Senior Spotlight: David Kao

David Kao

David Kao (center) with Peer Mentor Program Coordinators Samantha McGurgan (left) and Katelyn O’Brien (right).

David Kao is graduating Cal Poly with a bachelor’s degree in business administration with a concentration in accounting. Kao was born in Taiwan and moved to the Southern California with his family eight years ago. He began his undergraduate studies at Mt. San Antonio College in before transferring to Cal Poly’s Orfalea College of Business in 2013.

Kao admits he struggled his first quarter at Cal Poly, unfamiliar with the campus community and facing challenging accounting curriculum. He decided to join the Orfalea Advising Center’s new Peer Mentor program to connect with his fellow business students and better navigate his academics. Kao was paired with peer mentor Connor Koch, an business major concentrating entrepreneurship. Kao said his friendship with Koch made the difference in his college career, including connecting him to the Cal Poly Accounting Club (CPAC).

As a result, Kao became more involved with campus events. He volunteered for as a housing coordinator PolyCultural Weekend, an event he attended as a prospective student. He also became a mentor in the Orfalea College of Business’ Peer Mentor program so he could offer guidance to students who might be struggling with the same things he did in his first quarter.

During his senior year, Kao also worked in Cal Poly’s Low Income Taxpayer Clinic, a program where top accounting students and tax attorneys work together to solve tax controversies with the IRS and Franchise Tax Board on behalf of local residents — all at no cost to the client. As David approached his senior year, he attended CPAC’s Fall Symposium, a major recruiting event for Cal Poly business students and the world’s top accounting firms. There, Kao met with Armanino, the largest independent accounting and business consulting firm based in California. He accepted a full time job offer and will begin work in its San Ramon office after graduation.

“Attending Cal Poly has been one of the best decisions in my life. The Orfalea College of Business provided me with more resources than I ever needed and I am forever thankful. I am proud to tell my friends and family that I am a Mustang!” — David Kao