Written by Dana Krems
Brittany Greuel, a senior accounting major at the UW-Whitewater College of Business and Economics, was awarded the 2019 Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants Accounting Student Award at the WICPA Member Recognition Banquet and Annual Business Meeting held Thursday, May 9 in Waukesha.
The Accounting Student Award is one of 10 annual Excellence Awards that celebrate WICPA members for their achievements. This award recognizes a college accounting student for their commitment to success in the accounting field. Recipients have demonstrated leadership skills, involvement in an accounting or business club, and contributions to the community.
The honor also epitomizes the drive Brittany has demonstrated.
She shared, “I have always had the willingness to learn and the determination to succeed. The WICPA Accounting Student Award is validation that my hard work and dedication have paid off, and it serves as motivation to continue finding opportunities to learn and grow. I am pleased to represent the next generation of young professionals.”
Accounting Department Chair D’Arcy Becker summarized Brittany’s success, saying, “Brittany is an excellent student who has taken full advantage of the opportunities that the UW-Whitewater accounting program provides its students. She has developed into an excellent leader through her participation in Beta Alpha Psi and has represented our program by winning numerous scholarships. We are very proud of Brittany.”
Among the other achievements D’Arcy referred to, Brittany was one of 72 students selected to compete in the Project Run With It international case competition at the 2018 Beta Alpha Psi meeting in Washington, D.C., and her team won first place. And in the past year alone, she has earned several noteworthy scholarships, including a $10,000 Public Company Accounting Oversight Board scholarship, a $2,500 WICPA scholarship, a $1,000 scholarship from Deloitte, and a $1,000 Dr. Carol A. Cartwright Women in Leadership scholarship through UW-Whitewater.
Brittany’s transformation to student leader did not occur overnight, however.
She said, “Getting to this point in my life has been a progression, with each experience building on the last. As a freshman, I was shy and reserved. I joined the International Business Club and went on a trip to New York. That experience gave me the confidence I needed to become a peer mentor. From this, I gained the confidence to pledge Beta Alpha Psi and run for the executive board, and to later participate in the Accounting Matching Program where I was offered an internship with Deloitte. Now, I’m the WICPA Student Excellence Award winner and am starting a full-time position at Deloitte in 2020 after graduation. It has been quite a journey.”
Brittany added, “While I have taken advantage of many incredible opportunities at UW-Whitewater, the experience that stands out is my involvement in Beta Alpha Psi. Being part of this organization and working with faculty adviser Susanna Pendergast has been amazing. She mentors students to become leaders, and finds skills and talents they don’t know they have. I became chapter president with her guidance, and I successfully led the chapter with her support. I cannot thank this organization and Susanna enough. My involvement in Beta Alpha Psi has opened a lot of doors for me, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Beta Alpha Psi adviser Susanna Pendergast expressed her pride, saying, “She is truly an exceptional person. Her hard work, initiative, and perseverance are virtually unmatched, and her potential to achieve is unlimited. There is no doubt in my mind that one person can make a difference, and Brittany proves that every day.”
Brittany’s advice to other students reflects the path of her achievements.
She stressed, “Get involved and don’t be afraid to step outside of your comfort zone, because that’s where growth occurs. Treat every opportunity as a chance to better yourself, and give it 100 percent.”
In the months ahead, she plans to travel, work toward CPA licensure, attend employee training at Deloitte University, and complete the classes needed for her second major in Information Technology.