When Jing arrived in Canada in 2002, she was determined to adjust to a new culture and make the most of her experience. “I came here without my parents and I stayed with a host family that was very welcoming and interested in helping me familiarize myself with my community and Canadian culture,” says Jing.
When on-campus at the University of Alberta, Jing sought out resources and volunteer opportunities as a way to refine her communication skills. “As an international student, I learned that the most effective way to advance my communication skills and learn more about Canadian culture was to pursue opportunities to meet people,” says Jing. “I attended the international student orientation and found out about different ways to get involved.” Jing volunteered for the International Centre’s Bridges program, delivering presentations about China to students in local schools. This enhanced her public speaking and interpersonal skills, while allowing her to share information about her culture. She also worked as a Career Peer Educator, consulting with students on career planning and facilitating seminars and workshops on different employment topics. Additionally, Jing organized campus events that connected accounting students with potential employers through her position as VP Marketing for the U of A’s Accounting Club
As a B.Com Accounting major, Jing became intrigued with the CA career path because she felt it would help her attain the specialized knowledge and skills that would make her an asset to any business. Her family also influenced her, as her father is a CPA and her mother is a partner of an auditing firm. By completing the co-op program, Jing gained experience in both industry and public accounting. “The CA career path is an ideal fit for my career aspirations,” says Jing, “particularly because I want to develop an international business career.”
This past fall, in an effort to continue sharpening her communication skills, Jing completed a writing course called, “Expanding Your Communication Skills in the Canadian Business Culture”, which is offered through the ICAA’s Member Education department. “The course was well-designed for the needs of foreign students and professionals who are pursuing careers in accounting,” says Jing. “It addresses many of the communication complexities that immigrants face when adjusting to the Canadian business environment, and helps them to deal with them head-on.”
When looking back on her experiences and accomplishments, Jing attributes her achievements to her active pursuit of opportunities that facilitated important connections with other students and professionals, as well as her determination to advance her communication skills that are so essential to success in life and business.
Having passed the 2011 UFE, Jing—a Senior Associate with PwC—is even more optimistic about her professional career. Her bright smile suggests she is enthusiastic about the possibilities that await as she continues to shape the brilliant future ahead of her.
As for bridging her two worlds, Jing has a plan. “I want to utilize my language skills, cultural background, and the CA global network to work in the field of international business. There is a growing presence of Chinese investment in Alberta and this province is truly the land of opportunity, so I believe I should stay here and take advantage of this environment.”
Credit: This article was written by Katie Starratt of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Alberta (ICAA). Visit www.albertaCAs.ca for more information about the Canadian business culture course.