"Take the road less traveled-- don’t do things just because someone else says “it’s what we always have done” (you’ve already diverged by going to AOC!)"
Corporate tour at Salesforce in San Francisco, April 2019
My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.
Internship at the City of Santa Clarita, Planning Office
During my senior year at AOC, I interned at the Planning Office for the City of Santa Clarita. I thought I wanted to pursue a career in architecture or city planning and though it wasn’t what I chose, the combination of creative problem solving and technical skills stuck with me.
Choosing Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
When applying for four-year university, I didn’t have a ‘dream school’ or a ‘Eureka!’ moment like many of my friends. Instead, I chose a school that had an environment that would allow me to grow: small class sizes, undergrad-focused administration, and a quaint college town. It simply all checked out.
Clubs and Organizations at Cal Poly (non-business)
Throughout my three years at Cal Poly, I gravitated towards many non-business extracurriculars: an arc welder for the Cal Poly Rose Float Team, volunteer at the Cal Poly Cat Shelter, Treasurer for the Japanese Student Association, and graphic designer for the college. These experiences added richness to my business-heavy curriculum.
Clubs and Organizations at Cal Poly (business)
I also dove into business-related organizations at Cal Poly such as the Multicultural Business Program, Women in Business Association, and the Student Diversity Advisory Council for the Orfalea College of Business. Through workshops, corporate tours, and mentorship, I felt supported as a woman of color in business and tech.
Internship after my second year at Cal Poly
For accounting students at Cal Poly, an internship at a Big Four accounting firm is a major milestone, as it essentially determines your job post-college. However, on the second day of my internship, I realized I didn’t like accounting. I challenged the narrative accounting students were told, and I diverged.
Finding my current job (Consulting at Oracle)
Entering my final year without an accounting job lined up, I turned to tech consulting. A mix of technicality and creativity, this career allows for flexibility and growth. Similar to choosing Cal Poly, I didn’t have a ‘Eureka!’ moment; rather, this job will simply prepare me for the future.
Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway
DURING MY AOC CAREER
Editor-in-Chief of 2016-2017 Yearbook- Contributing to the Yearbook for two years allowed me to explore creative outlets and to meet people from other years at AOC. This was a wonderful experience where I felt supported and challenged in my creative endeavors.
Internship at the City of Santa Clarita, Planning Office- This internship gave me a dose of real-world workplaces and government, solidifying my interest in corporate functions. I felt fortunate as a high schooler to have had an internship.
DURING MY COLLEGE CAREER
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committees at Cal Poly- Supporting and empowering marginalized and underrepresented groups at Cal Poly has been a major focus for me. Serving on multiple committees, fundraising for on-campus organizations, and attending leadership conferences about diversity, equity, and inclusion offered me a new lens to see the world.
Leadership in various organizations- Perhaps one of the most essential components of my college career, my involvement with various organizations gave me a network, support group, and future colleagues to call family. These organizations single-handedly empowered me to pursue opportunities across the university, and I feel incredibly fortunate to be associated with them. (namely the Japanese Student Association, Multicultural Business Program, and Women in Business Association).
Corporate Tours to the Bay Area- Through my involvement in professional clubs, we often took trips to the Bay Area to network and attend corporate tours. I was able to see the day in the life of people in jobs I want to know more about, and I gained mentors from various industries. What amazed me the most was how much people want to help you, just because they want to. No strings attached, completely altruistic.
Undergraduate Research- My final ambition in my college career was conducting undergraduate research about ‘Color and Consumer Behavior’ for the Cal Poly Office of University Diversity & Inclusion as a 2019-2020 BEACoN Research Assistant. Over six months, I gathered literature, performed studies, and presented my findings to professors and students. As an undergraduate (and an accounting student, no less), this was a rare opportunity where I was once again able to step outside of my comfort zone.
Classes from outside the Orfalea College of Business- One of the most enriching parts of my college career was taking classes unrelated to my major. Perhaps ‘unrelated’ is a bit too strong, as I found that my psychology, women & gender studies, and ethnic studies pertained greatly to what I studied as a business student. Broadening my network and my knowledge, these classes offered depth to my otherwise surface-level education.
What I'm currently doing/hope to do
I graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo with a B.S. in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting and heavy coursework in City & Regional Planning and in Women & Gender Studies. At Cal Poly, I was extensively involved in clubs and organizations that served and empowered marginalized and underrepresented groups on campus. I intend to continue my activism for diversity, equity, and inclusion in the future. Starting July 2020, I will be an Associate Consultant at Oracle NetSuite in Santa Monica, where I will combine my accounting technical knowledge with my passion for creative problem solving. Having not yet started, I only know so much about my day-to-day tasks at Oracle. However, what I do know is that ‘taking the road less traveled’ has served me well through college and now beyond.
How to maximize your AOC experience?
Advice #1: Take the road less traveled-- don’t do things just because someone else says “it’s what we always have done” (you’ve already diverged by going to AOC!)
Advice #2: Systems-oriented thinking (rather than goals-oriented thinking)-- instead of pursuing lofty, far away goals, create environments and systems that will be conducive to your growth and improvement (such as discipline and focus, and self-care routines)
Advice #3: Start/Stop/Continue process-- a tool I use to benchmark and reflect on a recent exam, quarter, or academic year: what do I simply want to start, stop, and continue doing? What serves me, and what does not?
Advice #4: Be intentional and selfish with your time-- as an AOC student, many of us are advantageous in four-year universities (that often become three or fewer!). Your time is especially limited, so only pursue the things that will act as stepping stones for your future.
Advice #5: Your major does NOT define your career-- I am an accounting student, and I despise (maybe not despise…) accounting! Choose a career that will holistically benefit you for the next few years. I chose accounting because I love Excel, organization, rules, and I happen to be okay at math. However, I do not and am not doing taxes or audits as my career. Rather, accounting is foundational for business as a whole and this major allowed me flexibility to pursue a LOT of extracurriculars.