An ongoing story of God's work on campus: God is real, Jesus saves, and you are loved, always.

Senior Spotlight: Christine Cheng

Each and every member of Axiom holds a special place in the heart of the ministry.  Whether you are a part of the leadership team,serve on campus with us,  join us for retreats, or just worship with us Thursday nights, your presence makes a difference, and when you leave, you are missed.  We want to give our graduating seniors the opportunity to speak their wisdom into our lives, and give our underclassmen the chance to meet, and be influenced by, the students who have come before them.   (If you’re a part of Axiom and graduating this spring, please send us an email!)

*This spotlight is also a little belated – Christine graduated this past December!  She spent much of this semester interning in Chicago, but thankfully she’s back now and will be hanging around, gracing us with her presence, for a little longer!  She may not have left campus yet, but she is still quite capable of blessing us with a little wisdom…

  • What did you study, and why?

My major was accounting with a Certificate in Global Business Culture where my area of specialization is East Asia and Pacific. I got this certificate by taking Mandarin Chinese language classes, international business classes and studying abroad at China. I graduated early back in December 2010 with my Bachelor’s degree and the Certificate. Since my college does not hold graduation ceremonies for December graduates, I will be walking in May as a Bronze Tablet Scholar (highest honors), Chancellor Scholar (campus wide honors program) and James Scholar (college honors program).

I was in a different major before, so some of my reasons for choosing accounting include: (1) I want to go into public accounting which means that I will work as part of a firm consisting of accountants. The firm is hired by public companies who are required by law to have a third party, that is accounting firms, to inspect their financial statements. The public is then able to trust these companies as they invest money. This kind of work requires that accountants have very high integrity, which is something I value greatly. I believe that through accounting, I can help increase the trust between the public and companies by helping companies maintain their integrity. I will also help people with their finances that are usually one of the most important things in life for everyone. (2) I realized that accounting has opportunities worldwide, especially through the “Big 4” which are the top four accounting firms in the world. I interned with one of these this past semester (Deloitte LLP) in Chicago and at Deloitte, they have opportunities that allow employees to work abroad in their global offices. I hope to go in this direction. (3) UIUC gives a good education in this field as well as many resources and opportunities particularly for accounting majors. (4) I hope to someday work through a non-profit organization to help people in other countries, particularly less developed countries, through microfinance that allows people to set up businesses.

  • How did you find Axiom, and how did God use it in your life?

I lived at Stratford Christian Cooperative House all my years at the university. A girl who lived there introduced me to Axiom when I was a freshman. God has done so much in my life through Axiom. I will describe only a few things:

(1) One of the biggest impacts that Axiom has had on me is to increase my interest to work internationally. During my first year at the university and at Axiom, I decided to go on Axiom’s mission trip to Taipei, Taiwan. One day I was looking out over the city while we were prayer walking and I just saw and realized the magnitude of the people who were lost in Taipei alone. At that point, I did not know any Mandarin Chinese as I only knew Cantonese Chinese. During the entire trip, I wished that I knew Mandarin Chinese so that I could speak to the Taiwanese people in their language about God. I had had interest in learning Mandarin Chinese since I was young but it was only after going on the mission trip did I decide that I would take Mandarin Chinese classes. During my sophomore and junior years, I took Mandarin Chinese classes. Then I participated in an intensive language program China last summer (2010). That experience was entirely different form my Taiwan mission trip. Since I had taken classes for two years, I was able to speak to my Chinese roommates and friends in Mandarin and with some, I was able to even talk to them about God. I felt God’s hand writing every moment of my summer in China. As of right now, I’m not sure when I will get the chance to go back to China, but I do hope to continue witnessing to Chinese people here in the US.

(2) Towards the end of my sophomore year, an Axiom member who was a very talented guitarist in the worship band asked if I would want to join the band through playing violin. I had played in many orchestras and ensembles before, so I knew how to play classical style violin. Band playing, which required improvisation, was entirely different though. I knew how to improvise on the piano, but doing it on the violin was strange to me at first. Thanks to this Axiom member as well as the incredible encouragement I got from other members whenever I played in band, I  discovered my love for worshiping God through violin playing. Though I do not major in violin, I realized that God allowed me the opportunity to learn violin in order that I could use it to serve Him and help others draw closer to Him. Now, I try to serve in band whenever possible at Axiom and at church. Recently, I’ve begun serving at the chapel service while volunteering at Salt and Light as well.

  • What are you up to now; do you have any plans in the works for the future?

I will be staying one more year to finish my Master’s degree and obtain my CPA. After that I will likely be working full time in the firm I interned at this past summer. Next summer before I begin working full time, I hope to intern at World Vision, Samaritan’s Purse or another similar organization.

  • What will you miss most about Axiom?  What will you miss most about U of I?

Axiom – the community, worship band, lifegroups, Aaron’s sermons, winter/fall retreats, Much Love, GO nights, being on the servant leadership team, Water on Green…

U of I – living at Stratford House; hanging out with friends through dinner, playing games, watching movies, talking, running; trying out all the different classes and events

  • Favorite college experiences?

Here are some:

– My team placed first in the country in the National Deloitte Case Competition in April 2010 after also placing first in regionals round earlier that year. We were the first Illinois team to ever win at this case competition. I will never forget that moment when the judges announced our school name as the winners.

– Running the Illinois half marathon, I am now training for the Illinois full marathon.

– Participating in the International Business Immersion Program that combined a semester long class that studied the food chain in the European Union with a two week tour after the semester through Belgium, Germany, Netherlands and France

– Studying abroad in China

– Interning at Deloitte LLP this past semester, which is one of the biggest accounting firms in the world

– Leading Axiom lifegroup

– Playing board games with friends late into the night

– Going to Cocomero

  • Advice for incoming students?

If God leads or calls you to do something, just do it. Even if it seems risky or out of your comfort zone or it requires you to give with no guarantee of getting something in return, just obey Him. He will always reward you for trusting Him and He will take you to new heights that you could not have even imagined had you not stepped out in faith.

  • Anything else?

Read Psalm 121, it is one of my favorite psalms in the Bible.

Much Love,

Christine Cheng, Graduated: December 2010

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