Born in Seoul, South Korea, and raised in Queens, New York, I never would have imagined that I would be given the opportunity to study and graduate from one of the nation’s top undergraduate business programs as a first-generation college student. I can still remember the first day I stepped onto campus and how nervous but excited I was to meet new people from around the world and take advantage of all the opportunities available.
During my first year as a business student, I really appreciated how the accounting curriculum included classes early on that involved working in a team environment and applying what we learned in class to real-world situations. I developed a strong liking for accounting after I took Professor Albring’s managerial accounting course and Professor Kofi Okyere’s intermediate accounting course. It was clear that both were passionate and knowledgeable about the subjects being taught.
After my freshman year, Whitman enabled me to apply and participate in GE Capital’s Finance Discovery Program where I got exposure to financial analysis and business forecasting in consumer electronics companies. Throughout my sophomore year, I was a member of Beta Alpha Psi and got to network with professionals from different accounting firms.
During my junior year, I was awarded the title Vice President of External Affairs for the National Association of Black Accountants (NABA) Syracuse chapter. I served as the liaison for the organization and recruiters via constant communication which allowed me to make connections and ultimately helped me to participate in numerous summer leadership programs where I got a feel for each firm’s workplace culture. I was also chosen to participate in the Whitman on Wall Street exploration trip to New York City which helped me to understand different types of careers in finance.
With the foundation and preparation Whitman has given me, I was able to successfully complete two internships and secure a job with one of the big 4 accounting firms before graduation. The advice I would give to current and prospective students is always be passionate in what you do and be open-minded to new experiences. I am proud to call myself a Whitman alum, and I will continue to utilize the skills I learned to actively pursue my goals.