After graduating from the University of Illinois at Chicago with a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Psychology and Spanish, Hannika Schleebs Miller admitted to feeling a little lost.
“I was trying to find my niche,” she said. “What initially attracted me to the business world was its ability to be an international language. Having a business degree is translatable to so many different areas of work, as well as to other countries, which was very important to me. Even if it had turned out that business was not the correct niche for me, I think everyone can benefit from taking business classes. They prepare you so well not only for a successful career but also for life.”
Miller had taken one summer class at College of DuPage while attending UIC and was impressed with the teacher. Deciding to return to College of DuPage, she has since finished classes in business, management, economics and accounting as well as completing the Advanced Accounting Certificate and graduating with high honors.
“Since that first class at COD, I truly enjoyed every teacher I had,” she said. “Each one is so passionate about their work and seems to genuinely care for their students and their success. It’s a nice change from the 500-people lecture halls where you never even get to meet your professor.
“Besides the great education it offers in the classroom, COD has great networking potential. Since there is such a diverse group of students in regards to age and career, you never know who is sitting next to you in a class or how they can help you network your career. Personally, the teachers are so great to talk to regarding your goals. They have professional experience in the fields they are teaching so they’re always a great source for information. The combination of so many excellent resources, the diverse student population and the knowledgeable teachers are all helping me toward reaching my goals.”
After finishing her coursework, Miller accepted a position with RSM US LLP in Chicago as an audit associate and then was promoted to senior audit associate in the health care industry. She now works as a project accountant II at Power Construction, one of the largest general contractors in Chicago, as part of the Workplace Group division, which specializes in gutting and renovating existing office spaces and luxury residence projects.
Miller would eventually like to enroll in an MBA program. She considers herself fortunate to have found the accounting and business classes at College of DuPage.
“If I could give any advice to future accounting and business students at COD, it would be to take the leap and enroll in these fantastic classes,” she said. “Even if you don’t see yourself in a business profession later on, the knowledge that you’ll learn from these classes will be worth it, because it not only applies to the business world but to every other profession as well. The skills that you’ll learn in these classes will travel with you and be utilized in every other aspect of your future career and education.
“College of DuPage is a great place to learn and grow. As a post-baccalaureate, I was at a complete loss for what to do with my life. I am so grateful for people like Accounting Professor Maureen McBeth and all the teachers I’ve had at COD for helping me get on the right track. I have enjoyed all the time I’ve had to learn from these great people. I’m so excited to be able to use all the knowledge and skills I’ve learned from COD and to start putting them into real-life practice.
“For anyone considering these programs, I strongly suggest you come and see what the COD Business/Management/Marketing and Accounting programs are like. I’m positive you will not regret the decision.”