Grad Profile: Alison Nelke

Alison Nelke is from Albany, Oregon and will be graduating with a bachelor’s in Business with an Accounting concentration, as well as a minor in History.

Why did you choose WOU?

I was recruited to play basketball for the women’s basketball team, and then I fell in love with the campus. WOU’s Business major with an Accounting concentration was the perfect fit for me, and I could still do a minor in History with all of the courses offered here. WOU is also 30 minutes from my hometown and close to the firm I have been working for the past few summers and springs.

What do you love most about WOU?

The class sizes are definitely something I enjoy. I like being able to know my professor and have that professor actually know my name by the end of the term.

What do you love most about the major/minors/degree you completed?

I love that I have no doubt in my mind how much I love accounting and want to become a CPA. The courses and professors have reinforced that for me. I am also extremely grateful for the upper division history classes and professors I have had. They have expanded my world view and framework of thinking in ways I will forever employ.

What have some of your extracurriculars been (student clubs, jobs, internships, etc.)? How did those impact your time on campus?

I was a captain and 4-year member of the WOU women’s basketball team. I also worked for the Athletic department to set up and run sports games. Since spring 2017 I have been a tutor specializing in accounting courses and study skills. Basketball dictated a large portion of my time on campus, but taught me incredible lessons in work ethic, leadership, conflict resolution, and time management. Being a tutor was an unexpected opportunity that helped me discover how much I enjoy teaching. I hope to one day become a professor after working in the accounting field. Tutoring at WOU showed me how fulfilling tutoring and teaching can be.

What has been your biggest achievement, success or accomplishment in college?

I was honored to be named the 2019 WOU Accounting Student of the Year by Anna Mahony.

Has there been a class or professor that has been particularly inspiring to you? Please tell us about it!

I cannot speak highly enough about Kathy Witwer (the Administrative Program Assistant) in the Business and Economics main office. She is the glue of the entire department. I have gone to her countless times with random questions and she always knows how to help me find the best solution. She is incredibly caring and thoughtful and makes every single student feel important and valued. Every department needs a Kathy, but I am unexplainably grateful to have had her as a go-to for these four years. She comes to so many campus activities too, I don’t know how she does it all.

What will you miss most about college?

Having my best girl friends as my roommates 🙂

What are your plans for after graduation?

Allison’s parents got her an Oregon stocking to accompany her WOU stocking for the Christmas after they knew she would be going to Oregon in fall 2019.

I will get my Masters of Accounting at the University of Oregon this fall and graduate in June 2020. I will also be getting married in December 2019 to a future Air Force pilot, and we will be moving to Oklahoma in 2020! After graduating from my master’ss, I plan to study for and take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam and hopefully pass by age 25. During this time, I will also be looking for an accounting related job with the goal of being a forensic accountant/auditor.

What advice do you have for current and future Wolves?

Please don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are confused! Utilize professor’s office hours, they are there to help you out. Don’t forget about all of the tutoring departments on campus. You get two free hours of tutoring per class per week in addition to the writing, math, and science centers!

What do you know now that you wish you knew your first term in college?

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness. It is a sign of understanding and a desire to learn and grow. Being able to articulate a question is an invaluable skill.

What is your favorite spot on campus and why?

Definitely Coach Metzgar’s (WOU Strength and Conditioning Coach for Athletics) weight room. She is one of the most incredible assets to this school and I feel blessed to have been able to train under her.

Did you have any funny mishaps or moments of confusion when you first started at WOU?

In my first term, we had weightlifting early in the mornings and then I had to go straight to my 8 am writing based class. I would be so tired by 10 am every morning that I would go back to my dorm, drink a cup of coffee, and then get up and go to practice at noon. I NEVER nap, so this was a new thing for me and I was so confused about what was going on. After my first term, I got more used to the mental and physical demands, but it still cracks me up to think about walking back to my dorm, being so tired that I could fall asleep after a huge cup of coffee, just to wake up and start working out again. I still haven’t done that coffee/nap duo since, seems so weird now!

What’s the most important lesson you learned about yourself while in college?

“Wherever you find strength, go where it is given.” -MoniNayo

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