2022 Best & Brightest Business Major: Natalie He, Wake Forest University

Natalie (Yijin) He

Wake Forest University School of Business

“Enthusiastic dreamer and adventurer who always works hard and push her limits.”

Fun fact about yourself: I do different kinds of sports including competitive equestrian, surfing, and tennis.

Hometown: Kunming, China

High School: Kunming No.8 High School

Major: Finance and Statistics double major

Minor: N/A

Favorite Business Course: Principle of Marketing

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Wake Forest University General Wellbeing Center — Marketing Chair

Ocean and Marine Conservation Club — Vice Pretendent

Student Government — Senator

Student Advisor

Student Union — Member

Finance Club — Member

WFU Academic Tutor

Wake Forest Pre-orientation WakeWell – Group Leader

Honors and Societies:

Beta Gamma Sigma Business Honor Society

Pi Mu Epsilon Mathematics Honorary Society

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) Nomination

Dean’s List (All semesters)

Undergraduate Scholarship:

Roche-Dupree Business Scholarship

Where have you interned during your college career?

Credit Suisse – Raleigh, NC – Summer Technology Analyst

GIC Group – Bethesda, MD – Investment Advisory Business Analyst

Ella Springs Senior Living Community – Houston, TX – Finance Analyst

China Merchant Bank – Kunming, China – Winter Personal Financial Advisory Analyst

Where will you be working after graduation? Goldman Sachs – Risk Analyst

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business? One thing I learned from studying business is to work in a fast-paced environment with high quality. As a finance major, working in a fast-paced industry means I can constantly learn new things and apply what I have learned to my work. While taking business classes at Wake Forest, I’ve learned how to navigate between multiple projects with competing deadlines and be prepared to take on something new. Additionally, I become more proactive and stay focused to make sure I do all the work efficiently and effectively.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? Communication is key. Whenever we are working on an individual project or group project, open communication would help us eliminate unnecessary problems and steps and promote better performance. Learning how to effectively communicate with one another would improve our productivity and build a strong team which is essential for success.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Something I am most proud of during my college life is to maintain a work-life balance throughout four years at Wake Forest. I treasure the relationships between professors and students; the small class size enables me to communicate with professors and ask questions directly. For the past four years, working under deadline pressure is part of my everyday life as I always have multiple projects with competing deadlines. Thus, what I’ve done is to make a plan and mark my calendar for all due dates; I prioritize those that are urgent and important and then complete the rest of them accordingly. In addition, I become more proactive and stay focused to make sure I do all the work efficiently and effectively so that I’d have time for my extracurricular activities. As part of many student organizations, I have met friends who share similar interests and developed life-long friendships.

Which classmate do you most admire? Laura Alhasnawi. Laura is my friend and freshman roommate. She is a non-business major, but she is the most caring person with high integrity I’ve ever met. Since my freshman year, she has behaved honestly and cared about doing things right with high ethical standards. Personally, integrity and honesty are very important to all people no matter who you are or what major you have. Additionally, Laura is compassionate and empathetic. She has always been a good listener who understands and comprehends others around. She is willing to absorb others’ ideas and suggestions and respects people’s time and efforts.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would thank my mom the most for my success. Growing up, my mother has unremitting intelligence on her work and has always been the role model I admire. She encourages and accompanies me for my entire life and teaches me important lessons. She has the ability to sustain her energy level under pressure to cope with disruptive changes and adapt. I always remember her encouraging phrases: “Nothing is impossible” and “Let’s give it a try”. In addition to being a great mom with compassion, she is also a resilient leader with high responsibilities. I learn from her to maintain a positive attitude and find ways to move forward and avoid getting stuck. She teaches me how to effectively communicate with others and help people to understand expectations and directions.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? The top two items on my professional bucket list are the following: 1) Improve my French skills and deploy them under business settings and 2) Travel to different countries for work purposes.

What are your hobbies? In my free time, I enjoy spending time with friends and doing outdoor activities, such as hiking, tennis, surfing, and horseback riding.

What made Natalie such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2022?

“Natalie works extremely hard in her academic pursuits. She always paid very close attention to the discussions at hand, and she offered her insights either in class or via marketing-related activity that she observed and applied outside of the classroom. She will be extremely successful, as she has been at Wake Forest, in the various endeavors that she may choose to pursue in her career and life journey.”

Dr. Kenny Herbst
Associate Dean of the Undergraduate Business Program
Board of Visitors Fellow in Marketing,
Associate Professor of Marketing

“Natalie’s pursuit of excellence and development made her an invaluable leader in my classroom and a joy to supervise for independent study. First, Natalie mastered the material in Quantitative Finance and regularly contributed to the class discussion. As a follow up to the course, Natalie pursued an independent study to learn advanced skills. Specifically, Natalie coded a neural network in Python to use as an asset pricing model. The results of Natalie’s project have directly influenced future iterations of my syllabus, which now includes machine learning. Natalie’s scholarly excellence benefited her peers and will continue to positively impact subsequent generations to come.”

Dr. Philip Howard
Assistant Professor
Joseph M Bryan Fellow in Banking & Finance

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