Alumna Ziqian Li: ‘The 2+2 programme was a game changer’

05 Jul 2023

Ziqian Li graduated in 2021 with a BA Accounting from Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU) and a BA Accounting and Finance from the University of Liverpool. After that, she pursued an MSc Accounting, Organisations and Institutions at the London School of Economics (LSE). Currently, Li is working as a financial analyst at Bank of America in Chester in the UK. She shares her story as a 2+2 alumna and her career path after graduation.

Ziqian Li at XJTLU graduation ceremony

  1. Why did you choose to study at XJTLU?

During high school, I aspired to study in an internationally recognised institution. After doing a lot of research, I found that XJTLU regularly sends talented students to top universities all over the world. I firmly believed XJTLU could help me achieve my goals.

  1. Why did you choose BA Accounting?

I truly appreciate that XJTLU allows us to enrol first and then choose our programme. In my first semester, I attended various forums and consulted many senior students from different programmes. Through this process, I discovered my interest in accounting and felt confident in my ability to do well in this field.

  1. What do you think of the 2+2 programme?

The 2+2 programme was a game changer for me. During my first two years at XJTLU, I had no clear idea about my plans after graduation, which led to a lot of anxiety. However, after transferring to the University of Liverpool, I had the opportunity to connect with XJTLU alumni who were working in the UK. They shared their diverse career paths, which gradually solidified my goal of staying in the UK after graduation. I’ve worked hard and successfully achieved this goal. I would say that the 2+2 programme played a crucial role in shaping my subsequent life choices.

  1. Did you have a particular career in mind when you chose your programme?

Honestly, I didn’t have a clear plan during my early years at university, which caused some anxiety. However, as I learned more about my field and got more internship experiences, I gradually discovered my career preferences. Looking back at my time at XJTLU, I realised there’s no need to panic about not having a clear goal. Sometimes, embracing uncertainties and viewing them as opportunities can be beneficial.

  1. Can you tell us about your experience of studying at XJTLU?

One of my strongest memories of studying at XJTLU is waking up early on weekends to secure a good seat in the library. Surrounded by hard-working students, I was inspired by their dedication. We motivated each other and eventually achieved our respective goals.

Ziqian Li working as a volunteer teacher

  1. How about your experiences at the University of Liverpool?

My time at Liverpool holds a special place in my memory. While my studies were my primary focus, I often spent my free time with the friends I had made at XJTLU. Having a group of reliable friends in a foreign country made my time abroad enriching and captivating.

Liverpool is a beautiful city with numerous tourist attractions. To relax, I used to take walks along Albert Dock. Additionally, I enjoyed shopping at Liverpool One on weekends.

  1. Could you tell us a bit more about your internship experiences?

As an accounting student, I was particularly interested in the Big Four accounting firms. As a result, I pursued an audit internship with one of these firms. This experience gave me valuable insights into auditing and significantly helped my subsequent job applications in the UK. I also had a short-term internship at a securities company. These internships offered excellent opportunities to explore my preferences and enhance my transferable skills.

  1. Describe your career journey since graduating. What is a typical day like in your current role?

After graduating from LSE, I joined Bank of America and began my career as a financial controller. A typical day for me starts at 9am. I prepare financial reports for my corresponding front-office team, explain significant movements, and ensure that financial risks remain within acceptable ranges. Additionally, I handle regulatory reports and ad hoc tasks. The work-life balance is good, and I usually finish around 5pm.

  1. How did your studies help you develop?

XJTLU differs greatly from traditional Chinese universities. It provides ample opportunities for collaboration with peers, public speaking engagements, and project management. My studies at XJTLU played a crucial role in enhancing my communication and problem-solving skills. These are critical skills employers seek, and I’m grateful for the early emphasis on developing them.

Ziqian Li at LSE graduation

  1. What advice would you give prospective students considering studying BA Accounting at XJTLU?

XJTLU is a fantastic platform for students who are self-disciplined and aspirational. My advice would be to use all the resources the University provides to improve your language, collaboration and problem-solving skills. Additionally, learn about different career options as early as possible to enrich your internship experience. Lastly, don’t compare yourself to people around you because everyone has a different life track. Enjoy your time at XJTLU!


By Xinmin Han
Edited by Patricia Pieterse
Photos by Ziqian Li

05 Jul 2023


Alumna Peiyao Xiao gets ready for the next step
Humanities and Social Sciences
XJTLU Stories

Alumna Peiyao Xiao gets ready for the next step

Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University’s School of Film and TV Arts (SoFTA) alumna Peiyao (Alice) Xiao is finally ready for a break. After a degree programme fi...

Learn more
Alumnus Yi Yu: ‘Find your own narrative’
Built Environment

Alumnus Yi Yu: ‘Find your own narrative’

The first time Yi Yu heard of Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University was when he was about to graduate from high school; his parents recommended it to him. Y...

Learn more
Alumnus Haofeng Li: Delving deep into interests
XJTLU Stories

Alumnus Haofeng Li: Delving deep into interests

Haofeng Li graduated from the School of Film and TV Arts with a BA in Digital Media Arts in 2000. Now, he is an accomplished television commercial (TVC) dire...

Learn more