Author Archives: Haonan Yuan

Finance in post-Brexit: battle has already started

“We’re seeing a lot of uncertainty ahead of us,” Charles-Edouard Bouée, the chief  executive of Europe’s largest management consultancy Roland Berger said to The Times, “In this case I don’t think we have seen such a disentanglement in the last 50 years anywhere in the world.”

The impact of Brexit on financial services industry in the UK is significant. Many believe as a result, Britain will be cut off from the European market. One of Germany’s top banking regulators warned that London could lose its status as “Gateway to Europe”.

With possible lose of financial passporting rights, which means losing the ability to provide services across the EU from a base in London, banks are already considering their options in the future.

Lloyds Bank reportedly chose Berlin as the location for its European hub after the UK leaves the EU, meanwhile, Barclays also operated to move its EU headquarters to Dublin. In post-Brexit, UK has already suffered from losing job chances in those transnational corporations.

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Canary Wharf, the matrix of London’s global banking center taken by Andrew Testa.

The result of French election seems to make it even harder for Britain to negotiate with EU. Macron’s win tights EU together again and leaves the UK isolationism. The youngest president in French history, who describes Brexit as “a serious mistake”, has been called an EU fanatic on Twitter.

In fact, the former economy minister has already urged overseas banks to quit London for Paris after Brexit for a long time.

Though a new research by Colliers International shows that it will be “too impractical” for companies to leave London at high risk of losing high skilled graduates, uncertainty of economy in this former EU financial center may leave them no choice.

Post-Brexit recruitment: should I stay or should I go?

There is a sharp decline in interest of EU graduates looking for jobs in the UK after referendum: the number falls by 18% according to Linkedln data.

Oversea graduates are concerned about Brexit’s effect on themselves. They believe they will enter a job market that’s more challenging than they might have expected in the UK. As a result,  a research from Korn Ferry Hay Group shows that almost a quarter of them have changed their career plan.

Three quarters of respondents in a poll from WikiJob believe their job prospects have become worse and 34% of EU participants are now less likely to look for work in the UK.

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Infographic: WikiJob

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Infographic: WikiJob

The biggest problem for those young graduates is uncertainty. Ben, who is studying at the University of Southampton, said: “I don’t know what my job’s going to be like over the next ten years because the people who are leading Brexit have no idea.”


Brexit does not only affect young graduates but also worries British companies themselves.

According to a report from Department for Education, more than half of graduates and over 70% postgraduates go for high skilled employment in the UK. Due to the Brexit fear and possible lack of trained EU graduates, UK’s shortage in some high skilled talent can really affect local market.

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Infographic: Asya Gadzheva

Facing a skills gap emerging, especially for those industries with high requirement on employees’ intelligence, “They will need to foster a culture of entrepreneurialism and technological innovation and open their doors to a generation of young and tech-savvy professionals,” says Noeleen Cowley, Banking Partner at KPMG.

It is predictable that the lose of brainpower due to Brexit can slow down development in a wide range of disciplines.

With more students this time, Labour lost, again!

Unlike being most people’s favourite in UK, Theresa May is continuing to be the least popular party leader for students. On the opposite, Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour seems to remain strong among those young voters. Although a huge increase has been observed for student voter registration, Labour still lost, and even worse this time.

Labour has already been the most popular party among students for the last three elections. The proportion has actually more than doubled since that: there are 55% of students who plan to vote say they would cote for Labour Party in “a General Election held tomorrow”, which was 23% in April 2005.

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A YouthSight pre-election poll shows a considerable support for the Labour Party and Jeremy Corbyn from young students, however, at the same time, distrust of the leadership to abolish tuition fees. Actually half of them believe Labour would not bring back grants because they have broken promise once.

According to the latest update today, Labour loses every seat they have in the night before. But some still believe Labour may have a turning point at some time in general election.

For those who want to make a difference in general election: your permanent home address and a term-time address can both be lawfully registered. Maybe you can check polls for support in each region and go for hopeful ones. If you are registered to vote in two different electoral areas, you are eligible to vote in local elections for two different local councils. Remember you cannot vote twice-this offence can leave you with a fine of up to £5,000.

Your style can speak

“It isn’t really about clothes”, Franca Sozzani, the editor of Italian Vogue said this to the Financial Times a few years ago. “It’s about life.” Style is to reflect the world around it. What we wear can really represent who we are.

In this case, we look at how public figures’ styling become the tool to reflect their inner worlds, or at least what they want public know about themselves. To provide both interviewees with four different female public figures being covered on their faces and see if they can recognise any of them only based on their styles. The result clearly shows that  like any art form, clothes are propaganda.

We have Emma Watson, Victoria Beckham, Kate Middleton and Hillary Clinton. For the former two, they are wonderful examples of how stars show their personalities by presenting specific styles. Their styles actually speak for them.

Unlike Hollywood celebrities, public figures representing more serious concepts always need to concern more, as they don’t dress up only for themselves. Talking about representative image in Britain’s royal family, civilian princess, most people may think about Diana. A marriage between families with equal social status is kind of a common sense around the world. Once a young woman marries with a royal member, the real Cinderella story makes public has partiality for her: a civilian princess with nice appearance and personality becomes a national sentiment they are proud of. Kate Middleton entered into public view on 2011, from political to fashion news. Elle published a long feature analysing how she became a civilian princess. Even her story is a lack of stirring attraction compare to Diana’s, Kate successfully builds her gentle and elegant public image. Her fashion taste has been many women’s favourite.

For Hillary Clinton, that’s another situation then. In the video above, both interviewees point out, it is a pity that she has to dress up like men by wearing pantsuit to fight in political arena as female. In fact, as first lady in 1990s, Hillary Clinton showed her great taste at big occasions. Many of her styles well presented the soft and even sexy side of Hillary. But since she officially turned from a supporting role to an individual politician, public rarely see her in this kind of wearing. From being secretary of States to a presidential candidate, Hillary always had suits to show her independence and toughness. It can be seen how fashion style is important for public figures to build their images: as the social role changes, style follows.

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Hillary at the Inaugural Ball following President Bill Clinton’s second inauguration

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Hillary accepting her Grammy Award for Best Spoken Album on 1997

Coco Chanel once said: “Fashion fades, only style remains the same.” In fashion world, popular elements for trends come and go. However, it is style that always reflects individual’s attitude and personality. Rachel Zoe also states: “Style is a way to say who you are without having to speak.” Just dress out-you wear in who you are.

Pink revolution

Pink, normally identified as only young girls’ favourite, has been ignored for a long time as many designers prefer cool modern styles. But now this bias is subverted. Pink brings a revolution, influencing not only fashion world, but also the whole society.

Big trend for this season

The Wall Street Journal identifies pink as “spring fashion’s biggest trend”. This color can actually provide people with warmth and happiness. Studies show that pink has obvious effect to maintain a stable mood. Similar situations have been observed in Naval detention center, Veterans Hospital and even psychiatric ward. Both heart rate and blood pressure can be decreased.

This year Pantone shares two types of pink as hot issues for the season: Pale Dogwood as “a quiet and peaceful pink shade that engenders an aura of innocence and purity”; Pink Yarrow, “a whimsical, unignorable hue that tempts and tantalizes”. The former is a subtle pink whose soft touch infuses a healthy glow and the later is a captivating and stimulating color that lifts spirits and gets the adrenaline going.

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You can see designers using those elements everywhere in recent Fashion Weeks: Michael Kors has pink windbreaker instead of khaki ones; J. Crew provides another pink outwear with pink checked shirt inside; and the pink leather skirt from Bottega Veneta’s new collection shows a kooky and liberating attitude.

Pink and gender realisation

If asked to pick the most feminine colour, many people will choose pink. Maybe this is why some believe that pink represents a general imagery on women: cute, tender but incapable. It is believed that love for pink is an embodiment of feminity. According to gender psychology, women gradually form characteristics of feminity in their growths, appearing gentle and modest personality. Pink is a color easily rising desire of protection, so women often love it subconsciously. This can be understood from two perspectives. The first one is that social role theory believes social pressure makes women keep courteous characteristic. Secondly, theory about individual development thinks female form their personalities by referring to preferences of other women around them. So it is easy to explain why many women in workplace don’t like pink-for those with strong and independent personalities, they don’t need to meet certain social standard [especially men’s expectation].

Though there is evidence showing relationship between colors and gender stereotyping, it can be seen that the bound is not clear anymore, especially fashion is under a general background highlighting unisex concept.

It will still take a while for male to prefer pink, leave its usual impression alone; but at least more men start to accept this color by realising its visual function. Pietro Quaglia, who opened his own Italian restaurant Pietro Nolita in Manhattan, boldly uses pink for the whole design, including walls, tableware and napkins. They even have their pasta and cocktail pink. “It means love, it means happiness, it means so many things,” the founder Mina Soliman says. “When you go to eat, that’s what you want.” Quaglia’s response is simpler: “It is 2017 now. Pink is cool!”

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Outside and inside view of Pietro NolitaWechatIMG8.jpeg

Pink and its political meaning

Designer Michael Kors believes pink represents strength in this season: “Modern women want to show not only a soft girliness, but also independence.” It reminds people of the female parade warning against populist patronising on the first day of Donald Trump’s presidency. Women across the country came to Washington DC with those “pussyhat”. The city was all covered with pink-To this degree, absolutely the color is not just loveliness and innocence. Instead, it becomes a symbol of feminism.

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Pink pussyhat parade 

No matter you like it or not, pink is coming back to rock the world now. Have a look at how fashion icons wear the color and go for it!

Want a different vacation? Volunteer for a free meal and stay

While thinking about a new way to spend vacation, why not stay in another city for free by volunterring? WNOL spoke to Lyn, a 22-year-old student, about her experience, which seems to be an inspiration for people having difficulties making a decision.

In the past winter, as millions of people suffered from smog in northern China, Lyn, a student in Tsinghua University made her “vacation escape” from Beijing to Yunnan, a province lies in the southwest of the country, bordering with Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar.

In an accidental opportunity, she joined a project, which provides chances for participants to do volunteer work in order to change for free stays and meals. Describing it as “ the most meaningful journey so far”, Lyn believes this is a must for everyone, especially young people at her age.

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Yunnan province, where Lyn has been to.

Why do you decide to do volunteer in return of meal and stay?

My motivation was easy: I thought the smog in my city was so bad. I did not want to wear dust masks for several months. More than that, my ideal winter has always been like this: go to roll in the snow if you get bored with the equator or fly to sunny places wearing the cotta. So I applied for the programme and luckily got the chance.

How does the project work?

Basically you need to use your strengths to work for free meals and stays. But daily work is easy, such as cleaning rooms and chatting with guests. And you only work for no more than five hours per day. During the rest of time you can take a walk around with friends.

Where have you been? 

In a month, I stayed in Lijiang city for the first three weeks and finally went to Napa Lake near Shangri-La [near Sichuan province]. Both are in Yunnan Province and it took me about three to four hours to drive from Lijiang to Shangri-La.

Is there any difference between two places?

Lijiang is a small city, a great attraction. Lots of ancient buildings. Also bars are very lively in the night. Napa Lake [about five miles from Shangri-La city] comes from Tibetan language. It means the lake behind forest. It links with Ira grassland. An amazing wonderland, although a bit lonely. The air on the plateau is cool and fresh. I have the whole the limitless blue above in daytime and full sky of stars in night.

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View of Lijiang taken by Lyn.

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The starry sky above Pana Lake taken by Lyn last summer.

What about the living standard during the process?

In Lijiang I shared a room with five other girls; men often have to live in a bit more crowded one. But the inn was very clean. We were very conscious of our living environment. People all tried to act quietly as possible as they can for not disturbing others. For daily meals, we had local Tibetan food. Special buttered tea as breakfast; some stir-fried dishes for lunch. Dinner is freer. We could take a walk in the town to find some nice places or just buy material in the vicinity to cook for ourselves.

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The inn they stayed in Lijiang.

We lived with a local family in Shangri-La. Tibetan Mr. Ma is the owner of the Ira grassland. He is also the coordinator of the project. There were some developers wanted to buy the prairie but the man rejected them all. He thinks those plans will possibly destroy local ecology.

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Mr. Ma on a Jeep taken by Lyn.

What impressed you the most?

One day while following local people to the grassland, we met the black-necked cranes. This is an internationally recognised endangered animal, known as “birds’ panda”. For thousands of years, they have been well cared by the local, however, both human and natural factors are forcing their living situation to face real challenges. Ideally, we hope the grassland can develop for public education and scientific research. But the fact is, domestic waste is causing serious consequence. We followed the track of those birds’ move and reduce water pollution as possible as we can by picking up trash near the lake.

For me, this is also a great chance to deeply know about Tibetan family because I did the protective action of migratory birds with local kids. I followed them together to create the sign and do the wall painting for the protection zone.

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Horses on Ira grassland taken by Lyn.

How will you value your experience?

Before I left, I had no idea what I would go through; during the process, I asked myself why I found such interesting things so lately. I met the landlord couple with rich life experience and many like-minded friends. It also let me really fall in love with the place. Although later some friends said I seem to have a sequel: I always pay attention on finding a good angle to take a picture or spending much time clipping video…but it is easy for me to accept these great habits.

Is there any mandatory requirement to apply?

No. There is no limit on age, gender or location. They do have some preferences for applicants: somebody who likes to go on a trip and share their stories with others. Those with interests of writing or taking pictures and videos might be more competitive. But there is no reason to be nervous. I was worried for my bad shooting skill but the result proves that they just want to know about you for real.

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Lyn on her way to local Tibetan community.

“New city, new friends, new skills-new world. I mean how many vocations do I still have left in my life? There is nothing cooler than this.” Lyn is now researching on her next destination in this coming summer.

How can you apply similar programmes in UK?