You don’t need to look far to find an ISACA SJSU success story! Our members, past and present, are achieving great things and they have lots of advice to share with us.
Recently we sat down with current member Spencer Le. He has interned with accounting firm, Grant Thornton and is a past Vice President of Internal Affairs at ISACA SJSU. As many of you know, Spencer isn’t shy about sharing his insights about how ISACA SJSU has helped him achieve success.
He also has great advice about the Research Competition. Check it out:
Q: Why did you first join ISACA SJSU? (be honest! If it was for extra credit, that’s fine)
A: To be honest I never wanted to join any student association. It wasn’t until 2 weeks into my first semester at SJSU that I realized I would give it a shot. A good friend of mine encouraged me to join ISACA. At the time, I didn’t know who or what they were. But after meeting a few officers, I realized that it would be beneficial to my growth at SJSU. I never realized it would change my life forever. Not only did I end up being an officer, I met the Grant Thornton Partner that I would eventually intern for at one of the ISACA events. I’m very thankful to be a part of this student association and would highly encourage anyone who is passionate about their future to join ISACA SJSU.
Q: What did you learn from being an officer of ISACA SJSU?
A: I think the most important thing I’ve learned from being an officer is teamwork. I know it sounds cliché but honestly I really mean it. Not only the importance of teamwork but understanding how to function and interact within a group of your peers. This I believe is vital to one’s success in life. This is especially important when one enters into the real world where they have to interact with team members from different business projects.
Q: You competed in the Research Competition. What are your tips for other students competing?
A: I think the most important thing is to understand your audience. Know that your presentation is meant to be catered to your peers. Don’t make things too complicated. I think as future AIS professionals, it is our task to take information and present it in a simplistic manner while also adding value. This is also true with accounting data. When one overcomplicates something, it tends to lose its meaning and therefore people will lose interest in it. Keep it simple and meaningful.
Q: Where have you interned, or where are you currently interning?
A: I interned this past summer at Grant Thornton LLP in their Advisory practice. It was a two and a half month internship that focused on External IT Audit Support and Internal Audit of Business Processes.
Q: What did you learn/do during your internship?
A: I learned a wealth of information that focused on Business IT infrastructure. One of these areas focused on the intricate details of who controlled the IT network as well as how they recorded, reviewed, and retrieved data. Most of this information was related to financial data and would require someone with an Accounting & Information Systems (AIS) background understand the importance of such information. I also learned how certain business operations were conducted when dealing with fixed assets and procurements. It was during a consolidation test, for one of my clients, that I realized the importance of having a good foundation in accounting. Thankfully, with an AIS concentration, I was able to apply what I learned in class to approach this particular task.
Q: Overall, do you have any advice for students who want to achieve what you have achieved, academically and professionally?
A: I believe everyone has the potential to be successful in anything. What is important is to believe in our dreams. I believe dreams will lead us to where we want to be. Passion will guide us there. But above all, determination will get us to the end. Therefore, hold on to those dreams and they will take you far.