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Management co-op student lands high-profile scholarship

Grace Hao is the first Management student to win a scholarship from the CFA Society Toronto. (Photo by Ken Jones)

For the first time, a U of T Scarborough Management student has won a prestigious CFA Society Toronto scholarship.

Shanghai-born Grace Hao, a third-year student in Finance, won an Undergraduate Finance & Economics Scholarship Award, worth $1,000. The Toronto society is part of the worldwide CFA Institute, the organization that gives out the globally recognized Chartered Financial Analyst designation.

“It is an honour for me to receive this,” says Hao. “If you look at the alumni who won this scholarship, they have become outstanding people in the industry.”

Bill Chau, Manager of of U of T Scarborough's Finance and Trading Lab, says Hao’s win is a significant milestone for the Department of Management.

“It’s a big deal for the school,” he says. “Students want to go to universities or business schools that have good programs and also have students who have proven to have a successful track in the industry. So having Grace as an example in getting such an award demonstrates that our program prepares our students for success.” 

Chau notes that the Finance specialty has now overtaken Accounting as the biggest stream in Management.

Hao attributes some of her win to being a Management co-op student – “it helps you explore the real world and improve yourself, including communications skills,” she says. In addition, she worked with Chau in the Finance and Trading Lab, where students get hands-on trading experience, and joined in the tough CFA Research Challenge.

Hao is also the latest example of the success of UTSC’s unique Green Path program, where UTSC recruiters visit top high schools in China to encourage students to come to UTSC and have a summer of preparation before first year. Hao, a student at the elite Shanghai No. 3 Girls High School – originally founded in 1881 – at first thought she would study in China. Then she visited an aunt in Toronto, liked it, and decided to apply via Green Path. She was accepted and came to Canada in May 2014.

Hao is still looking at her career options in finance as she gets ready for fourth year. She says she’s interested to check out Risk Management in her coursework next year, but currently she thinks she’ll work as an equity analyst.

Eventually, she hopes to return to university and possibly get an MBA. Then: Toronto or Shanghai? “We’ll see.”


© University of Toronto Scarborough