Emily Marlow’s switch to accounting paves path toward career
During the beginning of Emily Marlow’s (Accounting and Human Resources ’19) freshman year, problem-solving was always in the back of her mind. She initially came to the University of Northern Iowa as a biology major, but after her first semester, Marlow, who had taken and enjoyed a few years of accounting classes in high school, felt a pull back to number interpretation.
It was part the reason she chose UNI — if biology didn’t work out, she knew UNIBusiness had an impressive reputation, especially in accounting.
“That was in the back of my mind,” said Marlow, who grew up in the north-central Iowa town of Algona. “I knew that making the switch [to business] was something I might do, so if I did, I could still stay at UNI. Both of my parents work in business, so I’ve been around it and been interested in it.”
Marlow studied general business for the second semester of her freshman year before making the switch to accounting before her sophomore year.
The switch has paid off in a big way. Marlow has already worked three internships, one in her hometown and two at Deloitte in Minneapolis. In spring 2019, she plans to work with BerganKDV, a local firm. At UNI, Marlow is also the director of marketing for the UNI Accounting Club and serves as the treasurer for the UNI chapter of the National Society of Leadership and Success.
“It’s been great” studying accounting, she said. “The Accounting Club has been amazing as well, with how many connections we can make. We get to meet all of these different types of firms in Des Moines, the Cedar Valley and even Minneapolis.”
Those connections helped Marlow get an internship at Deloitte in Minneapolis in summer 2017, when she worked as a pioneer intern. She rotated through a variety of different areas at the organization. In summer 2018, she returned to Deloitte and worked three weeks in audit and another three weeks in tax. Deloitte also flew her to Atlanta and Dallas to learn and network with interns and accountants from all over the nation.
“It was an incredible experience,” she said. “To go to Minneapolis and get a bigger-city feel as compared to small-town Iowa was fun. It was amazing to learn and dive right into the day-to-day of big-four public accounting. You just try and soak up as much information as you can.”
Marlow plans to graduate in December 2019 and finish the certified public accounting exam in spring 2020. She wants to start her career in public accounting but may operate her own tax practice someday.
“I just think public accounting is such a great place to start because you have so many opportunities,” Marlow said. “I plan on staying there, but eventually I think it would be cool to have my own practice or maybe go into different industries. I’m pretty open.”