Kelsey Luu has always had a knack for numbers. When she moved from Vietnam to San Diego at age 12 she couldn’t speak English, but she did take comfort in math. “Math is universal. One plus one is two in every country,” she says.
With discipline and determination, Luu rose through the ranks and graduated first in her class at Hoover High School. She was accepted into UC San Diego, though she wasn’t entirely sure about a career path. “My parents wanted me to become a doctor, but science wasn’t really for me.”
During an internship she was introduced to the accounting program at UC San Diego Extension and mentored by program manager Joyce Short. Through UC San Diego’s innovative LAUNCH program, Luu was able to earn an accounting certificate from Extension while still an undergrad. Accounting is a high-demand field. In San Diego, the need for accountants and auditors is expected to grow by 20 percent. “Every organization, every business needs an accountant,” Luu says.
Her accounting certificate came in handy during the next step of her career journey: law school. “When I got to law school I studied a lot of tax law, which also involves accounting.”
Luu’s certificate also puts her at a competitive advantage in her new role practicing mortgage default and bankruptcy law. “I wanted to know more than just the numbers,” she says. “There’s always a story behind the numbers.”
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