Alumni Interviews Working in your community, especially with people less privileged than you. There is so much richness in the world around us, and if we don't get to know our neighbors, we miss out on a lot. Why did you decide to attend UT of Austin? Its fantastic Latin American Studies degree. Those years at LILAS still among the most exciting and interesting in my life. If only I could do college all over again! Is there a specific instructor/professor that made a large impact on? What did they say or did to influence you? Dr Susan Kerr - she wasn't actually a professor of mine at all, though I dearly wish I had studied with her. I met her while working in the Liberal Arts Honors office. We wrote letters for years after I left UT, and I was staggered she took the time to maintain that connection. She was interested in a wide world of things, made her own cards out of photographs she had taken and had such a commitment to seeing those around her. Now that she's gone, I really wish I'd taken more time to know her better. What's the best advice you didn't take? Follow your heart. I keep learning this one again and again. What abilities or personal qualities do you believe contribute most to success? Dedication and doggedness, plus a little inspiration. What advice do you have for recent DDGs? Take time. In all ways. Take time to figure out what you want to do. Take time with the people who interest you. Take time with the people you love. Take time to see things and follow ideas just because they interest you. You'll be so much the richer for having really engaged with the world around you.
BETH ONGUN ASSISTANT TREASURER, MAXAR TECHNOLOGIES DDG, 1999 What was your first job after graduation? What lesson did you learn on that job that you keep with you today? Auditor at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Building relationships across an organization gives you the best chance to success. Get to know everyone from the janitor to the CFO, and it will serve you well. Why did you get into your current line of work? How did you get started? I had the opportunity to internally transfer into Treasury from accounting and financial reporting. I knew nothing about Treasury, but once I understood what it was, I loved it. Treasury owns the capital structure of an organization, banking and rating agency relationships and liquidity (all sources of cash). Treasury is a key part of any company's strategy and is a critical key to its overall success. Being on the front lines of any issues and any successes is really interesting, and your work has a direct impact on the overall value and results of the business. Who or what was the biggest influence in your career? There wasn't one thing. Overall, the fact that UT let me explore all my interests in Liberal Arts and Business fostered my desire to learn all aspects of a business, organization or a subject in general. This constant desire to learn combined with the willingness to work hard to master brand new things has helped me receive new opportunities (like moving into Treasury). What abilities or personal qualities do you believe contribute most to success? The ability to execute on goals no matter how difficult the task. In Treasury, you cannot falter as that could mean the difference between bankruptcy or success. The ability to work well under pressure and build strong relationships across an organization have contributed strongly to my success.