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Business Grad Helping Lay a Base for the Future

Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 is laying groundwork for the Student Managed Investment Fund’s future—and his own—as he spends a year working as an executive research associate.

By Jason Schoonover ’09, content specialist

October 16, 2018 | 3:30 p.m.

Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 is working this year as an executive research associate for the Student Managed Investment Fund in the Department of Business and Economics.

Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 is working this year as an executive research associate for the Student Managed Investment Fund in the Department of Business and Economics.

During summer renovations to move the Department of Business and Economics to the Robertson Center, Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 fielded frequent questions from construction workers about Bethel’s young Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)—the Royals Investment Fund. 

“The workers here would ask me, ‘Hey, how’s the fund doing?’ ‘What do you do every day?’ ‘How can people participate?’ They would ask me questions like that, so many people are very curious about this new addition to experiential learning in the Bus-Econ department,” Liu says.

As the SMIF program garners attention and the business and economics department settles into its new home, Liu is helping lay the groundwork for a strong, efficient future. Liu is spending a gap year working as executive research associate for the SMIF as he prepares to attend business school next year. Liu double majored in business with an international business emphasis and economics and finance, along with a minor in Asian studies.

“I think what Bethel really provides is that it’s a very holistic program for an individual to learn, not just their interests of major, but also all aspects of human life.”

— Xiaoshuo Liu ’18, executive research associate for the Student Managed Investment Fund (SMIF)—the Royals Investment Fund

Just as donors proved vital in funding and supporting the department’s new state-of-the-art home, contributions from Thrivent Asset Management funded Liu’s position this school year. “The position is meaningful to myself and other students' growth, and it wouldn't happen without our donor's generosity,” Liu says.

Launched in 2017, the Royals Investment Fund is a limited liability company (LLC)—functioning under the Bethel umbrella—in which students are investing $1 million on behalf of Thrivent Financial and $225,000 on behalf of six additional, individual investors. Donors played a vital role throughout the project to build out the business and economics space as part of a $4 million renovation. “It shows both the donors' and the department's commitment of constantly improving students' and faculty's experience at Bethel. We are grateful to our donors,” Liu says. 

Working with Associate Professor of Business and Economics Amanda Carter, Liu is coordinating work with Royals Investment Fund team leaders, helping train them, and growing in his own leadership experience. 

As an executive research associate for the Student Managed Investment Fund, Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 is laying the groundwork for the fund’s future—and his own.

As an executive research associate for the Student Managed Investment Fund, Xiaoshuo Liu ’18 is laying the groundwork for the fund’s future—and his own.

Liu is working to develop and deliver training modules on FactSet—financial data software—along with work in client performance and research reports. He’s also creating screens, watch lists, and other support tools on FactSet for the fund and analysts. In addition, he’s developing a scorecard to track performance of current positions, and he’s building Excel spreadsheets to track performance of client accounts. He’ll also review best practices to improve risk management and expected risk-adjusted return.

Carter praised Liu as a hard-working, gifted, and talented student and worker. But this position is bringing him meaningful experience as he plans for a future in which he hopes to one day run his own international fund. “He’s just growing,” Carter says. “His public speaking has gotten better. His confidence has gotten better. He’s always been good at taking direction, but now he’s good at being the leader.”

Liu came to the United States to complete high school when he was 16 after he felt constricted by China’s rigorous and stringent education system, which sets students on career paths based on a few tests. Inspired by a speaker from the United Kingdom, he approached his parents to study abroad. He attended high school in Southern California, but he settled into a large Chinese population. He decided to attend Bethel as a way to break out of his comfort zone and interact with local people.  

Liu thrived in his business and economics classes, as well as his liberal arts classes at Bethel. “I think what Bethel really provides is that it’s a very holistic program for an individual to learn, not just their interests of major, but also all aspects of human life,” he says. 

While at Bethel, he studied abroad in Tokyo, traveled through Europe on Bethel’s Introduction to International Business course, served as a mentor in the International Student Life office, and competed on the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Institute Research Challenge team. “It’s definitely been an amazing experience for me,” he says.

Study Business and Economics at Bethel.

The Department of Business and Economics is Bethel's largest undergraduate department, offering ten majors and four minors. In summer 2018, $4 million in renovations made way for its brand new, cutting-edge space on Robertson Center 3rd Floor. The new space includes faculty offices, collaborative learning spaces, and the Thrivent Asset Management Financial Markets Lab, home to Bethel's Student Managed Investment Fund

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