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After law degree, student discovers new opportunity in accounting

Written on May 1, 2020

By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA content manager

Pingping_ShengWhen Pingping Sheng, armed with a law degree, came to the U.S. from her native China three years ago, she planned to pursue her Master of Law degree at Case Western Reserve University. What she learned next upset her plan.

“The two countries’ legal systems are totally different,” Sheng said. “Also, English is my second language, and my English is not good enough for practicing law here. Then I had to figure out something else to do.”

She enrolled in business courses while she considered the next step in her education, and found she was drawn to the logic of accounting.

“After one semester I figured out I loved accounting and I wanted to be an auditor,” Sheng said.

She is now enrolled at Lakeland Community College to earn the credits she’ll need to take the CPA exam next year. And she already has a job offer from a business that will provide her with a H1B visa to stay in the U.S.

As someone who describes herself as highly motivated when it comes to her career, Sheng said so far, she’s enjoyed her higher education experience in the U.S.

“We have a lot more chances to communicate with our professor here,” she said, noting the smaller class sizes at Lakeland make it easier to have personal interaction and ask questions.

Sheng earlier this year participated in OSCPA’s Accounting Careers Leadership Academy (ACLA), a program designed to help college students of color prepare for a successful future in the accounting profession.

“I really appreciated the chance to attend ACLA,” she said. “It gives me a clear of base of knowledge for the future and working with other people.”

Sheng is also the proud new mom to four-month-old daughter Kimberly, whom she described as “amazing.” She cares for her daughter during the day and studies at night, a routine she said that is working out well so far.

Sheng will be the first accountant in her family, and has no plans of slowing down anytime soon. Eventually she would like to be a college professor, and she has plans of earning her doctorate in accounting and attending business school.

“I want opportunities in my future and I work at my daily routine to hit my goals,” she said. “I really would like to deal with tax or help international companies and then after that we’ll see.”