CPA PROFILE

Ming Lu

As an accounting educator, mentor, YouTuber and volunteer, Ming provides future CPAs the support they need to reach their full potential.

My Bio
Ming Lu

Details

Associate Professor and Lecturer
Santa Monica College and UCLA
Los Angeles, CA

Going into college, Ming knew he wanted to do something in business but wasn’t sure which area would be the best fit. After spending a summer as a financial planner at Merrill Lynch, he determined the role wasn’t for him and decided to apply for an internship at KPMG, one of the Big Four accounting firms, the following summer. It was there that he discovered his passion for accounting and set his sights on the CPA license. “Everyone I knew that exceled in their accounting career was a CPA,” Ming said. “Thus, I knew it was something that I also had to obtain.”

After completing graduate school at the University of Southern California with a Master’s in Business Taxation, Ming had two main goals: work for a Big Four accounting firm and become an accounting professor, both of which have come true.

Today, he is teaching future accountants in sunny California at Santa Monica College as an Associate Professor and University of California, Los Angeles as a Lecturer. He is known to be an excellent communicator and to make himself accessible on campus to help students achieve their goal of becoming a CPA. Some of Ming’s most prominent activities include:

  • Hosting an accounting-focused YouTube channel, “ACCOUNTING IS FOR YOU” where he interviews a wide variety of accounting professionals, including his former students, about their careers and success strategies.
  • Running a mentorship program where he helps coach underrepresented minority students to graduate successfully, obtain high-paying internships, and secure post-graduation jobs at top accounting firms.
  • Serving as a dedicated volunteer for more than 20 years with the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA), a popular program that helps prepare tax returns for low income families.
  • Acting as an accounting profession champion by sharing updates, news and financial literacy resources with students.
  • Organizing the annual Accounting Diversity Conference, his passion project, at Santa Monica College which aims to empower and encourage underrepresented minority students to advance their accounting careers.

Although the CPA “marathon” is challenging, Ming highly encourages anyone to pursue it. “For most people, [becoming a CPA] may not be an easy journey, but like anything of value in life, it requires hard work and dedication...there is a temptation to give up along the way. The good news is, if you stay committed, it all pays off in the long run.” Those payoffs include a valued designation, technical expertise and a financially stable career. 

For those who do plan to pursue the CPA, he offers the following advice:

  • 1. Always plan a head and set goals for yourself.
  • 2. Find a good mentor to give you guidance along the way.
  • 3. Surround yourself with other dedicated accounting professionals who are pursuing the same goals to hold you accountable.

Learn more about Ming and check out his resources by following his YouTube channel here.

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