Xiaochuan (Darren) He, School of Chemistry

Xiaochuan He

Xiaochuan (Darren) He completed his Chemistry BSc in 2013 and his Polymers, Colorants and Fine Chemicals MSc in 2014 and is currently working in Shanghai as an Investment Manager.

Undergraduate life at Leeds

Darren chose to study at the University of Leeds because “the School of Chemistry is academically renowned for its quality of teaching and research in the UK and offers a good and flexible opportunity to combine academic and industrial experience.” Darren also expressed, “the University of Leeds is a very international university with students from all over the world. The city is big and lovely to live in too.”

The School of Chemistry is academically renowned for its quality of teaching and research in the UK.

“The student life at the University of Leeds laid a solid foundation for my future line of work. I am extremely grateful to my tutors Professor James Guthrie and Professor Dejian Zhou, as well as the School. Not only did they help guide my academic life and make my transition into university life smoother, the whole university experience also cultivated and stimulated my work attutide, perception, problem solving skills and critical thinking skills.” 

Darren also commented that he enjoyed the seminars that were held regularly at the School and the University. “These seminars covered a wide range of professional topics, and they widened my field of vision and led to me developing interest and seeking opportunities in many sectors. It created the path that led me into the investment industry.”

Life after Leeds

After graduation, Darren engaged in the financial investment industry. He was responsible for the industry analysis for the secondary market and then joined a venture capital company. Initially, Darren focused on chemistry-related fields such as health and pharmaceutical, new materials and the semi-conductor sectors, but later diversified to the technology sector.

Darren is currently working as an Investment Manager at Greenriver Capital in Shanghai and is mainly responsible for early stage investment in the field of new technology.

Advice and tips

“There are many industry-based and academic research opportunities in the field of chemistry so don’t be scared to seize those opportunities. There are a lof of industries that have a very high demand for chemistry graduates including pharmaceutical, new materials and the food industry. The School of Chemistry and the University of Leeds is a wonderful place to study and I believe that they have helped me and I believe will continue to help future students achieve their very best.”