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It’s often said that nothing ventured is nothing gained, and for UNT accounting graduate student Tania Wen, that old adage has allowed her to not only thrive personally at UNT but chart her professional course as well.
Wen was born in Paraguay, but grew up in El Paso, Texas. Taking high school accounting classes instilled in her an interest in the accounting field, and her hometown taught her the importance of diversity, so when it was time to choose a college, UNT fit the bill in several ways.
“I was attracted to UNT because of its great five-year accounting program, traditional college feel and college town and its diversity,” said Wen. “From day one until today, all of that has never been more true.”
Wen’s academic education has prepared her for her future career in public accounting, but the experiences she has developed outside of the classroom, though not always easy, have been equally as important.
“I set a goal to do one new thing that scared me every year,” she said.
As an Emerald Eagle Scholar, she had the benefit of an access mentor to help ease the transition to college, and she was able to develop her leadership skills through the PIN Program for Leadership. She also was able to start as a student worker in her freshmen year, working for the Career Center for two years and then the Student Money Management Center (SMMC) for another two. Both experiences proved to be crucial in Wen’s personal and professional development.
“I was an introvert when I first came to UNT, and at the Career Center, I learned how to talk to people and gained skills working with assessment,” said Wen. “At the SMMC, I overcame my fear of speaking in front of people by giving presentations on financial topics, and I was able to coach students one-on-one about their finances.”
Wen was able to continue her work with the SMMC as a graduate assistant and has helped the center restructure its website, conduct assessment on its programs and launch the Club B.I.G.I. program. She also has taken on a research project focusing on the ability of students to save money.
In addition, Wen completed an internship with the asset and wealth management sector of PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) this past spring, which she found through the Career Center’s Eagle Careers (now known as Handshake).
“My internship involved hard work, but the work was interesting, and everyone was inviting and personable,” said Wen. “Everyone was valued no matter what position you were in.”
The experience led to a full-time offer with PwC, and in January, Wen will begin her role as an assurance associate for the banking and capital market sector, working with a public client.
“I have had many of these great opportunities because I stepped out of my comfort zone to network and talk to people,” said Wen.
Though she is graduating in December, Wen plans to stay in touch with UNT as a proud alumna and even hopes to assist with recruiting.
“I want future students to know that UNT values individuality and that you never feel lost,” she said. “I encourage all students to do what scares them and challenge themselves like I did.”
As Wen has proven, taking a chance in developing yourself always pays off.