New Skills are My System Upgrade: Esther (Yun Shen) Lo '14 MSF

New Skills are My System Upgrade: Esther (Yun Shen) Lo '14 MSF

Oct. 2, 2018

Esther (Yun Shen) Lo '14 MSF, Senior Financial Analyst, Hitachi Vantara

Esther (Yun Shen) Lo

Tell us about your professional experience so far.

I have worked in semiconductor market research, at a proxy research company and at an investment company/financial institution. 

Following your MSF from Eller you learned programming languages and database management, SQL and R Analysis, and obtained SAS 9 Base Programmer certification. Why?

I am always learning—there is no end to lifelong learning and education! I like to challenge myself and I am always thinking about how to bring more value at work. Learning a new skill to me is like my system upgrade; you never know if your preparation is enough to face different challenges, but you can always be well-prepared. Take my current position as an example—I started to learn SQL in my free time a couple of months ago. Recently, my manager wanted to create a SQL database to automate a regular updated financial summary, and my skill began to create value.

What lead you to move from financial services to the semiconductor industry?

I was working in semiconductor industry for four years. Joining Hitachi Vantara has been the biggest change for my career. I moved from the investment to the corporate finance field because I want to be part of the transformation Hitachi is implementing. I want to be able to learn and to see how an electronics company with over 100 years of history can transition to an IoT/cloud/software company. 

What aspects of your finance education and experience do you use in your current role with Hitachi Vantara?

My current role requires that I fully understand financial statements and also know how to connect the dots between financial statements. These are two critical skills I find really useful. Essentially, as a financial analyst, I provide important data to help business partners reduce spending and costs, create higher gross margin and increase revenue. These are always the important topics in our day-to-day conversations. 

What is the favorite part of your job?

The greatest part of my job is the people. Sounds really cliché but it is the truth. Every job has different issues or problems. It is the people you are working with who help to make the difficult situations easier to solve.

What advice do you have for current finance master’s students ready to start their career?

Colin Powell said, “There are no secrets to success. It’s the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” Don’t be afraid of making mistakes, and don’t give up! Life and work can be hard, but you are your own master. You decide how you want to live your life and who you want to be.