I was not expecting to receive a job when I applied for the Wells Fargo Advisors Center for Finance and Accounting Research (WFA-CFAR) mentorship program for Master of Accounting (MACC) students during the Spring 2016 semester. Instead, I was hoping to build a healthy long-term friendship with my future mentor. The friendship should benefit both sides: my mentor could learn Chinese culture from me, and I could learn how to behave more professionally in the US business world.
The mentorship experience with Doug Schoen, Assistant Treasurer at Emerson, turned out to be wonderful, and it is exactly what I was hoping for. During several dinners with Doug’s family at his home, they generously taught me many soft skills for the business world; for example, how to handle crucial conversations effectively and how to become a better team leader. Doug also took me on a tour at Emerson, and he introduced me to Emerson’s VP and the Director of Treasury–and each of them gave me sincere and beneficial advice for my career.
The new WFA-CFAR mentorship program for MACC students is making a personal and professional impact.
As I had hoped, Doug and I also taught each other new things. For instance, I bought Sake wine and taught Doug how to taste and identify different Japanese Sake. In return, Doug sent me books on art history, and he guided me through different oil paintings in different eras.
While both of us were enjoying the mentorship experience and learning from each other, good news came: I was offered an accounting internship at Emerson this summer because of my previous contact with Emerson’s senior management team. I joked with Doug that the internship was a “bonus” in this friendship.
We have already planned another event in the future–probably a Cardinals baseball game, and my mentor will teach me rules of this sport. I strongly recommend that students participate in mentorship programs such as this. Thanks to WFA-CFAR and Doug, I already know what a home run feels like!
Guest Blogger: House Zhu (MACC 2016)