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Alumni Profiles

Graduates of Asian Studies programs thrive in the professional world. Our degree programs prepare graduates to work in a variety of sectors including corporate, non-profit, government, education, technology, journalism, translation, publishing, and curating. About half of our alums go on to purse graduate study at prestigious universities including UC Berkeley. This web page will showcase some of our graduates as they reflect, in their own words, on their careers.

Krystal Liu, B.A., Class of 2013

Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services Associate, Ernst & Young

Where do you currently work and what do you do in your current role?
I work at Ernst & Young, LLP as a Fraud Investigation and Dispute Services Associate. We provide a variety of services to many large companies including assisting in investigations as it relates to fraud and corruption, helping companies to build better controls to prevent fraud, and helping companies resolve disputes and insurance claims.

How did you land the job that you currently work at?
It would be easy to say that I fell into this job, which I kind of did. But it all did build up over a long time as well. When I first came to Cal, I was overwhelmed with all the choices. I ended up joining a few clubs because I got to know the people in them. One of them was an accounting club. It was through this club that I learned about the accounting profession and the potentials for careers in it. It was also through this club that I met many of the people that would eventually help me to land a job at a large corporation. I got to work with many of the professionals and recruiters working at many companies and, when the time came to apply for jobs, I noticed this job opening. Not only did the name sound interesting to me (and was perfect for me after I talked to many people) but I was able to land the job because I met and worked with the people at the company. So, the short answer is that it took a lot of networking and quite a bit of luck. So, get out there, meet people, join something, and start early!

What do you most enjoy about your job?
I like that no project is the same, and it's always a very dynamic environment. Often, we will not know what we're looking for in investigations until we find it, and it's always very interesting. This means we get to encounter all kinds of people and develop many different types of skills.

How is this job a good match with your skills and personality?
I don't like things to be too much the same all the time--I like change and excitement! I also have always loved mysteries and the act of piecing together clues to form the larger picture. In that way, this job suits my personality perfectly. I would say that I am generally good at looking at details, picking out patterns and then fitting it all into a big picture.

What impact did the Asian Studies major have on your career path?
Because my department is global, we have a lot of work pertaining to Asia. One of our primary areas of focus is the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (the FCPA), which is an American law saying we cannot bribe foreign officials for work. Much of this work comes from Asia (China in particular), and with my Asian Studies major, I have the cultural knowledge and linguistic skills to assist in many of these investigations. Asian Studies courses have really made me learn to appreciate the impact that history and culture have in this increasingly globalized world. That makes me much more sensitive to the unique perspectives of different people and countries and how they interact with each other. This in turn helps me to better communicate with others and work on global projects.

Were there any skills you gained or experiences you had at UC Berkeley that have been particularly useful in your career?
As a whole UC Berkeley is very much a diverse and accepting place. The most important thing I learned is to accept yourself and value your distinctiveness. There is no need to try to conform to what others do or what people expect.

Do you have any thoughts or advice for students interested in your field?
Start early. Get out there and meet people and attend events. There are so many opportunities in college that you can take advantage of.