Scholar Spotlight: Ashley Tan

Ashley Tan sitting on a benchWhile in high school, Ashley Tan focused her extracurricular activities on engaging in social justice. Her parents also provided her with occasions to overcome racial and gender biases through educational opportunities.

Diversity is extremely important, she states, especially in today’s rapidly growing and increasingly global world; progress, especially social progress and progress in the business world, is spurred by diversity and unique ideas. “We learn an immense amount of knowledge from others around us, especially when we interact with those who have different cultures from us. These differences help people better implement best practices to positively change the world to be a better place.”

Because she believes in giving back to her community, Ashley gave others similar educational opportunities because she knows that education is the gateway to success. Ashley co-founded a non-profit organization with the mission of helping underprivileged students receive better educational opportunities by donating academic summer camp scholarships, donating school supplies, and providing students with tutoring services.

The Ohio State University’s Morrill Scholarship was a natural progression in her journey. The Morrill Scholarship Program (MSP), Ohio State’s premiere diversity/merit scholarship program, rewards academically talented students who are actively engaged in diversity-based leadership, service and social justice activities. 

“Receiving this prestigious and honorable scholarship solidified my decision to attend Ohio State because I was excited to have a cohort of students who were passionate about diversity-based leadership and service and social justice activities, and it significantly helped relieve the financial burden of college.”

With the Morrill Scholarship, Ashley was able to major in whatever subject she wanted at Ohio State. However, she came to the university knowing that she wanted to study business because she was intrigued by how businesses impact people’s everyday lives. “I was naturally drawn to accounting because I enjoy critical thinking and numbers-based analytical thinking. Also, my mom has been a fantastic mentor to me because she is a Certified Public Accountant and started her career in Public Accounting, which is my ultimate goal.”

Continuing on her goal of having a career in public accounting, Ashley was recently admitted into Ohio State’s Master of Accounting Program, which means she will graduate with both a Bachelor of Science and a Master’s in Accounting (MAcc). “Obtaining the MAcc will spur my growth as a student and broaden my learning experiences. I will have the opportunity to work with graduate level students and those in the MBA program.”

As an accounting major, to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Ashley will need 150 credit hours. “The MAcc allows me to obtain these extra credit hours and sets me apart from other CPAs who take an array of random classes to obtain the additional credit hours.” In the future, she says, the MAcc be a pathway to obtain additional certifications, such as an MBA or law degree.

Despite the additional coursework, Ashley is up to the task of finishing her degree. “This process of learning to balance classes and extracurricular activities in the graduate atmosphere will help me significantly grow as a person.”

This summer, Ashley has an internship with Ernst and Young in Chicago that will serve as a stepping stone to her career in Public Accounting, allowing her to determine her strengths within this field and experience the industry first-hand. Ashley also found out she was accepted to Ernst and Young’s Global Student Experience program, which will allow her to spend the first half of her internship in Chicago and the second half in London. “I am excited to learn about the differences in cultures between the United States and the United Kingdom and be able to share my experiences and knowledge about the importance of diversity.”

While at Ernst and Young, Ashley will be interning in the Financial Services Assurance department, working on auditing engagements to provide objective assessments of financial companies’ financial statements.

With a graduation date of May 2020, Ashley hopes to obtain a full-time job offer from her internship and start a career in Public Accounting. “This field will allow me to obtain a wide variety of experiences in accounting to give me a better understanding of the industry.”

For any students following in her footsteps, Ashley has this advice: “I would tell high school students to not be afraid to branch out and find their passions and interests in college. I think that exploring a variety of options through majors, careers, and clubs gives students the best opportunity in college to truly find out who they are and experience significant personal growth. I would also tell a high school student to make sure to ask for help and to not be afraid of the unknown.”


Prior Spotlights

Tabitha Willis spotlight

Tabitha Willis spotlight

Tabitha Willis is a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholar as well as a Morrill Scholar. She recently answered a few questions about her experiences at Ohio State and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion.

Read more about Tabitha Willis.

Precious Tate spotlight

Precious Tate spotlight

Precious Tate, a fourth-year Young Scholar from Toledo, Ohio, knows it is no secret that for students in the United States, a college degree represents the ultimate American dream, providing a pathway for students to learn more about themselves and their interests, expand their social and cultural experiences, and build more promising careers.

Read more about Precious Tate.

Christian McGhee spotlight

Christian McGhee spotlight

Like a lot of students in high school with plenty of interests, Christian McGhee wasn’t sure what his major would be in college.

And like a lot of those same college students, his interests evolved.

Read more about Christan McGhee.

Evelin Nunez-Rodriguez spotlight

Evelin Nunez-Rodriguez spotlight

Evelin Nunez-Rodriguez is a Young Scholar from Cleveland, Ohio who is also involved with the Latinx Student Success (LSS). YSP provides opportunities for academically talented, first-generation students with high financial need to advance their goal of pursuing higher education while LSS works to cultivate Latinx communities for academic, social, and professional support.

Read more about Evelin Nunez-Rodriguez.

Emilio Suarez spotlight

Emilio Suarez spotlight

Coming from a family of immigrants, Emilio Suarez was always concerned with how he would eventually pay for college. He knew that having a college education would be vital to his dream of working in the field of aviation.

Read more about Emilo Suarez.

Taylor Lonas spotlight

Taylor Lonas spotlight

Recently, Taylor Lonas, one of our Morrill Scholars, answered a few questions about her time so far at The Ohio State University and in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s Morrill Scholarship Program. Taylor is studying political science on a pre-law track and plans to graduate in May 2019.

Read more about Taylor Lonas.

Skyla Johnson spotlight

Skyla Johnson spotlight

Anyone who encounters the positivity that emanates during an interaction with Skyla Johnson could infer that her outlook stems from having had an easy road to success. And while Skyla, a social worker and owner of Suga Pie’s—a licensed home bakery, loves both of her current occupations, she admits that her path was a difficult and complicated one. Fortunately, the obstacles she encountered were conquerable with the help of the Office of Diversity and Inclusion’s ACCESS and Young Scholars Programs.

Read more about Skyla Johnson.

Monica R. Liggins-Abrams spotlight

Monica R. Liggins-Abrams spotlight

In 2002, as a first-generation college student from a low-income family in Kalamazoo, Michigan, Monica R. Liggins-Abrams applied to The Ohio State University. While in high school, she had spent time in Columbus and attended a summer enrichment program through the African-American and African Studies Extension Center. It was a one week residential program that introduced her to Ohio State.

Read more about Monica R. Liggins-Abrams.

John McCray spotlight

John McCray spotlight

John McCray lives and breathes college athletics and the college environment. Yet he admits that, as a young student, higher education wasn’t a concern. “At that time, I wasn’t even thinking about college,” says McCray, a Cleveland native and former high school basketball player. “So that’s what Young Scholars did for me. It opened my mind up.”

Read more about John McCray.

Diontre Davis spotlight

Diontre Davis spotlight

Diontre Davis’ journey to an education abroad experience at the University of Oxford began in grade school when Diontre’s 6th grade teacher encouraged him to apply to the Office of Diversity and Inclusion Young Scholars Program. 

Read more about Dionte Davis.


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