Cal State LA’s Associated Student, Inc. (ASI) invited California State Treasurer Fiona Ma last Thursday to speak and give advice to students seeking to get into the political field.
Before becoming state treasurer, Ma grew up the oldest of three siblings with her Chinese immigrant parents who pushed her to be in a lead profession: doctor, lawyer, accountant, or engineer.
After being an accountant for some time, Ma decided to open her own practice, which introduced her to politics. She became the first woman of color to serve as the California state treasurer as of November 6, 2018.
Ma made the event more personal by asking for the names and majors of attendees while offering tips to help them further their careers.
She emphasized internships and working in the community, but also that if there is a politician you want to get involved with, it is not enough to try to meet them only once. Rather, they should keep showing up so that they can recognize an individual’s involvement.
Various business and economic majors attended the event to be inspired by the speaker, like graduate student Medrik Minassian.
“I personally see politics as a public service; you go out and do something more than just for yourself. She displayed that, and it was inspiring to see,” said Minassian.
College of Business and Economics representative Jorge Salazar spearheaded getting the treasurer out to Cal State LA and finally made it possible.
“I hope other students felt empowered by her as well, because she does have an interesting story of how she started in business and moved her way to politics. Although she liked business, she preferred to do public service,” said Salazar.
Ma was happy to see the turnout of business majors as she recognized the importance of her work.
“I feel my job is to mentor, educate, and talk to young people about the importance of getting involved and giving back. That’s the type of people we need in public office.”