This J-term, students in the Investing and Financing in and with China course had the chance to take a behind the scenes operations tour of the Andaz Xintiandi Shanghai—a hotel created by the US-based Hyatt Hotel chain.
“We saw the intricate, inner-workings of what it takes to run a luxury hotel in Shanghai, and the General Manager, David Tseo, answered our questions in person,” says NYU study away student Dimitri Henry ‘19. “The whole experience was incredible and was a nice way to experience the city and the culture of the city through the class.”
The site visit and meeting with the hotel GM was just one of the many opportunities students in the popular J-Term course had to engage with investors and professionals doing cross-border business in and with China. The course, taught by Professor David Yu, challenged students to analyze and think deeply about questions such as: How do Chinese entrepreneurs invest in a dynamic country and abroad? What are the leading opportunities in Chinese markets today? How are overseas capital and domestic Chinese firms reshaping global business?
Students tackle case studies, hold in-class discussions, listen to guest speakers, and as in the visit the hotel, meet industry leaders in their business environments. They give group presentations on various cross-border cases, and also write individual papers.
“It's about real experiences and trying to link what we learn in cases to real-life situations,” Yu says. A range of past guests have included law partners, bankers, Private Equity investors, Venture Capitalists, CEOs, and CFOs from India, Singapore, the U.S and China.
Yu, a member of the NYU Shanghai Center for Business Education Research (CBER), teaches from his extensive experience. He’s managing director, chief investment officer and co-founder of Inception Aviation Holdings, a family investment and advisory group, and is a recognized expert in cross border finance and investing. He is also the chairman of China’s first and only specialized aviation valuation consulting firm.
"I was interested in Professor Yu's class because I wanted to get a better idea of international financial markets, specifically in China,” Henry said. “Professor Yu offered the chance to not only learn about Asian markets as a whole but to also understand the cultural nuances that often get swept under the rug in class back in the States.”
“It's a very iterative course. We look at cross-border joint-ventures and other forms of cross-border cooperations inbound and outbound,” says Yu. “The class is very discussion-based. We also talk about NYU Shanghai as an example of a Sino-foreign joint-venture.”
The course is especially geared towards junior and senior business and finance students, but it also attracts students from economics, data science, and NYU Shanghai’s new interactive media business major. Visiting NYU Stern and CAS students are also enrolled in the class.
Although the content has been condensed into seven January term sessions, Yu says, “there are so many variables and sub-segments that there’s really enough for a cross-border investing and financing minor.” Yu also teaches a semester-long version of the course and has even tailored it for MBA, masters students, and executives.
“I wanted to take the class because of my post-grad job as a Financial Analyst at S&P Global,” says Henry. “The company has plans to expand into Asian markets, and this class allows me to understand the necessary context of the business landscape, which gives me an advantage over my peers.”
“We're in an ever-evolving, more connected global world at the moment, and there is a need to become better global citizens,” says Yu. “Business and finance students especially need to build a fundamental base knowledge and skill-sets for analysis. It’s not just about being bilingual but about developing a bicultural awareness and understanding within a business context.”
Foundations of Finance, Corporate Finance and Economics of Global Business (or Macroeconomics) or instructor permission
More course spotlights: Doing Business with China, Creative Learning Design, Re-made in China