PKM Employee Spotlight: Sue Shin

Believe it or not, a TV commercial inspired Tax Senior Manager Sue Shin’s latest goal in her piano playing passion. An Android spot that aired during the 2016 Grammy Awards featured pianist Ji-Yong Kim racing through the third movement of Beethoven’s “Moonlight Sonata.” Sue, a piano-player since age four, loves Beethoven. The commercial, called “Monotune” for reasons that will be clear when you watch it here, rekindled Sue’s interest in the piece.

Her journey to master the challenging music began a couple of months ago. She anticipates it could take about 5 years to get it down. The last piece she completed was Chopin’s “Fantaisie Impromptu” which took her about 3 years to go through. “Moonlight Sonata” is the hardest piece she has ever attempted, but its difficulty and beauty motivate her every day.

She took lessons until she was 18 years old, but now she’s self-taught. “I start by listening to the piece about a million times,” Sue explains. “Then I just pick it right up and teach myself. It’s truly an accomplishment in the end.” All of the credit goes to her mother for encouraging her to keep playing throughout the years.

Naturally, Sue began teaching her daughter, Siri, to play at the age of four as well. Now she is six years old, and Sue believes it enriches Siri’s life and continuously supports her desire to learn. She also loves the way their shared passion helps Siri relate to her in a new way – unrelated to her day job, (It’s hard for Siri to understand the world of taxes!) Almost every day, Siri begs her mother to play the piano. Sue’s husband, Go, is a huge supporter of his wife and daughter. Since he didn’t learn a musical instrument growing up, he lives vicariously through them and loves listening to them play and grow as pianists.

Even more than the music in the commercial, Sue cherished its message about diversity and being able to use that to help teach her daughter about their unique background. Sue was born in South Korea and later went onto an international school in Japan. She’s been living in the United States for about 20 years now. Go was born in Japan and moved to the United States when he was about eight years old. The two had Siri in the U.S., but she still proudly recognizes her Korean and Japanese heritage. Since the Android commercial circles around the slogan “Be Together. Not the Same.” it was the perfect fit to help Siri understand her background and be proud of it.

At home, Sue has an electric piano that she practices on, but unfortunately only finds time on the weekends to play. That will never stop Sue from doing what she loves. She will always continue to live her passion and share her passion with her daughter. She is thankful for this life-long hobby and looks forward to all of the joy it will bring in the many years to come.

Prior to joining PKM late last year, Sue spent over 10 years with one of the Big Four firms and a brief period in industry. With over 11 years in public accounting, Sue has extensive experience in providing tax services on a global basis including ASC 740 tax provisions under both US GAAP and IFRS, federal and state tax return compliance, international tax issues and corporate tax consulting. In addition, Sue has background in both public and non-public corporate tax, financial statement and various non-income tax issues. We are lucky to have Sue as a part of the PKM family!