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Feb 1, 2018

This INCPAS Scholar alum is mastering a full-time course load, academic volunteer roles, a night job as a hotel auditor and will soon be interning for Eli Lilly and Co.

Malayna Pottschmidt

Sophomore, Butler University

Majors: Accounting and Finance

Hometown: Fishers
Extracurricular Activities: President and treasurer of the Butler Off-Campus Student Organization, where we try to improve the lives of commuter students who often get lost in the shuffle, and an INCPAS Scholars Alumni Ambassador, where I connect with other accounting students on campus to spread awareness about INCPAS and promote the CPA designation.

Malayna Pottschmidt

What first got you interested in accounting?
I started by enjoying the problem-solving aspect of the work I was doing in my first accounting class in high school, then after joining the Scholars program my interest peaked. Meeting CPAs and hearing their own testimony regarding the profession encouraged me to solidify accounting as my major. When I realized every experience is different and that the possibilities within the profession are endless, I knew it was for me.

 

How did you get involved with the Scholars program?
I was class officer for the Academy of Finance business program at my high school. Nailah Owens-Johnson, a former Scholar and member of AoF, told me about the program. I figured trying out the Scholars program would get me connected with business professionals and give me some insight into the CPA profession, so I applied!



"I’ve always had a knack for dealing with money. Paying for college on your own is no small feat; I’ve been budgeting since I was in the 7th grade and always enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to stretch my dollar, earn more income, save as much as I can, and invest in myself."

What internships and jobs have you had so far?
I’ve been working full-time since I was 14-years-old, so the list of jobs would take a while! Currently, I work as a full-time night auditor for a local hotel. Working the graveyard shift and going to class is a lot, but worth it. I also work on campus as a student assistant manager for Butler’s Programs for Leadership and Service Education office. I am pleased to have received internship offers from both Eli Lilly and Company and the FBI. I also am honored to say I will be starting my finance internship at Eli Lilly and Company in the summer of 2018. Shout out to Alex Anglin and Evelyn Gil for being great mentors.



Why are you majoring in accounting and business?
This is a profession where the best of the best work. I thrive in environments where competition is strong and colleagues consistently challenge one another. I also enjoy the problem-solving aspect of business. I want to know the inner workings of a business and figure out what I can do to make it even better, whether that means a higher profit or more satisfied customers. Lastly, I’ve always had a knack for dealing with money. Paying for college on your own is no small feat; I’ve been budgeting since I was in the 7th grade and always enjoyed the challenge of figuring out how to stretch my dollar, earn more income, save as much as I can, and invest in myself.



What do you aim to do when you graduate? I plan on starting at either a Big Four firm or large international company such as Eli Lilly and Co. I’m also interested in forensic accounting, which I may specialize in eventually. The ultimate goal is to be a CFO of a Fortune 500 company. I want to make a genuine difference within a company whose mission I am passionate about, which can create positive change within the nation.

 

How did your Scholar mentor help you?
My Scholar mentor was Evelyn Gil, who is currently employed at Eli Lilly. Evelyn and I have a lot in common. She was a commuter at Butler who worked hard to be able to go to a big-ticket university. When I spoke with her, I felt like my aspirations were achievable. She connected me with key finance directors within Eli Lilly, which I’m truly grateful for.



What are your top tips for success in college?
First, learn how to manage your time effectively. Second, take care of your physical, mental and spiritual health. My mom always says, “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing.” She’s right! Third, be consistent. Consistency is key in every aspect of college. Go to class consistently. Keep constant communication with career and academic advisors. Regularly check your email and whichever website your university uses for assignments/grades. Study consistently so new information cannot escape your mind.



What do you think is the #1 skill needed to succeed at school and in the workplace?
Perseverance/drive. Too many people quit when the going gets tough. People who have tunnel vision and will work relentlessly to achieve their academic or career goals often do.



What do you do in you down time?
What’s down time? To be honest, I’m constantly going. I work night shifts (11 p.m.-8 a.m.), get off work, sleep for a couple hours, then go to class all day. On weekends I try to catch up on sleep, hangout with my cat, and go to church. If I get a couple hours, I watch Netflix. Ozark is the show I’m binge watching. Life is repetitive right now, but I know it’s worth it in the end.



How did the INCPAS Scholars program help prepare you overall?
The INCPAS Scholars program was instrumental in both my academic success and the formation of my career goals. Each event Ali Paul put together was purposeful. From the minute details of table etiquette to the broad topic of networking, the Scholars program increased my confidence in my future. After each event, I felt more knowledgeable regarding the accounting profession and the professional business environment. The INCPAS Scholars program allowed me to navigate my academic/professional course confidently. Without this program, I know I would not be as prepared. The information and skills I acquired through this program are invaluable.



About INCPAS Scholars
The only one of its kind nationwide, the INCPAS Scholars is an award-winning, free year-long program encourages students to consider becoming a CPA by meeting practicing CPAs, touring CPA firms and businesses that employ CPAs, and participating in events throughout the year to get immersed in the profession.



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    Elise-May
    About the Author

    Elise joined the Society as communications coordinator in 2013. Prior, she worked as communications and fundraising coordinator for Susan G. Komen Central Indiana and as a grant writer for Wishard Health Services.