From Novice Dreamer to Smith Student

Scholarship Entrant: Yixuan from Germantown, MD – Maryland
Essay Question: If you could earn a living doing what you love most, what would it be, and how would it change the world? Describe the specific goals you would set to make that dream a reality.
Vote for Yixuan: 1

My dream is to some day become an operations research analyst, identifying and evaluating risks and opportunities for businesses in order to foster innovation, advancement, and create value for society overall. My immediate post-graduate employment plans include an entry-level job at an accounting firm. I aim to start at the corporate entry-level position of junior staff accountant or internal auditor. Under the supervision of senior accountants, staff accountants are typically responsible for budgeting, performance evaluation, and cost and assets management. They are specialized in work assignments in areas of receivables, payroll, payables, asset and treasury management, general ledger, and financial statements. After five years, I plan on becoming a senior accountant or accounting manager. I will then be responsible for work assignments as well as supervising and directing teams of staff accountants.
I would like to explore my options in the finance sector after ten years. For my profession, I plan to work as an operations research analyst in the banking industry or one of the big four accounting firms. Some of the skills I would like to explore with this occupation include the management and construction of economic and statistical models to reduce the probability of strategic and operational risk. I have a great interest in financial engineering, model stimulations, and ratio analysis, and believe that the reduction in market/credit risk events can be a greater benefit to society.
Starting as a junior staff accountant, I would like to be employed at a for-profit or governmental organization within the Metropolitan DC area. Most accountants work in offices, although some may work at home or travel to their client’s place of business. Junior staff accountants are very versatile, and are expected to perform a range of accounting task, including the examination of financial statements for completeness, accuracy, and compliance with uniform accounting principles; reconciliation of reports and financial data; and preparation of financial statements and charts/tables for reporting. The work setting is surprisingly team oriented. Junior staff accountants will be responsible for auditing important client projects as a team member and be expected to work a typical 40- hour workweek, or longer during tax seasons.
Senior level accountant/analysts differ in the ability to lead the team (of junior accountant subordinates) and handle the direct client and prospective client contacts. The work setting is similar, but involves increased responsibilities, leadership roles, and team management. Characteristics of this work setting that may present a challenge for me is the development of leadership skills. I believe that I need to further improve my communication skills, confidence, charisma, assertiveness, and public speaking skills to be a leader.
Accounting is a fit career that encourages mathematics, statistics, and analytical skills, but at the same time, provides the challenges for me such as a demand for leadership, management, and communication abilities that will help me hone my skills and improve my professional development experiences.
Currently, in the pathway to my professional goals, I am majoring in accounting at the R.H. Smith Business School at UMCP. Although challenging, I believe that taking the classes of finance, economics, taxation, and accounting has helped me tremendously in improving my technical skills and attention to details. Furthermore, my management and career strategies courses have improved my soft skills, whether it is how to interact with potential employers and organizations or how to perform self-assessments to determine the best-fit career path.
I have come so far from the novice Dreamer entering the Smith School to a true Smith student. I cannot be grateful enough for the opportunities and education the Smith School and Shady Grove Campus has provided me to explore my career goals and purpose in life.

Vote for Yixuan: 1

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