Emily Sheldon

Manager, BT&Co

CIMBA, 2008

Following A Star of Change

All of our CIMBA graduates, both MBA and undergrads, may well remember the Star of Change from their LIFE training. This person might not be the loudest or even most confident even at the end of the training, but what they are is even more inspiring. They are the one who changes the most throughout the LIFE. We see them come into their own so to speak, and they inspire us to pursue our own growth more passionately. So what happens to these stars of change after LIFE? After they leave CIMBA?

We are thrilled to share with you a Star of Change update from the undergraduate class of fall 2008: Emily Sheldon! She graduated with a Bachelor and a Master of Accounting degree from the University of Kansas. After passing all four sections of the Uniform CPA Examination on her first attempt, she worked as a staff auditor with Berberich Trahan & Co. P.A. (BT&Co.). Five years have passed, and she is now a manager in the audit department at BT&Co, specializing in governmental and nonprofit industries.

What inspires you?

Passion inspires me. You can always spot a person who is passionate about what they do (whether as a career or as a hobby) from a mile away. I want to inspire others the way that those people inspire me!

What was your favorite moment in the CIMBA Program?

One day, a group of us students decided to hike up Mount Grappa, a mountain that overlooks CIMBA’s campus in Paderno del Grappa. The scenery was breathtaking. Halfway up the trail, I began to fall behind the rest of the group from the strain of the hike. While heaving and hawing, I paused, wondering if I should descend. However, I knew this may be my only chance to hike an Italian mountain, and with renewed determination, I continued. After making it further up the trail, I met back up with my fellow student. Together, we successfully completed the hike. When we reached the summit, one of my peers told me she was inspired by my perseverance. I realized then how important it is to always move forward for both yourself and for everyone around you. You never know who is looking up to you!

What are some of the things that changed your way of thinking?

The key word for my CIMBA program experience was “self-awareness.”

One of the most impactful experiences that I had at CIMBA was the Leadership Initiative for Excellence (LIFE) Program. The LIFE program helped me to gain a deeper understanding of myself and allowed me to build my self-confidence. When I started the program, I was demure and averse to public speaking and networking. By the end of the program, I gained tremendous confidence in myself with the help of the CIMBA staff and my peers. My public speaking and networking skills were greatly enhanced.

Additionally, the travelling opportunities allowed within the CIMBA program allowed me to take a week to travel across Italy on my own. It was an empowering experience that allowed me to build my self-confidence.

What advice would you give to a current or perspective students?

The CIMBA program is all about the experience. Take every opportunity that is given to you! Travel, and, as CIMBA staff said, get lost! Those challenges that you face are the circumstances that can cause you to grow the most!

Can you share a dream/future goal?

In the short term, my goal is to become a Certified Fraud Examiner. In the long term, my goal is to become a director at BT&Co.

I dream of returning to Italy in the future with my husband, so he can experience the beautiful sights and remarkable culture that Italy (and Europe as a whole) has to offer.