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Scholarship winner finds inspiration through accounting and dance

Written on May 1, 2020
By Jessica Salerno, OSCPA senior content manager

Many people consider themselves lucky to find one passion in life, but one Ohio Wesleyan University student has found two: dance and accounting.

“I really love dance and was blown away that it was an option as a major, because not many colleges have that,” said Kiersten Bender. “Initially, my plan was to own my own dance studio, and having an accounting background would help me with that.”

Bender is a senior and double major in both accounting and dance. After beginning undergrad undecided, Bender said she “fell in love” with accounting principles after taking a few introductory classes.

“I've always been a huge fan of numbers, and math was always my absolute favorite subject growing up,” she said. “I really like the detail-oriented side of the different tasks. And I think what I love most about accounting is there is a structure to how you get your numbers.”

In addition to her double major, Bender is treasurer of the Alpha Rho Chapter of Delta Zeta, vice president of OWURhythms, president of Terpsicorps, a student choreographer and an accounting fellow.

She said having an active schedule helped her develop as a person, and said she always planned on being involved in activities outside of her coursework in college. She also plans to eventually earn her CPA.

“Doing anything I do, I like to do it to the best of my abilities,” she said. “And as a CPA, it’s a high level of achievement of what you're trying to make of your career.”

Bender learned about OSCPA’s student program from her aunt, herself a CPA and OSCPA member. Through the student program Kiersten was able to attend the Women, Wealth & Wellness Conference in June on behalf of The Ohio CPA Foundation and while there, received a $500 scholarship from Schneider Downs.

“The scholarship definitely blew me away,” she said. “I was not prepared for this generosity, and it was all a really amazing experience.”

After graduation Bender will intern at Schneider Downs and then start preparing for the CPA exam. Although she’s decided to focus on the accounting profession and put the plan of owning a dance studio on hold, she said she felt inspired by the women’s conference and what her future could bring.

“It was really nice to see powerful women that have gone far in the profession,” she said. “It made me think maybe one day I could go that far.”

Learn more about programs The Ohio CPA Foundation offers. And for help with studying for the CPA exam, visit our exam review resource page.