When Zhanxiang “Sean” Liang, BSM 2007, moved from China to the United States at age 14, he had to start in seventh grade because he barely knew English. For two years, he carried a dictionary everywhere he went.
Wanting to make up for lost academic time motivated Liang to work his way through Georgia Tech as fast as possible. He graduated in December 2007, a semester early. Packing in lots of credit hours along the way didn’t seem to spread him too thin. He won the 2007 Outstanding Student in Management Award from the business school’s faculty and graduated with highest honors.
Liang now aims to become a Certified Public Accountant within two years. His internship at Tarpley and Underwood in summer 2007 led to a full-time job at that accounting firm right after graduation.
“Accounting is really the key to analyzing how a company’s performance is,” he says. “I thought about going into finance, but I decided accounting was more interesting because it goes to the root of the problem. It requires you to make judgment calls and have good analytical skills.”
Liang knew he wanted to study some field of business since childhood. Growing up in the Chinese city of Guangzhou before moving to Georgia with his parents, he was inspired by a wise uncle in the import/export business. Though his uncle didn’t graduate from a well-known Chinese university, his motivation took him far up the ladder.
“The lesson I learned from him is that it doesn’t matter where you’re from or what your background is,” Liang says. “As long as you give 120 percent, you can always go beyond what people think you can.”