My parents did not have the opportunity to pursue a higher education degree immediately following high school. Years post graduation, my father earned an associate degree at Ivy Tech as he worked full time in retail. For my younger brother and me, our parents strongly emphasized the importance of education (one of my passions).
It was always expected that we pursue excellence. My brother and I learned the value of a strong work ethic between our mother’s support of education and working with our father at a young age. My father would routinely say, “Confidence.” My mother expected stellar performance both in and outside of the classroom.
As a student and to this day, I have interests in what seems like an endless number of subjects. All through school, I gave my best effort for any given discipline. In high school, I wanted to pursue a business career. Considering a start in accounting, I job shadowed a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) for a day to get an idea. She shared with me how she works with a number of clients from many industries. Inspired, I later decided to attend Manchester University (College, at the time) given its strong accounting and business program, liberal arts education fostering a well-rounded personality, and small class sizes allowing more direct access to professors and classmates.
For my family, higher education was an unchartered experience. Essentially, I figured it out along the way! While at Manchester, I learned how accounting is the “language of business.” Perfect! Communication is critical no matter our role or industry.
My professors at Manchester strongly recommended that I commence my career in public accounting to gain experience and familiarity with numerous industries. Public accounting involves serving clients similar to the professions of doctors and lawyers. During my senior year at Manchester, I interned with a CPA firm in my hometown of Fort Wayne. Looking back, that is essentially how my career began. Working with and learning from various mentors and professions, one opportunity led to the next involving accounting, business, consulting, education, nonprofits, and technology.
Students, I encourage you to either job shadow or seek out an internship at some point during your academic journey. The connections that you make help foster your professional network and open the doors for endless opportunities. Never burn any bridges. I certainly value the connections that I have made along the way.
Build a network of professional relationships and blend with confidence, optimism, and perseverance. Identify your passion and strengths, always strive to improve, and surround yourself with positive mentors with more talent to complement and learn.
At Concordia, all of these opportunities exist through the unwavering and dedicated support of coaches, faculty, and staff. As you see me in the halls, feel free to ask about my experiences from my years in business or higher education as a professor. My journey might help you, and I certainly love to share it! I also thoroughly enjoy making new connections! Prospective students, check out what Concordia has to offer.
Chief Financial Officer