By the Numbers

Student Cassie Hanshaw launching career in accounting

When she arrived at Wright State as a freshman, Cassie Hanshaw was undecided about a major. That didn’t last long.

In a career-planning class she took the first quarter, she took a series of personality tests. The results pointed the way.

After she graduates, Cassie Hanshaw will take a job in Columbus with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, one of the Big Four auditors along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

“I’m a very analytical person,” Hanshaw said. “I’m a to-do-list kind of a person; I like to get things done, get it off the list and move on.”

Hanshaw, who had always liked math, discovered she liked business as well.

“So you put math and business together, you get finance and accounting,” she said. “I declared finance first and added the dual major of accounting because it is a fairly easy thing to dual-major in.”

Today, Hanshaw is working on her master’s degree at the Raj Soin College of Business, serves as a graduate assistant and has an auditing job waiting for her at a well-known accounting firm in Columbus, Ohio, after graduation in May.

Hanshaw, who grew up in nearby Beavercreek, chose Wright State because it was nearby and offered a quality, affordable education.

When she was an undergrad, she discovered that auditing was one of her favorite classes and set her on her career path.

“In external auditing, you work with many different clients so I would be working with different businesses,” she said. “And even though I’m an accountant who likes to do things by a list, I enjoy some diversity and I enjoy getting to work with different people and on different projects.”

As an undergrad, Hanshaw was heavily involved in Beta Alpha Psi, an international honors business fraternity for accounting, finance and information systems students and professionals. The fraternity provides opportunities to develop professional skills and participate in community service. And it enabled Hanshaw to meet with accounting and finance professionals in the area.

“That ability to network at such a young stage in an undergraduate degree is crucial to the success of a graduate,” she said. “I was able to meet with people I later interviewed with; I was able to obtain an internship and gained experience and knowledge from professionals in the working world versus just in the academic setting.”

Hanshaw interned in Miamisburg at NewPage Corp., a leading producer of printing and specialty papers in North America. She worked in the internal audit and corporate tax departments.

“I really loved the experience I gained in both departments … and learning what it means to be an auditor in an actual setting within an actual company and learning skills that you wouldn’t get from a textbook or a professor on campus,” she said.

Hanshaw won a scholarship from the Finance Department her junior year and a scholarship from the Accountancy Department in her senior year. Then she was selected to be a graduate assistant as a master’s student, a high honor.

“Throughout all my years I’ve been here, I’ve always felt like I was not one of many, but a student who could excel in the program and be recognized for that,” she said.

Hanshaw said the master’s program at Wright State has enabled her to apply the learning she got as an undergrad and focus more on cases involving real companies and real situations.

When she is not crunching numbers, Hanshaw enjoys playing soccer. (She began playing when she was 6 years old and still fantasizes about being a professional soccer player.)

After she graduates, Hanshaw will take a job in Columbus with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, one of the Big Four auditors along with Deloitte, Ernst & Young and KPMG.

PricewaterhouseCoopers has offices in 776 cities across 159 countries and employs more than 180,000 workers.

“I’ll be working in the assurance practice, meaning I’ll be an external auditor with them,” she said. “I’m excited, very excited at the opportunity and excited to start my career in something that will make these five years at Wright State and getting a master’s worth it.”

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