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Betty Yao: From X’ian, China to Corporate Finance at Google

interstride logo by Interstride
March 1, 2022

About Betty

Betty Yao is a former international student from China, who majored in accounting at Xi’an Jiaotong University. She has a Master of Accountancy degree from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and an MBA from the University of California Davis. Betty has worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in Shanghai, China, US-based startup Pillow, and currently works in Google Corporate Finance.

What did your career path look like in the US?

Right after graduation from undergrad, I came to the US for my master degree with the hope to find a job here. However, the job hunt in the US was not successful due to the visa sponsorship limitation and I landed with an offer from my dream company back then but was in China. I accepted the offer and began my career in auditing mainly focusing on high tech companies and worked on several IPO engagements. After a few years, I felt it’s time to get back to the US to achieve my MBA but most importantly, find a job here.

During my MBA, I started to find an internship right after orientation. Lucky enough, I found an Internship with Pillow, which finally turned into a full time offer. Pillow was also the first company that helped me submit my H1B application. This finally made my life and career on track for my goal in the US.

What was the biggest challenge you faced?

The biggest career challenge for me was trying to speak and write as a native speaker. When I started my career in the US, I always felt the pressure when I communicated with my colleagues since English is not my first language. I was worried that I said a word wrong or used grammar incorrectly.

After a few months working with my colleague, I understood that accent or grammar is not the most important thing in work, it’s how you articulate your thoughts and present your ideas. With this in mind, I spent more time on how to become a good speaker and how to make an eye-catching presentation, which helped me a lot in my career and my interview with Google.

What were your most valuable resources?

The most valuable resources for me are Linkedin. Before my interview with Google, I tried to find insiders on LinkedIn and asked for help. Don’t be frustrated if no one gets back, just try more people. I was lucky to get someone who responded who provided very useful advice to help me prepare for my interview. Try to make full use of Linkedin, from alumni or even strangers.

“People are out there willing to offer help.”

Do you have any advice for students?

Don’t send the exact same resume to all the jobs you applied for. Try to tailor your resume with the job description. This will increase the possibility of passing through the first round screening.