you’re not just a MS student, you’re a member of the Columbia Business School community, and you’ll find support whenever and wherever needed.

What is it like going to business school in New York City?

Amazing. On the one hand, there’s just how great a city NYC is. There are just endless things to explore. More importantly, as a B-school student, you feel that you’re at the very center of business — all the info sessions held in NYC, the networking opportunities and influential guests that professors invite to classes (who are based in NYC too). Also, given the location of Columbia Business School, many professors have very close connections in the industry, giving them the expertise to understand concepts in both theory and practice. This makes for insightful professors and is a huge benefit to students. All this motivates my ambitions and passion to enhance myself.

Any favorite faculty or courses so far?

Accounting for Value taught by Professor Stephen Penman. I must say that this is the class that led me to the world of value investment and gave me a taste for how rigorous value investors approach investment. I was deeply obsessed with the market, and this is what attracted me to the MSAFA program.

How has the experience and expertise of your professors impacted your learning?

A lot of professors have connections and projects with leading financial firms, and they have made real and solid impacts to the business world. During this process, they have gained valuable insights of the practice. Many cases we discuss in class are based on our professors’ real-life observations and experiences. And you see a much bigger and deeper picture of business events when the people who influenced the decisions are teaching you. 

What do you want to do next? How has Columbia uniquely prepared you for your future?

I want to keep learning, and prepare myself for the upcoming summer internship. Columbia Business School provides me with all the technical and soft skills that I need. In class, the professors tutor and guide me with their profound knowledge and help cultivate a critical and rigorous mindset. I am also considering applying for a role as a research assistant to see if I might enjoy research.

Outside of class, student clubs like the Investment Banking Club, give me additional training to my daily work as a professional. Further, the interaction with the international community on campus will also benefit my future career. Living in NYC and experiencing how a business functions has also prepared me for the fast-paced lifestyle in large cities.