2018 Best & Brightest: Zoe Yang, Case Western Reserve University

Zoe (Ruolin) Yang

Case Western Reserve University, Weatherhead School of Management

“The creative accountant.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have been playing the violin for 17 years.

Hometown: Baltimore, Maryland. Beijing, China.

High School: Walton Comprehensive High School, Walnut Hills High School

Major: Accounting, Music Performance, Masters of Accountancy


Favorite Business Course: ACCT 520 Advanced Accounting Theory

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

Leadership Roles:

  • President of Beta Alpha Psi Honors Business Fraternity
  • President of Wolstein Honors Society
  • Vice President of Student Life of Graduate Student Council
  • Director of Business Operations of The Observer Newspaper
  • National Communications Coordinator of The Residence Hall Association

Community Work:

  • Resident Assistant for Second Year Students
  • Center for Civic Engagement and Learning(CCEL) Scholar

Extracurricular Activities:

  • Principal violist of The University Circle Orchestra
  • Lifeguard


  • The Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB) Scholarship
  • 2017 Homecoming Court
  • Dean’s Accounting Achievement Award (Skoda Minotti Prize)
  • Mather Woman of Achievement Undergraduate Award
  • Beta Alpha Psi Leadership Award
  • IMA Program Scholarship
  • CWRU Concerto Competition first place
  • National Residence Hall Honorary Spotlight of the Year
  • Alexandra Piepho Scholarship
  • Ronis Music Competition first place
  • Deans Honors List

Where have you interned during your college career?

PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), Cleveland OH,  Audit intern

Goodyear Tires, Cleveland, Cleveland OH, Global Innovations Analytics Intern

Keybank, Cleveland OH, Corporate Bank Intern

Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Baltimore MD, Management Intern

Northwestern Mutual, Baltimore MD, Financial Advisor Intern

Where will you be working after graduation? PricewaterhouseCoopers(PwC), McLean VA ,  Assurance Associate

What did you enjoy most about your business school?

I love the school’s Peter B. Lewis building designed by architect Frank Gehry. The building is made up of flowy curves with no 90 degree angles. It is unconventional and challenges the students inside to think outside the box. The building also has a lot of open spaces and seating that encourage students to collaborate or just talk with each other.

“If I didn’t major in business, I would be majoring in or studying…Dentistry because it is hands on and requires precision which I value as a violinist.”

Who most influenced your decision to pursue business in college? My parents. My parents are both neuroscience researchers and wanted me to pursue a degree in the sciences. When I started college, I wanted to challenge myself by learning and majoring in an unfamiliar discipline.

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? Performing the Dvorak Violin Concerto as the soloist/concerto competition winner with the University Circle Orchestra in fall of 2017. The 30 minutes on stage was the culmination of studying and loving the violin for 17 years. Double majoring in music and accounting and getting a Masters of Accountancy all in 4 years was a challenge. I take pride in the fact that I can maintain a balanced life while taking a maximum of 27 credit hours of classes.

If you were a dean for a day, what one thing would you change about the business school? If I was dean for a day, I would require accounting students to take more finance classes and managerial accounting courses beyond the one intro-level course currently required. This not only builds the student’s knowledge, but also allow students to explore career paths in finance and non-public accounting roles.

Which classmate do you most admire? Chris Dunlap. I admire Chris because he is so selfless and supportive. When working with him as execs of Beta Alpha Psi, Chris was the only one who stayed after classes every Wednesday to tutor other students. Chris is one of the most intelligent and talented student at CWRU, yet he is humble and works harder than anyone.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I thank my parents for my success. I was 10 years old when my family moved to the U.S. My parents gave up everything and had to start over in a foreign country. They taught me courage and gave me an unyielding spirit.

What would your theme song be? Shakira – “Try Everything”

What are the top two items on your bucket list?

– Become a CPA and CMA

– Travel to all 7 continents

Favorite book: Fahrenheit 451

Favorite movie: 3 Idiots

Favorite vacation spot: The beach

What are your hobbies? Playing in quartets and orchestra, swimming, cooking for friends, and attending campus events.

What made Zoe such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2018?

“I have gotten to know Zoe very well throughout 2016 and 2017, as she was elected by students to become President of our Beta Alpha Psi (BAP) chapter at CWRU for both 2016 and 2017. I have nothing but admiration for Zoe. She is an incredible leader and her organization and communication skills are unsurpassed. Under her leadership, BAP was awarded the “superior status” from the national organization. Truly, in 19 years of teaching, I have not seen student leadership that matches hers. I am humbled by her ability to juggle an overload of courses and continually put in the amount of time and effort needed to organize all of the events she has developed for the organization. She handles herself with professionalism, enthusiasm, and servitude: she carefully thinks about how her actions can motivate others to achieve and openly welcomes other’s opinions when discussing matters of concern at executive leadership meetings.”

Karen Braun
Professor of Accountancy




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