Alumni Spotlight - Jing Jang
Jing Jang arrived at UND to pursue her Master in Public Administration degree, and found a passion for accountancy.
When Jing Jang came to the University of North Dakota she left with a whole lot more than she bargained for. Born and raised in Guangzhou, China, Jang attended Sun Yat-Sen University studying public administration. Jang was interested in pursuing an advanced degree and knew she wanted to study in the United States, so she applied for a few different programs in the U.S.
The University of North Dakota was an excellent option for her since her husband, boyfriend at the time, was attending UND for a degree in atmospheric sciences. Jang also had the opportunity to talk the professors at UND about a teaching assistant position, which was very appealing to her.
Jang came to UND to pursue the Master of Public Administration (MPA) degree but left with both her MPA degree and an unexpected Master in Accountancy (MAcc) degree to top it off. For Jang this was an unexpected addition as she did not have a background in accounting or any previous coursework in this area. Jang took Accounting 200 as a pre-requisite for the MPA program and instantly found her passion for accounting.
Former Department of Accountancy Chair, Dr. Steve Carlson, instructed the class and quickly became her informal mentor. “Coming from a non-accounting background, I was anxious about the timeline required for the degree and foundation I needed for the coursework. I’m grateful that the department chair and program director helped me tailor the program to my needs to allow me to graduate within 2 years,” said Jing.
“When I was learning about the MAcc program my main goal was to get a job in accounting, and I knew pursuing the MAcc would get me there,” said Jang. Jang also indicated that the classes in the program prepared her well for the CPA exam, and provided her with critical thinking and problem solving skills that have helped her throughout her career at Deloitte.
Jang was first introduced to Deloitte through the Premier Student Program. This program, hosted by Deloitte, provides high quality students with opportunities to learn about the firm, speak with current Deloitte employees, and network with working professionals. Jang was interested in this program as it allowed her to stay on track with her graduation timelines without having to take time off to complete an internship.
Through the support of the faculty at UND, Jang was grateful to learn that one of the professors had mentioned her to a recruiter, which helped open the door for conversation at a recruiting event, ultimately resulting in a job offer after the completion of the program.
After graduating in 2011, Jang began her career as a tax professional in the Minneapolis office of Deloitte. “My passion has always been in tax, it’s more black and white,” says Jang.
Currently Jang works as a Tax Manager for Deloitte specializing in expatriation taxation, tax planning, and the global mobility program. “One of the most interesting parts of my job is that I get to work with colleagues around the globe, and this ties to my background,” says Jang.
When Jang’s husband was relocated for his job, Jang was able to negotiate with her employer to work remotely, traveling back to her main office as needed. “Flexibility is a must, for the firm, as they want to retain their talent,” says Jang.
Through Deloitte’s flexible remote work arrangement, Jang is able to balance work and being a mother of two children. “It’s a challenge, but the firm has flexible hours that are offered to all full-time working moms,” says Jang.
Jang found a good work life balance by working with her coach to reduce her workload down to 80% after her maternity leave. “I was struggling balancing my role as mother and my role at the firm,” says Jang. After talking with her coach at the firm they developed a reduced work schedule to help me find a better balance. Jang is appreciative that the firm provides these options to working moms as the workload can be very demanding.
Reflecting back on her time at UND, Jang states, "What really impressed me about the MAcc program is not only how well the classes prepared me, but also the close relationships the program has with top recruiters,” says Jang. “That close relationship is what helps the firms come back every year to UND with a strong recruiting team of alumni.”
For incoming MAcc students Jang offers a piece of advice, “Take advantage of the networking events available on campus and learn what the firms are offering,” says Jang. ”All of the faculty in the program are very hands-on and welcoming,” says Jang. Jang also expressed that the soft skills she gained by working as a teaching assistant were very helpful in her career, and it was also during the MAcc program that Jang learned about the importance of passing on her knowledge to others.
Jang came to UND with a goal to gain an advanced degree in the United States, but she left with so much more. “I entered the MAcc program thinking I would finish all the mandatory courses to sit for the CPA exam and get on with my life. But it has rewarded me with a life-shaping experience, technical knowledge, marketable skill set and lifelong mentorship,” said Jing.