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Student 

Kaixi “Alex” Yang

Senior, Business Administration (Finance)
Hometown: Xinyu, Jiangxi, China

Being involved with the UO Investment Group—where we manage more than $1 million in real money—I gained a lot of knowledge and skills about financial modeling and writing financial reports. The UOIG’s portfolio is consistently one of the top-performing collegiate stock portfolios in the United States.

The investment group is a place where we take the knowledge that we learned in class and put it to use in the real world. We find a stock, analyze the company, and see if it’s fundamentally undervalued.

If it is, and we believe the company can generate positive returns for the group, we will pitch the stock to the group, and then the other analysts, including professors, will vote to decide to buy the stock or not. It’s the type of situation encountered at investment banks and firms every day, and we get that hands-on experience while in college, preparing us to land great jobs and hit the ground running as soon as we graduate. UOIG graduates are highly recruited, and many have ended up on Wall Street. We even got to meet with some of them on the group’s annual study tour in New York City.

I’m also president of the International Business Association, a student club that provides international students with opportunities to grow professionally and to learn real-world business knowledge and the skills.

The knowledge you learn in the classrooms is very important, that’s for sure. But in the clubs, those are places that help you prepare for your future career in the professional world.

It’s said the biggest social problems are also the biggest business opportunities. In the future, I would like to start my own fund to conduct impact investment in developing areas that can help boost local economies. Impact investing is all about making investments that do good for communities, society, or the environment while also generating positive financial returns.

Not every university teaches impact investing. Here at the University of Oregon, it is not only a course but something that we are always encouraged to think about.

I volunteered in some developing villages in China and I found people that, with additional help, can live better lives—where investments can actually generate positive societal impact. Therefore, helping others and generating positive returns, those things can be conducted at the same time.

That’s what I’m passionate about.

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