In 1998, Jung moved to the United States from South Korea to make a better life for himself and his family. Although he had studied environmental engineering earlier in his life and career, his interest in the field had waned. Eager to find new career opportunities, he wanted to pursue a field that was stable and provided opportunities for continued personal and professional growth.
“Accounting seemed like a good choice,” said Jung. “Think about it – it’s part of every single company that exists in the U.S.”
As a resident of Howard County, making the decision about where to study to prepare for the CPA exam was an easy one. Howard Community College (HCC) offered a wide range of courses, taught by people who work in the field and could offer real-world knowledge. Jung has taken bookkeeping, taxation and accounting courses; giving him the right connections and skills to begin gaining experience, now. He works part-time as an accountant for a local home improvement business, while taking evening classes at HCC.
“My professors are in the field; they share a lot of practical information and shed light on what it’s really like to work in this industry,” said Jung. “I learned about the job opportunity at my current company from one of my professors. It’s one example of how HCC offers the support and flexibility I need. This school is preparing me well, in many ways.”
Jung says studying at HCC has also opened doors for him to improve his communication skills. While his English-speaking skills have significantly improved since his move to the U.S. nearly 20 years ago, he still faces some barriers. When needed, his HCC professors are happy to explain concepts in simplified formats and provide much more than answers to his clarifying questions.
“I am strong in math, but accounting is about much more than just numbers,” said Jung. “Communication is so important. My professors have encouraged me. They have confidence in me and that gives me confidence in myself.”
Jung plans to take the CPA exam at the end of 2018, and hopes to pursue full-time employment as an accountant after he passes.