Meet Betty, Accountant

Full Name: Betty Vong 
Title: Director, Accounting, Unibail Rodamco Westfield

I am a Chinese born in Vietnam who immigrated to the US at the age of 11. At the age of 17, I became a US citizen and took on my first part-time job in the banking industry while attending high school. While pursuing my education in college, I worked full time and graduated with a bachelor’s degree but it took longer than the typical four years. With hard work, passion, and perseverance, I’ve been blessed with opportunities to grow professionally at each company especially during my current tenure of 15 years here at URW. I’m married to a wonderful husband for 17 years with two young kids (a 12 yr old girl and 8 yr old boy) .
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In your own words, describe your career.
I’m a management accounting professional where I lead and manage a team of accounting staff who prepares, maintains, and interprets financial records. What I love most in my career is having an opportunity to share my knowledge and pass on skills to my team and see them learn/grow by applying what they’ve learned. While I may have been somewhat influenced by my dad to walk this career path, it was something I wasn’t too sure if I liked it enough to make it a career or simply took it as a job. After 20 plus years, I feel that I’ve made the right decision to stay focused and pursued a career in Accounting.

Who/what influenced or inspired you?
Since I was thirteen, my dad started teaching me accounting. I didn’t know what it was, just a bunch of numbers. Dad explained debits and credits and that went over my head. Somehow, I found a passion to start liking numbers and started to understand concepts more. So I decided to pursue accounting courses and eventually took my first full time job after college as an revenue accountant.  Since then, I’ve stayed in this profession.

What do you love most about your job? What are its biggest challenges?
I don’t just see this as my job, it’s my passion. Every day, there’s always something new and exciting waiting to be handled. I thrive at the opportunities that allow me to develop skills I can share with my team and lead with confidence by being a mentor not just a manager. The biggest challenges are meeting multiple critical but conflicting deadlines while maintaining team performance and motivation.

How did you gain entry into the industry? What was your big break?
I was lucky and was given an opportunity by the hiring manager in my first job interview to an accounting position despite no industry experience. At the interview, I did not try to up sell nor begged for the opportunities. Instead, I provided examples from my prior work experience where I also didn’t have experience in the industry and I’ve become an important/valuable contributor to the team and company.

What barriers have you faced and how did you overcome them?
Because English is my second language, it was very difficult some times to understand. 

What are some of your hobbies and interests outside of work?
I love spending time with my family, shopping, and traveling.

Do you have any words of advice? 
A career is doing something you love to do with passion and not just see it as a job. It’s ok if you haven’t found the right career yet, continue looking but still put your best efforts into what you do. You’ll never lose the skills nor experience once you’ve captured and retain them.