Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Volunteer Spotlight: Sean Liu

Second year mentor Sean Liu is from a lot of places – Kentucky, Philadelphia, Michigan, Connecticut, North Carolina – but Chicago feels like home because he’s been here for eight years. Sean went to high school in the north suburbs and he went to University of Illinois for his undergraduate degree in electrical engineering. Sean lived in a dorm for three of four years in college and he played a lot of basketball (his favorite sport). There was a gym right across the street where he spent about 12 hours per week playing pick-up games.

After graduating in 2006, Sean went to University of North Carolina for a Master of Accounting graduate degree. He says he loved it there, the teachers are amazing, and it was more enjoyable than his time at U of I. He recommends accounting “if you like understanding how business works” or if you’re interested in entrepreneurship or the stock market. He recommends North Carolina because the weather is great, there are hills, and you’re close to the beach.

Now, Sean does financial analysis for Hyatt Corporation. On a typical day, he analyzes financial data and highlights important variances, such as significant drops or increases in revenue. He can determine if they are situational (e.g. a spike in Washington, D.C., for inauguration weekend) or caused by something else. In five years, Sean hopes to be a manager or back in school pursuing a master’s degree in business administration. In ten years, he’s interested in teaching high school calculus or statistics.

Sean heard about Cabrini Connections through former volunteer Tammy Baird. On Thursday nights, he works with Gary Wise, who he met more than a year ago. “I love the program,” he says. “It keeps me in perspective… what it’s like to live in the world he lives in.” It also gives him unique insight into schools. He gets a sense of how good or bad they are based on feedback from students.

To get to know your mentee better, Sean says “ask questions” and “meet outside of the program.” He and Gary have been to movies, meals, museums, and more. Congratulations on a successful relationship, and for being in the spotlight. You deserve it!

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