Accountant Finds Way as a Leader

From start to finish, Wendi Davis was able to complete both her bachelor's and master's degrees entirely online through BVU. By combining accounting and organizational leadership, the alum is set to be a leader throughout her career.

Although a typical path for accountants to obtain the 150 credit-hour requirement to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam tends to be a master’s in accounting or business, Wendi Davis saw potential in a different route.

Davis thought a master’s in organizational leadership from Buena Vista University would not only provide the necessary credit hours, but it would also offer knowledge she could incorporate both as an individual and a team member in her position at the accounting firm Williams & Company in Sheldon.

“Every class I took in the organizational leadership program was very useful and taught me not only so much about who I am, but of the kind of people I want to work with and the type of company I want to work for,” says Davis.

“Ten years from now, no matter what industry I find myself in, I can carry what I’ve learned with me.” 

Wendi Davis

Davis started her journey at Northwest Iowa Community College and transferred to BVU after two years to complete her bachelor’s in accounting before beginning the graduate program. She was able to complete her entire college career online.

“A lot of people have mixed feelings about online classes, but the BVU online journey was very easy for me to navigate” says Davis. “All of my academic and financial aid advisors communicated well. Dr. Mary Gill (BVU’s Organizational Leadership Program Director) was great; I never felt like I wasn’t on campus.”

Davis described the classes as being a deep dive into different components of leadership, complemented by rich discussions. One of her favorite course topics was devoted to technology and devices. “We discussed how we are all using devices and not communicating effectively with them. The entire class was about reaching out to get a physical connection and not solely relying on devices and technology,” says Davis. “It taught me how technology affects the relationships you form with people at work and in life.”

When Davis’ company shifted to remote work during COVID-19, Davis used the processes she learned in class to help guide her coworkers through the transition. She believes these techniques brought her team together during the crisis.

Davis is now looking ahead, as she just applied for her CPA Exam. “I’ve applied for the first two exams; I feel like I’m back in school again with all the studying, but I’m excited.”

Between her bachelor’s in accounting and her master’s in organizational leadership from BVU, Davis is ready to take on this next step, and she says, “Ten years from now, no matter what industry I find myself in, I can carry what I’ve learned with me.”