Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Climbing the Corporate Ladder

Maitear Yang made the journey from Laos to Minnesota as an international student in 2011. She already held a high school diploma, so after her arrival, she focused on mastering the English language and earning credits toward her general education. 

Her older sister attended Minneapolis College, so Maitear Yang followed suit. An affinity for numbers led her down the path of an Associate of Science degree in math with the intention of pursuing an engineering degree. The Minneapolis College Math Department was a good fit because it encourages exploration and evaluation of innovative approaches to mathematics.

One of her computer science instructors, Joan Carter, invited her to tour a local business to see the real work of an engineer. The visit shifted everything, and Yang took her love of numbers and business to the field of accounting. She found the accounting faculty equally supportive and encouraging, noting Jennifer Stauffer took her under her wing and looked out for her during her time at the College. Since then, everything has fallen into place. Taking accounting classes at Minneapolis College provided Yang the opportunity to learn the full-cycle of accounting, financial and managerial accounting, spreadsheets for accounting using Excel and the basics of business management.

Yang embraced her time at Minneapolis College taking the opportunity to grow her network. She was treasurer of Phi Theta Kappa, voiced her opinions during Student Senate meetings, and secured a work study position where she made good friends and supported faculty, staff, and students. She credits the work study experience to helping her be a success.

After earning her associate degree, Yang transferred to Metro State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting. When she was a senior at Metro State University, she attended a job fair and since her classes were flexible, she was offered and accepted a position in corporate accounting with a commercial real estate firm. “Working and attending school was a great decision,” said Yang. “I was able to apply what I was learning in college to the work I was doing in my new career.”

Since graduating, Yang has been climbing the corporate ladder and one could say she’s on the fast track. She moved from associate accountant to accountant to senior accountant to account supervisor in three and a half years. She moved to a new company that exposed her to myriad opportunities within businesses across the community through contract work. Her specialty earned her a full-time spot at one of her clients, where she continues to work today.

Always trying to achieve more, Yang started working toward her CPA and within 18 months, she had that under her belt as well. “Studying for the CPA exam taught me so much and everything was relatable since I was already working in the field,” said Yang, who intends to pursue a higher education in the near future. “I’m excited to see what’s next for me. I’m always trying to do more and education is an important part of my long-term plans.”

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