When Heidi Becker arrived at Winona State University in the fall of 2010, she knew what she wanted and she knew how to get it.
The Cedar, Minn., native was already on the fast-track when she enrolled at WSU, and thanks to her hard work, dedication and the 46 PSEO credits she transferred in, Becker will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting after only three short years at WSU.
Furthermore, Becker, 21, already has a job lined up as a full-time audit associate with Grant Thornton, the Minneapolis accounting and consulting firm at which she completed an internship in spring 2013.
“I am proud to graduate from WSU knowing that I worked incredibly hard and put my all into graduating with a degree from a well-established university,” Becker said. “I’m proud to have called Winona home for the better part of the past three years.”
Becker’s favorite part of the WSU experience is the feeling of community. It’s nearly impossible to walk through campus without spotting a friendly face in the crowd, she said, which makes her realize she did not make this journey alone.
Becker credits professor John Morgan’s teaching style and attitude towards his students as the reason she became an accounting major.
“I was so fortunate to have selected him as my first accounting professor during the freshman registration process,” Becker said.
Morgan said Becker was hard-working, bright and always positive.
“Heidi was that ideal student teachers always hope to have,” Morgan said. “To have been able to serve as one of her teachers was a joy. I am not surprised by her success.”
While at WSU, Becker threw herself into the campus environment. She served as an orientation leader to both incoming transfer students and freshmen in the fall of 2011 and 2012.
“I loved being able to pass on what I had learned to the new students,” Becker said.
She became a member of Delta Sigma Pi, a co-ed international professional business fraternity, in spring 2012 and was elected to the Brotherhood Chair position only one semester after pledging.
Becker was also an invaluable member of the University Communications team. Some of her fondest memories include time in the office working with the other student writers, writing press releases during time crunches, updating the events calendar and WSU website, and planning the annual Santa Event.
And her advice for her peers?
Becker said it is absolutely necessary for students to become immersed in the campus community as soon as possible. She suggests signing up for a club or organization that sounds appealing or attending community events advertised on the campus or coffee shop bulletin boards.
“Put yourself out there,” Becker said. “Try things you wouldn’t ordinarily try. Allow yourself to make more live-in-the-moment memories.”
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