Ever since seventh grade, Heather Key knew she wanted to major in accounting. As a native North Carolinian who grew up less than 30 miles from campus, she found Wake Forest to be just far enough away to enjoy her time away from home.
“The prestige of the accounting program at Wake Forest and that it was close enough to home, but still far enough away to get a college experience drew me here,” Key said.
During her time at Wake Forest, Key served as a Resident Advisor for first year students and because of this has actually lived in Collins for three of her four years at Wake Forest. “I’ve loved my job working with first-year students and the pure excitement and confusion they have,” Key said. “It has kept me feeling oblivious to graduation because I live with first-year students all of the time.”
During the first half of the spring semester, senior accounting students do not take regular classes and have an internship. Key worked with Dixon Hugh Goodman as an audit intern.
“It was eye-opening to the college schedule,” Key said. “Now, I don’t have class until 12:30 p.m., but with work I would have to sometimes commute an hour and wake up at 6 a.m. some mornings. Also, just realizing how much free time you have as a college student made me appreciate my one year left for graduate school.”
Due to the rigor of the accountancy program, Key studied Organizational Behavior abroad during the summer of 2015 in Vienna, Austria with Dr. Holly Brower.
“She strives to understand concepts and to integrate them in a meaningful way so that she can apply them with understanding,” Brower said. “Even more, though, Heather is a person who will impact others in whatever situation she finds herself. She is almost naturally committed to mentoring others.”
Additionally, Key noted that her tougher classes were actually not the accounting courses required for her major.
“The most challenging courses were the non-accounting ones, like BEM, that required more creative thinking,” Key said. “It was stuff that you didn’t think you would need as an accountant, when in reality you do.”
While those courses were tougher for her, she appreciated the variety of courses offered to her in the business school.
“I feel like I have learned a lot through internships, class work and even the BEM courses that put a broader scope on things,” Key said.
She is also proud of the work she did alongside a team of other students in the Deloitte Battle of the Belt Case competition last year.
Key’s team was one of two selected to travel to Washington D.C. to present a new case for the competition. Even though they did not win, Key is proud of her team and happy with the experience.
“I was really excited about that accomplishment and proud of my team in working together to come up with a professional presentation and idea,” Key said.
Key will be at Wake Forest for another year, getting her Master of Science in Accountancy (MSA) through the business school. She will also be in Winston-Salem this summer working as a teaching assistant with Dr. Cianci for Accounting 111.
After finishing her MSA and taking the CPA, Key wants to take a month and travel before entering the workforce.