Mikayla Vander Heiden is a senior, double majoring in accounting and business management and is originally from Winterset, IA.
After studying at Des Moines Area Community College for two years, Vander Heiden decided Simpson would be her home for the last two years of her undergraduate degree.
“Once I got to DMACC, I just really enjoyed my small class sizes and the small campus community. I knew I wanted to go to a smaller school,” Vander Heiden said. “And then, once I toured Simpson, I just fell in love with it.”
Despite being a transfer student, Vander Heiden maximized her experience on campus and got involved.
“It was a little difficult at first coming in as a transfer. Being new, all my class already knew each other,” she said, “but, everyone here was extremely welcoming and wanted to push me to succeed.”
Vander Heiden credits professors Mark Juffernbruch, Shane Cox and Kelly Swinton, along with Dawn Barnes and the Career Development office, for helping her prepare for life outside of college.
“I would say that my classes here at Simpson did a really great job,” Vander Heiden said. “Not only preparing me major-wise—like making sure that I knew the information that I’m going to need to sit for the CPA exam and be knowledgeable in my career—but also helping me with the steps to get there.”
Outside of academics, Vander Heiden is a student ambassador for admissions, the transfer recruitment undergraduate assistant, president of the accounting club, a career peer and is involved with the Religious Life Community.
Her advice to underclassmen is simply to get involved.
“Get involved in whatever your niche is on campus–whether it’s your major, a sport that you’re in–just get involved and use all the resources that are provided to you,” she said.
After graduating in May, Vander Heiden plans on sitting for the CPA exam and going into agriculture tax accounting.