ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT


Erica Chung

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Current Profession: Sales

Company: General Mills

Major(s): Marketing/Human Relations

College(s) Attended: University of Texas at Austin (2006-2010)

Years in ABSA: 2006-2010

Interests and Hobbies: Food – eating, cooking, baking, trying new restaurants - , writing, yelping, blogging, traveling, dancing, playing video games, reading, making goals, playing with my dog

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

- Live each moment. If you're anything like me, you often get caught up in the past, re-evaluating mistakes or re-living fond memories, or in the future, making goals, aspirations, and the next step. It's easy to forget about today and the now. Take each day at a time and make the most of the time you have now. Take a fun class, try something new, ask that person out that you are crushing on, or go study abroad. If not now, when?


How has ABSA prepared you for the real world? 
ABSA prepared me for the real world by providing the depth of exposure to companies on a weekly basis. Career fairs are not the only place I practiced talking to recruiters. ABSA provides exposure to potential companies who are targeting students like me. It was good practice in networking at weekly meetings. I also learned time management through ABSA by balancing being a director/officer with school. 

What was one of your most memorable moments in ABSA? 
This is such a hard question to answer! I'm sitting here re-living each of my favorite ABSA moments and I can't seem to pick just one. I couldn't decide between EOS, Iron Chef, Potlucks, IM games, and etc. Then it hit me. The one I felt the warmest fuzzies about was the night my ABSA family "Oh You Fancy Huh" had a game night at the Jefferson 26 community center. We walked to get Korean BBQ Tacos from Coreano's on 24th and got our picture tweeted by the food truck! We went back to enjoy a night of board games, crazy dogs running around, and poker. The simplicity of spending time together and building relationships with people in ABSA is what my most memorable moment is because after college is over, it's those relationships that live on. 

Is there anything from ABSA that has stuck with you to this very day? 
Yes! The friendships that I made through ABSA have stuck with me. Even though we are miles apart living in different cities, I still talk to my ABSA homies on the daily. I don't know what I would do without them!


Jonathan Fong

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Current Profession: Realtor

Company: Uptown Realty

Major: Economics

Minor: Electrical Engineering

College(s) Attended: University of Texas at Austin (2005-2008)

Years in ABSA: 3+ from 2005 and on

Interests and Hobbies: traveling, eating, cooking, baking, photography, blogging, sleeping, going on adventures, shooting, exploring, poker, billiards, bartending, tennis, ping pong, volleyball, golf, and riding my motorcycle.

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

- Study abroad for a semester. When I was in college I felt like there wasn't a need for me to do so since I travel for fun anyways. My mindset was that I've traveled pretty much all over the world and if I want to go somewhere, I don't want to take classes while I'm there. Now that I look back and see all my friends that have studied abroad, it's definitely an experience that I realized I missed out on because you're travelling with a lot of people your age and you're able to meet people from other parts of the world. So don't make the same mistake I did trying to get through school as fast as you can and take some time to study abroad. It's an experience that will definitely be worth it!

- Do what you love. I started off as an engineering student cause that's what my parents wanted for me. I stuck it out for 2 years before I told them that I can't do it anymore and that it wasn't something that I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I switched to Economics and pumped out a degree in one year. Aside from cooking, real estate was something I was always interested in. I'm a firm believer that real estate investments are the way to go to make great residual income, you just need to build some capital first to grow the business. If you don't do something you enjoy doing, you're going to have a miserable working life. 

- EXPLORE Austin and don't stress too much! Something I made sure I did was to explore Austin and everything it had to offer. It's such a fun city and there are so many things to do. Even to this day I'm discovering new things in all parts of town. You could spend a year just going on culinary adventures alone exploring everything from high-end restaurants down to the many food trailers that are all over town. I have a lot of friends that graduated that regret not taking advantage of what Austin had to offer. They would say things like "What? There's a place like that here?" or "I've never eaten there, but I hear it's really good." Make a "bucket list" of what you want to get done before graduating and do it! "I need to study" shouldn't be an excuse. You can study at Zilker Park instead of the PCL and you can run around Town Lake instead of in Gregory. Yes, school can get stressful at times, but never forget to give yourself some time to relax and breathe or you'll wear yourself out. 

- Live your life to the fullest! I think this is the most important piece of advice I can give to you guys. Live everyday like it's your last because nobody knows what will happen the next day. Don't waste time sitting around and doing nothing. I have a handful of friends that I met in college and before I graduated, they had passed away. Each time something happened, I reflected on my own life and thought about things I could do to make my life richer. Don't let minor setbacks or stupid things ruin your day, work past them and keep on trucking. Go join clubs, volunteer, tutor, and take some fun classes like ballroom or golf. 


How has ABSA prepared you for the real world? 
ABSA has allowed me to make several connections whether it's through peers, alumni, or professionals. You can always find advice on almost any subject matter you can think of because someone in ABSA will have the resources to help you with it. 

What was one of your most memorable moments in ABSA? 
There are 2 very memorable things I remember and they were both trips. The first one was a snowboarding trip I took back in 2008. There were 10 of us and it was a blast just learning and snowboarding with everybody there. The second is when my family started the whole crabbing adventure. We wanted to do something crazy and new so we took the entire family to Galveston to go crabbing. We left around 2AM, got there, crabbed, ate lunch in Houston, and came back to Austin all in the same day. We had ourselves a nice crab boil when we got back to Austin. Ever since we started doing this, families have been doing it each year. I think I'm proud to say I started a good trend. =) 

Is there anything from ABSA that has stuck with you to this very day? 
The friends that I've made. I think my whole college life revolved around ABSA because I was just so involved in every aspect of it. I still hang out with the people I met in ABSA and probably will continue to do so into the future. 

If I'm looking for a place to live/buy or know of anybody that is, can I come to you?
Yes, I can find you a place to live if you're deciding to move off campus and answer any questions you may have about anything related to that matter. I have plenty of experience and will provide you with the best advice possible. Just to let the freshmen know, if you want to live off campus your second year, you should start looking in October/November depending on what you need because that's when the pre-leasing starts for the next school year. If you guys have any questions at all, don't hesitate to call or email me.


Eddy Fong

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Current Profession: Finance Professional

Company: P&G; 

Major: Finance

Minor: Take your Pick

College(s) Attended: McCombs, 2005-2009

Years in ABSA: 2005-2009

Interests and Hobbies: rock climbing, case competitions, making money, making music/playing piano, listening to music, reading, learning, watching TED, seeing the world, volunteering, sustainability, scuba diving, hiking... and food, eating food, cooking food, wine, and just all things food. =]

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

Live outside your comfort zone.

* Take classes you like, even if it might hurt your GPA. One of my favorite classes ever was Roman and Greek Mythology. I always liked mythology but it never fit well with my degree plan. Whatever, it was totally worth it. The class deeply enriched my Europe travels and made me appreciate literature, art, and history so much more. 

* Go overseas - whether you study abroad, teach English somewhere, volunteer, or just plain travel... going overseas will broaden your perspectives. The stuff you see in less developed countries will make you love your life. It has changed mine. 

* Take some risks. "Fifty years form now, when you're looking back at your life, don't you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?" -Transformers. Yes, I did just quote Transformers.

How has ABSA prepared you for the real world? 
Honestly, you get what you put in. ABSA helped me because it was an outlet to collaborate with peers, to build relationships with professionals, to develop business skills, and to have fun.

What was one of your most memorable moments in ABSA? 
It's hard to name one. There are tons. Especially on case competitions and Starcraft in the Mill Lab. =]. Glory days.

Is there anything from ABSA that has stuck with you to this very day? 
The people. I can't imagine what my college life would have been without ABSA people.


Jeena Lee

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Current Profession: Scrum Master (http://www.mountaingoatsoftware.com/scrum/scrummaster)

Company: Chevron

Major: Management Information Systems

Minor: Marketing

College(s) Attended: UT Austin - McCombs School of Business 2004-2008

Years in ABSA: 2004-2008

Interests and Hobbies: Running, Biking, Hot Yoga, Volleyball, Tennis, Christian Fellowship, Catching up with friends and meeting new people, Volunteering at homeless shelters, Snowboarding, Eating all kinds of desserts especially red velvet!

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

I have 2 that I feel strongly about: 

Don't feel behind compared to your peers, especially if you're a freshman. Take time to have FUN while you still can, go study abroad, explore Austin and different organizations and events other than just ABSA, find out what things you like and dislike. Just be smart about making sure you are prepared for interviews and networking with recruiters, have a decent GPA, and take on any leadership opportunities that will stretch you (it doesn't have to be a leadership position, it can be volunteering or leading/coordinating an event). 

If you're interested in pursuing an MIS degree, I highly recommend that you don't let MIS301 (intro class) or even the coding classes (MIS304, 325, 333k) be the determining factor of whether or not you like MIS as a potential career path. I suggest talking to recruiters and alumni who are in the IT field and asking them what they do. You'll be surprised to find out that all MIS positions don't necessarily program all the time or very technical roles. MIS is very versatile and allows you to wear many hats like a "jack of all trades".

How has ABSA prepared you for the real world? 
Without ABSA and the amount of knowledge and wisdom I gained from company speakers, alumni and upperclassmen, I don't think I would have gotten an internship my sophomore year and beyond. These experiences showed me a glimpse of what the real world would be like. Being a director and taking on the leadership positions really help hone my interpersonal, team-building, communication, leadership, public speaking and event planning skills which are all integral in the real world. 

What was one of your most memorable moments in ABSA? 
I wouldn't say it's very memorable but it definitely scarred me from going paint-balling ever again. When I was Internal VP, we went paint-balling in the spring and to start off, there weren't many girls going in the first place. I had drove a new ABSA member to the paintball place and I remember him specifically asking me what's been my most memorable moment about ABSA and I honestly told him nothing because I was stressed out and overwhelmed about ABSA and all the planning, events, OMs, GMs, etc. (oh the pains it comes with being an officer) I didn't plan on paint-balling but last minute decided to and as I put on my tennis shoes, that new ABSA member "playfully" pointed the paintball gun to my face and shot me, right in the lip!! Next thing you know, everything is in slow motion and all I see is yellow paint dripping down on my shirt. He didn't realize that the safety wasn't on. I ended up going home with shock and pretty much having Angelina Jolee size lips for days because of the swelling. It was pretty embarrassing to walk around campus and I was able to tell the new member that he just gave me a memorable moment in ABSA. He felt so bad that he ended up buying me godiva chocolates.

Is there anything from ABSA that has stuck with you to this very day? 
The feeling of success being President 2007-2008 when winning "Most Professional Organization" especially when we were up against very strong and competitive organizations that year


Andrew Ma

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Current Profession: Financial Advisor/Owner

Company: ALM Financial Services

Major: Finance

Minor: Astronomy

College(s) Attended: UT Austin 1990-1994 (Bachelors)

Years in ABSA: 1990-1994

Interests and Hobbies: Cooking/bbq, wine, buying guy gadgets, guns/target shooting, building things, cars, motorcycles (not anymore), lasers, traveling, skiing, beach

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

In college, you can choose to be who you want to. I reinvented myself, you can too.


Michael Liu

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Current Profession: Requirements Analyst

Company: Seilevel, Inc

Major: Sociology

Minor: Economics

College(s) Attended: UT Austin 2005-2009

Years in ABSA: 2005-2009

Interests and Hobbies: Basketball, Computer Games, Logical Thinking Puzzles, Shnugging, Cooking, Working Out, Reading, etc, etc

One Piece of Advice for an Undergraduate Student:

Make as many mistakes as possible...just be sure that those mistakes aren't life altering.

How has ABSA developed you for the real world? 
Learning how to appear professional, how to structure a resume correctly, how to talk in a career fair, learning what it takes (at least at the very elementary level) to perform on a team.

What was one of your most memorable moments in ABSA? 
When Frank Lin made me Beef Wellington


Cindy Lin

Currently residing in: Atlanta, GA

Year: May 2012

Current work: InReality - Senior Marketing Manager

Favorite ABSA Memory?
Family socials & fooooood

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
You won't (and don't) know everything right now, but you'll figure it out as you go along.
You don't have to work for a big name company to be successful - oftentimes, working at smaller companies gives you more experience and a leg up on others.

Topics to discuss with me!
Job experience, Interview, Life, Job advice, etc.

Contact Info:
Email:
lin.cindyj@gmail.com
Phone number: (281)630-8005


Emily Kong

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Currently residing in: Dallas, TX

Year: May 2013

Current work: Lucas Group - Executive Recruiter, Accounting & Finance

Favorite ABSA Memory?
The beginning of the year camping trip!

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
Having a good personality and showing confidence in interviews can go a long way!

Topics to discuss with me!
How to identify and deal with a toxic work environment, how to it feels to go through a lay-off, reorg, and management changes, what does it feel like to change jobs and companies often, how to not settle on your next career or job, what is it like working a full day job and a start up at night, finding mentors in the corporate space, friends vs coworkers, a leader vs a boss.

Contact Info:
Email:
Ekong09@gmail.com
Phone number: 1(469)688-8186


Christine Lau

Currently residing in: Plano, TX

Year: May 2013

Current work: Alkami Technology - Product Manager

Favorite ABSA Memory?
Exploring Austin with my Family.

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
Take time to get to really know yourself, what you hate, what you can love, and what you can tolerate.

Topics to discuss with me!
How to identify and deal with a toxic work environment, how to it feels to go through a lay-off, reorg, and management changes, what does it feel like to change jobs and companies often, how to not settle on your next career or job, what is it like working a full day job and a start up at night, finding mentors in the corporate space, friends vs coworkers, a leader vs a boss.

Contact Info:
Email:
cjlau90@gmail.com
Phone number: (832)618-6011


Justin Hung

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Currently residing in: McKinney, TX

Year: 1997

Current work: Toyota - Sr Manager, Indirect Procurement

Favorite ABSA Memory?
Winning the 1997 Swing Out Award for Best Professional Organization, ABSA’s first award.

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
Be vocal about your career, speak up often and find mentors to guide your career.

Topics to discuss with me!
Career development, Interviewing, General advice

Contact Info:
Email:
justinhung@utexas.edu
Phone number: (214)507-0615


Patty Huang

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Currently residing in: New York, NY

Year: May 2013

Current work: FCB Health - Associate Creative Director

Favorite ABSA Memory?
The assassins game! The lengths we would go to...

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
Always have a side project—preferably something that you're passionate about, that you would keep doing regardless of whether you think it might benefit your career.

Topics to discuss with me!
Advice with pursuing a creative career. Career progression. Living in NYC.

Contact Info:
Email:
thepattyhuang@gmail.com
Phone number: (244)870-5594


Ed Liao

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Currently residing in: Austin, TX

Year: 2016

Current work: MongoDB - Senior Sales Development, ANZ

Favorite ABSA Memory?
Being a big sib and having the best family senior year :)

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
No one is as invested in your career/development as you are. Build a plan of who you want to be/where you want to go and get yourself there. Don't rely on others for your own success.

Contact Info:
Email:
edward.8.liao@gmail.com
Phone number: 214-909-4068


Zulian Tjuatja

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Currently residing in: London, GB

Major: Finance, BHP
Year: 2016

Current work: Capital One - Senior Business Analyst

Favorite ABSA Memory?
Oh, what an impossible question; there are just too many. First thing that comes to mind for me is watching one of my directors take the stage for his officer speech. There's nothing quite like seeing someone you care about have their own moment in the spotlight.

What advice would you give to students, knowing what you do now?
Go for it. Take risks. They turn your "what if" into "so what." It's always easier to justify to yourself why you made a mistake instead of why you missed out on an opportunity.

Contact Info:
Email:
ztjuatja@gmail.com


Jackson Pei

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From: Auckland, New Zealand

Currently residing in: New York, NY

Major: Finance
Minor: Accounting
Year: 2015

Current work: J.P. Morgan Associate - Middle Market Financial Sponsors Group - Covers private equity firms to provide banking needs for buy-outs, M&A, financing, business development, etc.

Tell us a little about yourself!
Candidly, I'm a few years out of college still trying to figure out what I want to do. Luckily, I'm working in a job that affords me exposure to various industries, builds my technical skills, and opportunities to broaden my network. Outside of work, I enjoy playing basketball and golfing.

What career advice would you give to ABSA student members that you wish you would have known or would give now based on your professional experiences you've gained?
Spend a little more time on figuring out your long term goals. Push yourself to discover whats important to you, whether its professional (consultant, controller, banker, specific industry focus, technical skills, etc.) or personal (move to new city, be closer to family, work life balance, learn something new, travel, etc) or something else (start a business). So if you ever feel complacent, you can come back to these broader goals and hopefully figure out the next step

What college advice would you give to ABSA student members looking back at your experiences?
1. Have more fun! 2. Keep in touch with a diverse group of college friends (classmates, organizations (not just ABSA lol), volunteering groups, gym buddies).

Describe some of your involvement and contributions while in ABSA.
Examples: Big sib, general member, team member, committee member - event and branch, director - branch, officer - branch
President, Internal VP, Workshop Director, and 1 general member!

What’s a fun fact about yourself?
10 year anniversary since moving to US. Spent a good amount of time in Houston, Austin, Chicago, and now I'll be in New York.

Contact Info:
Email:
jacksonpei@utexas.edu | Facebook