My business classes focused on real-world issues

NAME: Maddie Ellingson
HOMETOWN: Waukon, Iowa 
MAJOR: Accounting
CAMPUS INVOLVEMENT: Wartburg Choir, Student Senate Administrative Ombudsperson and Academics Policies Committee Adviser  

HOW DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR MAJOR: In high school, I had a really awesome accounting teacher. I’m super blessed and thankful to have had that experience because not a lot of high schools even have a business department. Accounting is something that you either love it or you hate it. I just happen to be someone who loved it and I was really good at it. I was also in my high school’s Future Business Leaders of America where I competed in the accounting and business competitions and did really well. It’s crazy to think if I didn’t have that one teacher, I may not have pursued this field.

WHAT SORT OF WORK DO YOU HOPE TO DO IN THE ACCOUNTING FIELD: I hope to be working for a company or firm that has a distinct purpose or goal to have a positive impact on society. I hope to work on projects that have a real influence on the world. I am currently in the final interview stages with BAE Systems, which is an aerospace company that plays a large hand in the defense of the United States. Working for this company would be incredible as I would know that the work I am doing has a greater purpose.  

Maddie Ellingson

HOW HAS WARTBURG PREPARED YOU FOR THE NEXT STEP: Something I appreciate about the Warburg Department of Business specifically is that a lot of our classes are real-world focused. I find this very consistent in all the classes I’ve taken whether it’s economics, management, marketing, or all my accounting and finance classes. We’ll learn about a specific concept and then we’ll be given a real-world example that we can apply the concept to. That has really set me up for success. I’ve been able to go to my internships and apply those things to where I’m working.

WHAT INTERNSHIPS OR EXPERIENCES HAVE YOU HAD AS A STUDENT: Over the summer I was an accounting and legal intern at Schumacher Elevator Company in Denver, Iowa. I got to do a lot of basic daily accounting tasks and financial analysis, and then I also got to work in Human Resources a little bit. I got to work on some policy writing and contract editing. That was a super great experience. Currently, I work in the Business Office under Justin Crouse, who’s the head of financial reporting. It’s been really awesome working there because I get to see how the institution is run. I mostly do reconciliations and interdepartmental charges, but I’ve also gotten to analyze the institutional budget and help with some audit preparation, so it’s been super cool.

HOW HAVE YOU EMBODIED THE WARTBURG PILLARS ON CAMPUS: I think I’ve most embodied leadership as I’ve been involved in Senate during the entirety of my time as Wartburg. I got to be a part of some really cool projects and accomplishments. During COVID, we were able to implement extra mental health days for students. Last year, we made some important revisions to the bylaws of Student Senate to make things run a little bit more smoothly. This year, as a member of the executive team, I’ve had a really interesting position where I’ve gotten more involved with faculty and staff. I’ve gotten to see a little more behind the scenes of the way policies get passed and the things that faculty are doing to implement changes and address student concerns. Overall, I am proud of the leadership that I have displayed while at Wartburg.

WHAT IS ONE MEMORY YOUR WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER FROM YOUR YEARS HERE: A memory that I will never forget is definitely the Wartburg Choir National Tour last year. Traveling from Cedar Rapids to New York City in one week while performing every night in various cities was such a whirlwind of experiences. I made some incredible memories with my most favorite people and learned a lot about myself in the process. It was very impactful to be able to share our music with people all across the country. I am so excited to continue this work during out International Tour this May Term.

HOW HAS BEING A PART OF THE WARTBURG CHOIR SHAPED YOUR EXPERIENCE AS A STUDENT: Choir has had the biggest impact on me as an individual while at Wartburg. I hated choir in high school. I really only did it because I was good at it and because people told me I should do it. I ended up auditioning for the choir here, but still treated it like an obligation. I would show up to sing the songs and then leave. But I eventually got connected to the people who were around me, and I started to have an appreciation for the work that we were doing. I started to see value in the time that I was spending there. It’s definitely helped me see purpose in my work and I am so proud of what we have achieved as a choir. 

WHAT ACHIEVEMENT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR TIME AT WARTBURG: Being awarded the Outstanding Senior Award is something I’m really proud of. This is something I’ strove to achieve since my freshman year. But also, I think my personal development is something I’m very proud of. I’ve really found myself at Wartburg, which is never something I thought I would say. I’ve honed in on my personal values and who I view myself as, and who I want other people to view me as. My freshman year, I spent a lot of time by myself as I tend to be more introverted. I’m not one to go out and meet people unless I absolutely have to, so it became super easy for me to just go to class by myself and eat meals on my own. However, I eventually broke out of my shell, found my people, and determined who I truly am and what I am capable of. I am much more secure in my identity and am so thankful that my experience at Wartburg challenged me to accomplish this.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT OR FUTURE STUDENTS: I came into college very much with one goal: to get my degree in order to get a job while spending the least amount of money and time as possible. But I want to advocate for the idea that there’s more to college than just a degree as a means to an end. College is an interesting time in your life where you can assess who you are as a person and decide who you want to be so. I highly encourage everyone to take this time to figure out exactly who you want to be. Not only in your education and career, but as a person with ideas and values who can make a real impact on the world.