Integrity. Innovation. Impact.


Lin Tong

Lin Tong

Ph.D. student in finance


What is the most important factor that made you choose to study here over other institutions?

The most important factor that made me choose to study here is the faculty. The faculty here has diversified research interests. This is particularly important for me since I had not determined a specific research area to work on at that time. In fact, through talking with professors with different research interests, I get an exposure to a variety of areas, which helps me better decide what topic interests me most. Even more importantly, professors here are really helpful in that they are always willing to discuss research ideas and work with students. On the one hand, they give guidance on my work. On the other hand, I have enough space for creativity and independent study.

Is studying for a Ph.D. as intense as most people might think?

Studying for Ph.D. is indeed intensive. Courses are much more difficult than undergraduate level, not to mention the pressure coming from research and dissertations. The most challenging part of Ph.D. study is that one has to acquire the ability of independent and creative thinking. However, it is also a valuable and rewarding experience.

What do you do to relieve the stress of grad school?

I enjoy playing tennis, traveling, and taking photos. I find these activities help to take your mind off the course work for an enjoyable moment. Moreover, talking and hanging out with peer graduate students also help to relieve the stress. We share feelings and also have fun. In the end, it is good to know that you are not alone.

What do you enjoy most about the Iowa City community?

I enjoy the fact that Iowa City is a relatively small town so there is no need to worry the traffic or living expense as there is in big cities. It also has an active environment with lots of young people. I also love the fact that our business building is located right in the downtown area. I always enjoy studying or reading in one of the coffeeshops on a lovely summer afternoon.

Because most Ph.D. programs are small, is this of benefit to you?

Yes, it benefits a lot. I feel it is very important to receive guidance from professors through talking and discussing research ideas. A small program allows students to have sufficient opportunity to receive help and guidance from the faculty.

What kind of support is available to Ph.D. students?

There are all kinds of support. For example, we have office rooms with computers. We have tuition scholarships that cover all the tuition. We are also offered a graduate assistantship to cover the most part of living expenses. Moreover, various kinds of travel or research grant are available to Ph.D. students.

What is your research focus (or specific topic)?

My primary research interest is asset pricing with a focus on institutional investors and behavioral finance. I am currently working on the impact of high frequency trading on the trading costs of institutional investors.

What are you most looking forward to after graduation?

I am on the job market this year. Since that I enjoy doing research and teaching, I am looking forward to be a professor after graduation.

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