A Passion for Exploration
Ye Wang (BBA ’99) always knew she wanted to study abroad. From a young age, she loved to travel and experience new things. Originally from China, Wang grew up in the southern part of Japan and thought that if she studied somewhere cold, she could learn how to ski.
It was this desire to explore and experience new things that would bring her to the University of Wisconsin–Madison, and eventually to an international career at professional services firm Ernst & Young LLP.
As a WSB student, Wang was drawn to accounting after an assistant professor and local certified public accountant (CPA) exposed her to the field. Intrigued by how the profession reached every part of business, she decided to pursue an accounting degree to obtain a strong foundation on which to start her career in the business world. After graduating and moving to the San Francisco Bay Area, she transitioned to the professional world by pursuing a career at EY, as the firm is now known.
“I chose EY because of its global presence,” Wang says. “It allowed for a continuation of my desire to broaden my understanding of the world.”
Her first international rotation took her to Japan, where she lived and worked in Tokyo. Wang then moved to EY’s Zurich, Switzerland, office where she worked as part of an international group that served central European companies. Living and working in Japan and Switzerland exposed Wang to different cultures and invaluable experiences.
“Through my international rotations, I was able to advance my EY career and at the same time pursue my passion to explore the world,” says Wang.
Wang celebrated a personal and professional achievement in 2013, when she was the first Asian female to be admitted to the partnership in the EY San Jose office.
—Ye Wang (BBA ’99)
“It’s been proven that different perspectives provide better business solutions. Having lived and worked abroad helped me appreciate these differences and acquire tools to integrate diverse perspectives and to create high-performing global teams,” she says, speaking to her own leadership at EY.
Wang stresses that exposure to and appreciation of such differences are critical to understanding and navigating the current business world. She uses her unique perspective and leadership skills to mentor and advise her coworkers, providing on-the-job coaching to help others achieve their goals.
“I want to continue to champion women and minorities because we bring a lot to the table,” she says.
As a mother of twin boys, Wang feels passionately about helping others reach their potential as a way of making the world a better place for her children.
“I think for children, education is the key to achieving that potential,” Wang says. Wang says her WSB education not only exposed her to the business world in the context of U.S. culture, but also taught her skills through practical case studies and examples that she applies at work and carries forward into her profession.
“I’m appreciating the education I received even more now than when I was there on campus; it’s something you realize in hindsight,” she says. “My goal now is to pay it forward.”