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Erika Wheeler

Erica Wheeler

K-State graduation year: May 2013 
Degree: B.S. Business Administration – Accounting 
Current employer: Ernst & Young LLP
Position: Audit Staff

 

Describe the process of choosing your major.

I was “open option” until the end of my sophomore year, when I decided to major in accounting. I had taken one accounting class and enjoyed the material. Additionally, the job market for accountants was and still is great.

What activities/organizations were you involved in while in college?

Beta Alpha Psi

Did you complete an internship or have related work experience prior to receiving your job?

Yes, I interned at a small company in Manhattan, where I essentially job shadowed the accounting department.

Describe the process of finding your first job.

At first, I applied to many jobs across many different industries. After I eventually narrowed my search down to public accounting jobs, I focused on learning as much as I could about the industry through networking events, Beta Alpha Psi presentations, etc.

Briefly describe a typical day at your job.

There is not a typical day in public accounting. I’ll be out of town on a client one day, and the next day I’ll be working from home. It just depends on the day.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy the experience. It is very challenging, yet rewarding.

What are the most challenging aspects of your job?

The two most challenging aspects of my job are the intense hours and the traveling. It is difficult being away from home so often.

What advice would you give someone interested in your field?

Public accounting is a great place to start a career. I imagine that no other entry-level job will give you as much responsibility as you will have in public accounting. The technical skills you will learn in public accounting will benefit you tremendously as you move along your desired career path.

What was the one thing you did in college that has had the most impact on your life or career?

There were many things. I studied abroad, participated in the executive mentor program, and was active in Beta Alpha Psi. All three of those things greatly impacted my life.

What tips do you have for current undergrads about opportunities they should definitely take advantage of while they are in school?

If you have any interest in studying abroad, do it. I studied in Italy one summer and it was the best time of my life. Also, take advantage of the resources (career fairs, organizations, faculty, etc.) you are given at K-State.

Was there a specific person in college who had a significant impact on your life or career?

My mentor that I met through the Executive Mentor program has greatly influenced my life. She has been the biggest supporter of my long-term career plans.