The Weston Career Center sponsors several career treks across the globe that provide opportunities for students to meet with alumni and hiring managers in various industries. Yiling Han, MACC ’18, contributed this reflection on her experience from the Accounting Trek in Hong Kong in January. 

My greatest takeaways from the Hong Kong trek were the connections I made with local firms and the insight I gained from insiders’ perspectives. This trek provided me with intensive interactions with accounting professionals from diverse backgrounds, such as HR managers, senior auditors, tax managers, and consultants.

In two days, I received guidance on how to apply for accounting positions in the Hong Kong market, and I learned how to become more efficient in researching options for my career. I also gained a comprehensive understanding about different corporate cultures and key qualifications for positions in different fields of accounting. Overall, the experience provided insight into how best to proceed with job applications at Hong Kong accounting firms.

Details of the career trek

The trek exposed me to leading accounting firms in Hong Kong, including Deloitte, PwC, KPMG, BDO, and Mazars. During each company visit, the company staff introduced the firm, the service lines, resources for employees, and opened the floor to further discussion with students. The staff also provided company tours of the offices to assist in our understanding of their workplace environment.

Our tour began at Edinburgh Tower in Central Hong Kong, where we visited the HR manager of PwC. Our primary interest was to learn more about the company’s culture and job opportunities in the Hong Kong office.

From discussions with company recruiters and accounting professionals, I learned about the firm’s recruiting process, the first-year work experience at PwC, and both the professional and interpersonal qualities of a competitive applicant. To no one’s surprise, most of the firms expected full-time employees and interns to communicate using both Mandarin and English at work.

The Hong Kong trek was not just a series of company visits; it was also a great networking opportunity where we built relationships with people from the Hong Kong accounting firms.

For example, by the end of meeting with Mazars, the firm treated us with snacks, and we chatted for an hour with the auditing director partner, learning from his career experience and outlook on graduate employment.

I believe this is a valuable opportunity to build personal connections, which goes a long way toward making a lasting impression with these firms. It also gave the company officials a better sense of who we are and introduced them to the quality of WashU students and the Specialized Masters Program. I really appreciate the practical experience this trek offered in preparing the Hong Kong trekkers for employment opportunities in Hong Kong.

Pictured above: Members of the Hong Kong trek at KPMG. Greg Hutchings of the Weston Career Center; Yiling Han, Hee Cho, and Rachel Han, all MACC ’18.

Alumni in the news

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC ’14, has received the Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Medal Award for achieving the third highest overall score on the Certified Internal Auditor (CIA) examination in 2016. In addition to the honor, the Institute of Internal Auditors has invited Tina to attend (all expenses paid), their international conference in Sydney, Australia in July where she will receive her award in person.

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC '14,

Tianye (Tina) Zhang, MACC ’14

The Dr. Glenn Sumners Student Medal is one of the highest of the prestigious awards for outstanding CIA examination performance.

The Student award is named in honor of Dr. Glenn Sumners who has worked tirelessly for more than 25 years with students at Louisiana State University in the US to promote the CIA program and foster future leaders of the profession.

Consideration for the Sumners award is based on a candidate’s performance on the core parts of the CIA exam (Parts I, II, and III).

Congratulations, Tina!!



Undergraduate students at Westminster College  in Fulton, Missouri will have a new and accelerated pathway to earn a Master’s degree in Accounting from one of the top business schools in the country, thanks to an agreement between Westminster and Olin Business School.

The new accelerated “4+1” program allows  Westminster students to earn a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Accounting in just five years.

Students participating in the program will spend four years at Westminster College, where they will complete their coursework, a portion of which will count toward their graduate credit at Washington University. Likewise, once at the Olin Business School, credits will be transferred back to fulfill remaining undergraduate requirements.

The result is an integrated program that may allow students to save time and money in earning their Master’s degree in Accounting, and to potentially start their careers with an advanced degree sooner.

“Washington University is pleased to enter this new partnership with Westminster College, which has a long tradition of academic excellence,” said Joe Fox, Associate Dean and Director of Graduate Programs at Olin Business School. “We look forward to welcoming Westminster’s best and brightest students to Olin as they pursue their Master of Accounting degrees.”

Applicants are evaluated on the basis of grade point average, an interview, internship experience, statements of support by Westminster College and letters of recommendation.

Westminster College students accepted into the program enter Washington University Master’s program in the fall semester following their senior year, and need to complete 27 credit hours in the fall and spring semesters to graduate with both degrees in May of the fifth year.

westminster collegeThe Olin Business School will accept up to six Westminster credit hours to apply to its Master of Accounting degree. Westminster College, in turn, will accept up to three credit hours from Washington University to apply toward its Bachelor’s degree in Accounting.

“This partnership opens doors for our students to move right into graduate school at one of the top business schools in the nation,” said Westminster College Associate Professor of Accounting Elise Bartley. “Combining Olin’s Master’s program with our undergraduate accounting program provides a big advantage and a great opportunity for our students.”

Students who complete this accelerated program will be well prepared to sit for the CPA exam, Bartley said.

Founded in 1851, Westminster College in Fulton, MO is one of the top liberal arts colleges in America, according to major educational ranking firms, including U.S. News & World Report, Forbes magazine, The Princeton Review and Washington Monthly.


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.

WFA-CFARThe 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)

Olin’s undergrad and graduate accounting programs are among the best in the US according to a new ranking on the website Accounting.com. The website has been a leader in job and career information for nearly 20 years, and according to Andrea West, “We recently decided it was important to expand that offering to information about earning an education in accounting.”

Olin’s accounting programs are among the top 10 in the new ranking:



Best Bachelor’s in Accounting Programs

# 10

Best Master’s in Accounting Programs

The criteria for selection included academic rigor, commitment to student success, student satisfaction and more.