C a r e e r A i g u r e d o u t
BSU AlUmnUS AccelerAt
“People skills are one of the most important skills in my job. I have to hold the team together and make sure clients
internal and external – are satisfied with our services. Now with more regulators
added to oversee the profession, I need to work with them too.”
At graduation in 1997, Bemidji State alumnus Xihao Hu had two significant achievements already under his belt: a big-four accounting firm position and the top CPA score in Minnesota. While it’s an impressive start for a fledgling accountant, Hu reflects modestly upon his accelerated professional standing.
“I never have huge aspirations,” Hu says. “For me, I just try to do well for myself. That way I don’t have huge disappoint- ments, but I get some sweet surprises.”
The first taste of the sweetness in store for Hu came to him as a junior at BSU, when mentor Dave odegaard, now a retired Deloitte partner, encouraged him to investigate internship possibili- ties with Deloitte & Touche. Hu was unsure a large firm would be interested in the product of a smaller school. Despite his misgivings, he tried. After two interviews, Hu was offered an internship and eventually a permanent position after graduation.
Landing a position with one of the nation’s top accounting firms before graduating demonstrated Hu’s profes- sional value, but his CPA exam results cemented his place as an exceptional young accountant. While BSU’s account- ing program consistently produces qual- ity accounting professionals and some top CPA scorers, Hu received the high- est CPA score in Minnesota at the time.
A Place to Grow
Hu has found the career growth and intellectual challenge that have emerged during his 11 years of account- ing work to be greatly satisfying.
Bemidji State University
eS cAreer At Big-FoUr
As a new employee at Deloitte & Touche in 1997, Hu performed auditing. From there he sought a position that would include more financial services clients. His search led to a role dealing with complex financial instruments. Today, as an assurance and enterprise risk ser- vices principal at the firm, Hu engages in complex accounting and valuation services with the company’s Regula- tory & Capital Markets Consulting group (R&CM).
“A large part of what I do is help clients understand complex financial instru- ments and special purpose vehicles,” Hu says. “They are very hard to under- stand for accounting purposes, tax pur- poses, and regulatory purposes.”
In addition to leading this services line for the firm’s southeast United States region, he also heads up the firm’s regional subject matter resource pro- gram and acts as R&CM’s deputy bank- ing industry leader.
“I enjoy using the knowledge I had before and applying it to new struc- tures,” Hu explains. “It’s very cool to leverage your prior experience to advance to the next stage.”
More Than Numbers
Hu enjoys the relationships that come with his work as much as he savors the numerical challenges. From co-workers to clients, he appreciates learning from others, working in a company with loyal relationships, relating to clients on complex subject matter, and bringing groups to consensus on difficult issues.
The latter has Hu realizing the impor- tance of communication skills – a proficiency rarely associated with an accountant’s job.