SHS graduate reflects on branching out after high school

SHS graduate reflects on branching out after high school

She never expected to be finishing school in America with a degree in accounting. SHS graduate Hlawn KipTlem Zathang graduated in 2011. She received many kinds of scholarships but the dominant one was the Lilly Endowment Scholarship which covered full tuition and textbooks. Zathang studied accounting at the University of Evansville. She graduated in May of 2015 with a Tax associate degree and an outstanding Senior Service Award. Looking back to when she first started school and to where she is now, she feels that she has improved with various aid with her language and in many other areas.

“I feel like I improved a lot, because when I came to the United States, I didn’t speak English,” Zathang said. “When I look back at those times from where I am today, I improved a lot with the help of my teachers, parents and communities.” 

Right now, Zathang is planning to take the Certified Public Accountants, CPS, which is a computer based test comprised of four sections which takes a total of 14 hours for all four parts, according to Accounting Coach. She will start working in two weeks at formerly Baird, Kutz & Dobson, BDK. BDK is one of the largest U.S accounting firms. Zathang feels that she accomplished more than she has expected. She also believes that she has gone far when thinking and knowing that she went to the university she desired for and studied her choice of major.

Zathang’s class was one of the first first-generation Chin students to go to college. Because of that, they did not know what kind of classes existed or not. She advises students in high school to take DC, AP or honor classes while they have the chance. Zathang faced some challenges when she was in high school and one of them was getting out of her comfort zone. She had hard times in class because of being too shy to ask questions, Zathang says. However, she comprehended that sometimes it’s better to try the things that one is scared of.

“I realized that it’s really important that we have to step up from our comfort zone and try to do something that we are kind of scared to do,” Zathang said.

Zathang says that if she could change some things when she was in high school they would be taking more advanced classes and pushing herself beyond her comfort zone and that is also her recommendation to high school students. Another piece of advice she would offer would be to take any help available at SHS and to not hesitate to ask questions. Zathang says that it’s better if students know what to study in college because it will make it easier when they are in college. She encourages students to go to college due to the experience of diversity, gaining more knowledge, and understanding many skills.

“I encourage every high school student to go to college, because it’s a totally different experience,” Zathang said. “In high school, we have friends, but the diversity is less than in college. There are people from all over the world. In college, it’s not only improving our knowledge but also the way we think and the way we grow up.”