In an office overlooking the Indiana War Memorial in downtown Indianapolis, Nanette Schulze, MSA’10, CPA, remembers the phone call that changed her life trajectory.
“I was working late and sitting at my desk,” she said. “I was about to finally leave work, and then I received a text.”
It was from a friend she’d met while enrolled in the Kelley MSA Program at IUPUI.
“When I called Brian back, I remember him asking, ‘So, what’s going on?’”
Nan replied, “Well, I hope you’re calling me with a better job that pays more money and doesn’t require as many late nights.”
In fact — Brian was calling about such a job.
“I remember that moment like it was yesterday,” Nan says.
Just days after Brian’s impromptu call, Nan interviewed at La Rosa & Co., LLC—a local public accounting firm. She was promptly hired as a staff accountant: her dream job.
While Nan has earned everything she’s received, she says the relationships she developed at Kelley have been a game-changer for her career.
“The reason I’m currently working my dream job, at a wonderful company, is because of my networking at Kelley,” Nan says. “Fifteen years ago, I never would have dreamt I’d be working this job. Honestly, it’s more ambitious than I could have ever hoped for.”
Nan says the Kelley MSA at IUPUI offers ample opportunities to meet professionals from a wide variety of backgrounds. While students have many chances to work alongside distinguished alumni and faculty, Nan says she gained some of her most valuable networking opportunities—and lifelong friendships with classmates—through the Graduate Accounting Student Board.
Today, Nan is a senior accountant at her company.
“I’m proof there’s no limit on what you can do if you just suit up and show up.”
More from Nan:
Kelley Biz Blog: Tell us about your experience at the Kelley School and IUPUI. Why did you choose to get your MSA (Masters of Science in Accounting)?
Nan Schulze: The MSA program at the Kelley School in Indianapolis took me directly from my non-business bachelor’s degree to CPA in record time. The reputation of the Kelley School is known world-wide and the Indianapolis campus offers a full-bodied experience that met my needs as a returning non-traditional student. The support I received from the Graduate Accounting Program staff and professors was an integral part of my success. As an officer of the Graduate Accounting Student Board, I was given additional opportunities to interact with my fellow students, teachers, accounting professionals and recruiters who are an important part of the Kelley program.
Do you have a “Kelley moment?”
Nan: My goal was to become a Certified Public Accountant and the Kelley School knew exactly how to make that dream a reality. My first Kelley moment was receiving the MSA Leadership award at my graduation. At that moment, I realized that I had put in the time, the hard work and the effort, but the Kelley School had made the journey from my first informational meeting to receiving my degree and that award effortless. I knew there was no limit to the success I could achieve by accepting my place as a proud Kelley Alumni.
My second Kelley moment came on the day I received the offer for my dream job, as a CPA at La Rosa & Co., LLC: a firm in downtown Indianapolis with an office overlooking the World War Memorial. This was a job for which I had been referred by a fellow Kelley grad. Five years later, I am continuing to have Kelley moments: Returning as an alum to speak with the incoming MSA and MST students at their orientation and continuing to develop those relationships every year by coordinating with the Graduate Accounting Student Board to volunteer for the Indiana CPA Society Annual Day of Service. For the past two years we have also been fortunate to work with Greater Indy Habitat for Humanity.
Why did you choose to give back to Kelley?
Nan: I was very fortunate during my master’s studies to be the recipient of what I like to think of as grace – through an odd set of circumstances, part of my tuition was paid for. Rather than worry about how I was going to pay for school or how much my loans were going to be when I was done, I was given the opportunity to focus on my studies. I knew then that I would pay it forward – when I was done with school, I would make it my next goal to do for someone else what was done for me.
What has it meant to you to give back?
Nan: Initially, I was intimidated by the whole idea of setting up a scholarship – I mean who does that? I don’t have that kind of money! But when I met someone from the Kelley School of Business Development department at a lunch meeting, I became inspired to ask some questions.
What would it really take to do this? How does this work? How much money DOES it take?
The answers were 1) All it takes is willingness, 2) It can be any amount you like and 3) It feels AMAZING! I named the scholarship after my dad, Douglas Edward Fischer, whose military service contributed to my educational opportunities and because it did feel a little too weird to name it after myself.
Right now I am doing a set amount each year that fits in my budget, but I intend to increase that amount yearly until I am able to fund an endowed scholarship.
Do you have any advice for current students?
Nan: Dream big! The people here at the Kelley School are completely invested in your success. Take advantage of what they’re offering. If there’s something you want to do and don’t know how – ask!
And if you’re planning on sitting for the CPA exam – here’s my advice. Take a year – shut down as much of the outside world as you possibly can. It’s so different from studying for and taking college exams. Really commit to spend 110% of your time for that one year to doing the work and pass that exam the first time through. I know it can be done because I did it. Once you pass – you have the rest of your life to make up for all of those missed Friday nights and weekends.