2017 Best & Brightest: Ruoping (Cathy) Shi, University of Richmond (Robins)

Ruoping (Cathy) Shi

University of Richmond, Robins School of Business

“Responsible Ruoping and Charismatic Cathy.”

Fun fact about yourself: I perform magic tricks and traditional tea arts.

Hometown: Qingdao, Shandong, China

High School: Qingdao No. 2 High School

Major: Dual degree in Accounting and Mathematics

Minor: Concentration in Finance

Favorite Business Courses: Intermediate Financial Accounting with Prof. Daniel Paik and Prof. Joe Ben Hoyle; Mergers and Acquisitions with Prof. Roger Schnorbus; Investments with Prof. Jerry Stevens.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Extracurricular Activities and Leadership Roles:

  • Accounting Society, President
  • International Business Student Association, President
  • Gateway Capital Partners, Founding Partner and Past secretary
  • Westhampton College Student Government Association, Cabinet member
  • Robins School of Business Dean’s Student Advisory Council
  • Pi Mu Epsilon, Treasurer
  • Alpha Kappa Psi, Brother

Additional Awards and Honors:

  • McGladrey & Pullen Scholarship
  • Lewis D. Andrews Scholarship
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society
  • Golden Key International Honour Society
  • Pi Mu Epsilon Math Honor Society
  • Phi Eta Sigma National Honor Society
  • Dean’s List, Fall 2013-present
  • All A’s Distinction, Spring 2014-present
  • Arts & Sciences Research Summer Fellowship, summer 2014
  • Spider Research Fellowship, summer 2016

Where have you interned during your college career?

Summer 2016:

  • Ernst Young, Richmond, VA, Assurance Intern in Financial Service Office
  • University of Richmond Accounting Department, Richmond, VA, Research Assistant

Summer 2015:

  • Ernst Young, Richmond VA, Emerging Leaders Program Extern
  • Deloitte, McLean VA, Deloitte Envision Conference Extern
  • PwC, McLean VA, Elevate Program Extern
  • University of Richmond Accounting Department, Richmond, VA, Research Assistant

Summer 2014:

  • Children’s Museum of Richmond, Richmond, VA, Controller Assistant
  • University of Richmond Math Department, Richmond, VA, Research Assistant

Describe your dream Job: Work in a global firm that shares my passion for business and philanthropy and be in a position that I can inspire and help many people. In addition, I want to continuously gain new knowledge and improve myself.

Who is your favorite professor? All my professors have been instrumental, and my college experiences would be incomplete without any of them.

Which executive or entrepreneur do you most admire? Li Ka-shing. He is a visionary leader, voracious reader and independent learner. He most values loyalty and reputation and he said, “Anytime I say ‘yes’ to someone, it is a contract.” Most importantly, he is truly passionate about his work and even at age of 88, retirement is still not on his agenda.

What did you enjoy most about majoring in a business-related field? It is the deep connections I developed with my classmates, professors and professionals. I love working in a collaborative environment and hearing about people’s stories.

What is the biggest lesson you gained from studying business?  Business is a combination of arts and science. It is an art of using people skills and setting strategic focus. It is a science of using analytical skills and finding the most effective and efficient way to achieve my goal.

Where would you like to work after graduation?  I will be working as an assurance staff in financial service office with EY.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? Be proactive in pursing opportunities and be fearless in getting out of your comfort zone. Your school is always a safe place to learn, and even failure can be a means to stretch and develop yourself.

“I knew I wanted to major in business when…I started my first business in high school, purchasing textbooks from seniors and selling them at discounted prices to freshmen.”

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be…a volunteer in child education or an artist, because I had been an art teacher for children at Qingdao Municipal Public Library every weekend for six years before college.”

“Before I entered business school, I wish I had known…during my assurance internship with EY, I would use knowledge learned from my statistics research during my freshman summer.”

What was the happiest moment of your life? Every time I go home to visit my family in Qingdao.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? I am most proud of my research experiences with Prof. Joe Ben Hoyle and Prof. Daniel Paik. We explored the evolution of extraordinary items over the past century and presented our findings twice at American Accounting Association annual conference in Chicago in 2015 and in New York in 2016.

What animal would you choose to represent your professional brand? A wolf. Wolves are loyal, intelligent and social/family orientated.

Who would you most want to thank for your success?  My parents. None of my achievements would have had happened without their support and insightful advice.

What would you like your business school peers to say about you after you graduate from this program? A hard-working student, a supportive friend and an interesting person

Favorite book: Pride and Prejudice

Favorite movie: X-Men: Days of Future Past

Favorite musical performer: Adele

Favorite vacation spot: Someplace I have never been before

What are your hobbies? Cooking, distance running, painting, magic tricks, tea art, golf, and swimming

What made Cathy such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2017?

“Some students manage to excel at one area or another during their college education but only a few are able to be great at everything they seem to undertake. Cathy Shi is one of the best students I have had in recent years, finishing the semester in Intermediate Accounting II with the highest grade.

However, it is all the other things she has done in her years on our campus that put her at the top of her class. Ms. Shi worked on important research projects with Dr. Daniel Paik after her sophomore year and with Dr. Paik and me after her junior year. She helped present the results of that work at the annual meeting of the American Accounting Association in Chicago (in August 2015) and New York City (in August 2016). She also served as president of the University of Richmond accounting society and almost single-handedly revitalized the organization. She worked to create a mentor program where juniors and seniors worked with freshmen and sophomores to help them achieve their academic and career goals. She helped organize a trip for the entire group to a local movie theater to see “The Accountant.” She is also a genuinely gracious person. She came to my house one Sunday afternoon and put on a formal Chinese tea ceremony for a colleague and me and our wives. After over 45 years as a college person, I am delighted to say that Cathy Shi is one of the best overall students I have had the pleasure of teaching.”

Joe Hoyle
Associate Professor of Accounting
University of Richmond, Robins School of Business


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