Queen Mary Alumni

Alumni profile - Simon Gao

I love my experience of living in London for study, mostly living in the campus. The residential services and resources were brilliant. I think it’s quite rare to be provided with this level of residential support among universities located in London. What surprised me, in a good and fun way, was the level of security against the fire. It’s understandable and highly appreciated.

 

(Management of Intellectual Property MSc, 2014)

Published:
news image

What made you want to take on the role of Alumni Chapter Lead? What do you hope to achieve in this role?

Networking does play an important role in career development. I benefit from the alumni network myself. I believe developing the Alumni Chapter would be beneficial to our alumni for their career as well. Also, I very much enjoyed studying with and living in our university when I was in London. Therefore, when the chance came, I decided to take the role of Alumni Chapter Lead without any doubt. By working with the university, other chapter leaders and our alumni, I hope to be able to present an active, strong and influential Alumni Chapter.

Could you tell me about your current job and what it involves? What drew you to this work?

I have been working in the private equity and venture capital sector for years. Our business mainly focuses on equity investment in hi-tech companies. I think what attracts me most about this job is the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship behind each project as well as the new technologies and their contribution to our life nowadays and in the future.

I’m a quite self-motivated person in life. I love the feeling of constantly learning and improving. Professionally, I would love to achieve those goals that are influential and beneficial to the world. I value influence and meaning much more than profits and money. Also, in personal life, I want to be able to help and protect the ones I love.

Could you describe your career path that led you to where you are?

After graduating from Queen Mary, as a law graduate, I practised law in domestic and international law firms in Beijing, mostly related to intellectual property (IP) protection and dispute resolution. I started my career in the investment profession with a state-owned financial group which has a special interest in IP and IP-intensive sectors. In fact, the opportunity was brought to me by a Queen Mary alumnae. My legal background, especially the IP experience, is highly valued in our business.

Why did you choose to study Management of Intellectual Property? Why at Queen Mary?

Coming from a family with a bit legal background, now it seems natural to me having a career much related to the law. My story with Intellectual Property (IP), however, began with my internship in a domestic law firm’s IP practice group. In addition, my undergraduate education in engineering would be significantly useful and valued in the IP practice. As to why at Queen Mary, I think it wouldn’t be surprising for me to choose Queen Mary for legal education, especially IP. As my mentor said in an introductory video, Queen Mary is second to none in IP.

What was your experience of moving to the UK for study? Were there any differences that surprised you?

I love my experience of living in London for study, mostly living in the campus. The residential services and resources were brilliant. I think it’s quite rare to be provided with this level of residential support among universities located in London. What surprised me, in a good and fun way, was the level of security against the fire. It’s understandable and highly appreciated.

What motivates you in life?

I’m a quite self-motivated person in life. I love the feeling of constantly learning and improving. Professionally, I would love to achieve those goals that are influential and beneficial to the world. I value influence and meaning much more than profits and money. Also, in personal life, I want to be able to help and protect the ones I love.

What are your aspirations for the future?

International cooperation has been something I feel enthusiastic about. I hope to contribute to international cooperation in innovations, e.g. technology diplomacy, cross-border investment in innovative projects. Right now, I’m trying to learn as much about the space law and space sector as I can, and hopefully I can integrate my technical, legal and financial background into relevant work.

What were the highlights of your time at Queen Mary?

There were many memorable moments at Queen Mary, e.g., meeting a very good friend of mine at a CV clinic seminar organised by the law school, learning from the professors who are my lifelong mentors now, working on a group project with my classmates, going to Washington DC for an IP study trip with my professor and classmates, cooking with my flat mates for banquets, finding out that I received Distinction for my master’s degree, etc.

This profile was conducted by a member of the Alumni Engagement Team. If you would like to get in touch with Simon or engage him in your work, please contact the team at alumni@qmul.ac.uk