Make The Connection

April 2, 2024 | By Cole Hatcher

A group of Ohio Wesleyan Accounting & Finance Fellows visit Washington, D.C., as part of a five-day travel-learning experience this spring. The students are, from left, Andrew Williamson '25, Gabi Dahllof '25, Brady West '25, Kory Kaiser '25, Malaika Sheri '25, and Anna Haines '26. (Photo by Mike Morgan)

OWU Dividends

Ohio Wesleyan Fellows Study Accounting, Finance During D.C. Trip

Gabi Dahllof '25
Kory Kaiser '25

Name: Gabi Dahllof '25
Hometown: Bear, Delaware
High School: Caravel Academy
Majors: Accounting and Psychology

Name: Kory Kaiser '25
Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio
High School: West Clermont High School
Majors: Accounting, Economics, and Finance

OWU Connection Experience: Visit to Washington, D.C., with the Accounting & Finance Fellows Program

Dahllof and Kaiser traveled to the nation's capital from March 10-14 with other students selected for OWU's Accounting & Finance Fellows Program, Anna Haines '26 of Blacklick, Ohio; Malaika Sheri '25 of Lahore, Pakistan; Brady West '25 of Dublin, Ohio; and Andrew Williamson '25 of Heath, Ohio. The students traveled with Destiny Coleman, administrative director of The Woltemade Center for Economics, Business and Entrepreneurship, and Emily West, assistant professor of Accounting. Kaiser says he considers West his faculty mentor, stating, "She's inspired my future career in accounting as well as helped me grow as a future accountant and as a young professional."

According to its mission, the Accounting & Finance Fellows Program (AFF) "empowers students to explore the wide range of careers available in the fields of accounting and finance, develop a unique awareness of current issues and ideas that shape the fields, cultivate a depth of knowledge on a specific and relevant topic within the fields, build their professional networks, and connect their studies and interests to the broader world through a travel-learning experience funded by The Woltemade Center."

During their trip, the six current Ohio Wesleyan students met with and learned from, among others, OWU alumni Tracie Winbigler '87 at AmTrak, Libby Norlander '22 at JP Morgan Chase & Co., Kristen Hajduk '05 at MicroStrategy, Ahmed Rashid '07 at KPMG, and Kiran Sitoula '98 at the IRS.

Favorite Moments

Dahllof: "I honestly loved walking around the city and taking the metro. D.C. is a really beautiful city, and there is an abundance of job opportunities. I honestly think one of my biggest takeaways from the trip is that I would love to live in D.C."

Kaiser: "My favorite part of the experience was getting to visit with the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants). It was a very informative experience, getting to learn more about how the career path of being a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is connected with the legislative process and how the AICPA lobbies on behalf of CPAs. After the meeting, they showed us the balcony at the office, where we got a gorgeous view of the White House lawn and the National Mall in the distance."

I think one of the coolest things to hear from all the professionals we met with is that, even after graduating college, you do not need to know what job you are going to end your life doing. It is OK to continue to figure that out in the workforce.

Gabi Dahllof '25

Lessons Learned

Dahllof: "I think one of the coolest things to hear from all the professionals we met with is that, even after graduating college, you do not need to know what job you are going to end your life doing. It is OK to continue to figure that out in the workforce. In every area, it is all about who you know. I think your reputation carries a long way. It is OK to change fields and occupations, but you should do so with honesty and respect."

Kaiser: "I learned that accountants play a lot larger role in the public sector than I had thought before. I learned how rewarding and fulfilling it can be to work in the public sector. I also learned that, no matter your major, you can carve whatever career path you desire as long as your desire is strong enough."

Campus Involvements

Dahllof: "Field Hockey and Athletes in Action"

Kaiser: "I am a member of the Ohio Wesleyan Cross Country and Track & Field teams. I am the president of the Ohio Wesleyan Athletic Council (OWAC), co-chair of the Economics and Business Student Board, and member of both the Economics and Business Fellows and Accounting & Finance Fellows programs."

Why Ohio Wesleyan?

Dahllof: "I chose to attend OWU mainly for the Field Hockey team. As a high schooler, I was very passionate about a lot but had no clear path, especially when it came to what to major in, or job goals to pursue. OWU, as a liberal arts school, offers a multitude of degrees, as well as an encouragement to test out many different fields. Because of this type of academic flexibility, I was allowed the privilege of allowing my love of the Field Hockey coaches and program to guide my decision without fear of lacking academically."

Kaiser: "I chose Ohio Wesleyan, in short, for the opportunities, the campus, and the people. The opportunities have allowed me to travel the world, from Australia, to New York City and now, Washington, D.C. It's allowed me to learn and grow in many ways. I loved the beauty and charm of Ohio Wesleyan and the Delaware community; it has felt like a home away from home. I also chose Ohio Wesleyan for the people, the Cross Country and Track coaches, the faculty of the Economics and Business Department, and my fellow students here at OWU."

Plans After Graduation

Dahllof: "After graduation, I am going to pursue my CPA, and hopefully work within the Accounting field. OWU's extensive alumni connections, as well as the AFF, are constantly helping me build my network so that I can find the job that would most fit after graduation."

Kaiser: "I plan to earn my CPA license and become an audit accountant. I'm interning with Ernst & Young this summer and am hopeful at the opportunity to jumpstart my career with that experience. Ohio Wesleyan and The Woltemade Center have helped me learn what the CPA exam is like, network with others, and start my career off in the accounting world, all through the Accounting & Finance Fellows Program. OWU has also given me a liberal arts education that will give me a unique perspective going into the professional world compared to those who went to other schools."