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The backbone of EY alumni relations is our network of 23 Alumni Councils in the US, Canada and London, England. Comprising more than 400 of your fellow EY alumni, including approximately 100 former partners, these Councils help us stay in touch with the pulse of our alumni.

The Councils’ feedback provides vital direction for our alumni efforts. Our Councils also serve as a sounding board to improve our brand, to better understand current market issues and to best serve our clients and constituents. In recognition of their contribution, we want to introduce you to some of our Council members who are truly helping us stay connected.

Prat Bhatt
San Francisco Alumni Council member and Vice President, Corporate Controller and Principal Accounting Officer, Cisco Systems.   More

 

Rex Liu
South Bay (San Jose) Alumni Council member and Corporate Controller, Tesla, Inc.   More

 


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All charged up


Somewhere along the way to pursuing a PhD in immunology, South Bay (San Jose) Alumni Council member Rex Liu decided an MBA degree would come in handy in the fast-evolving biotech world. So he returned to his alma mater, the University of Toronto, and as part of his MBA studies, interned at EY.

He eventually joined the firm full time and worked in Toronto for three years as a member of the entrepreneurial services team. “I got to work on a lot of tech companies, so it was a great fit,” says Liu. However, Liu yearned to be in the epicenter of the biotech world. So he relocated to Silicon Valley to join the Life Sciences group in the Ernst & Young LLP Palo Alto office.

Three years later, Liu made the jump to private industry and joined Gilead Sciences, a leading biotech company. He spent six years at Gilead and then heard about an opening at Tesla Motors, another high-tech focused on making high-performance all-electric vehicles. The company was poised to go public and Liu saw it as an opportunity to expand his controllership experience.

Today, as Tesla’s corporate controller, Liu says he is “fascinated and inspired” by the company’s drive, vision and passion in designing and developing premium electric vehicles — a niche where many others have failed. Tesla Motors began delivering its first sedan, the Model S, to customers in June of this year and plans to produce more than 20,000 vehicles in 2013. “These are certainly exciting times at Tesla,” says Liu.

Liu is also revved up about serving on the South Bay Alumni Council. Although the Council has met just twice since its formation this past year, Liu is impressed with the “great exchange of ideas, perspectives and needs” among Council members. As one of the Council’s younger members, Liu has a particular interest in ensuring that younger alumni are well integrated into the larger alumni community.

When people leave EY, Liu believes they sometimes don’t know whom to turn to for guidance. “I think our alumni network can be used to connect newer alumni with more experienced alums who can serve as role models or provide advice.”

As to corporate board service, Liu’s interested, but not right away. “Board members must bring a perspective or expe-rience to a company that no one else on the management team has,” says Liu. He also believes that great board mem-bers possess a great breadth of experience and depth of knowledge on issues that complement the perspective of management.

“Once I feel I have enough experience and knowledge,” says Liu, “I would consider it.” But in the meantime, Liu is con-tent to accelerate success at Tesla and to serve on the South Bay Council.

 

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