Kelli Greiner ’17 – Quality Education, Student-Athlete, Ernst & Young Intern, Real Italian Spaghetti and Meatballs, and a Dream Job

They say you can’t have your cake and eat it too. What about in your college experience? Some think there always has to be a trade-off. There’s no way you can get a quality education, participate in sports, land competitive internships and study abroad.

But at Simpson, Kelli Greiner ’17 did all that and more, thanks to some encouragement from her parents.

“My dad pushed me towards small schools because he went to a small school and he believes that you get more out of attending a small school since you can be involved in so many things,” she said.

Kelli’s dad was exactly right. While remaining dedicated to her studies, Kelli spent much of her time on other commitments. For all four years at Simpson, she was a member of the women’s tennis team.

“Being a student-athlete instilled in me right away the importance of time management,” she said. “I had to utilize every free minute to do homework during tennis season because of all the extra time commitments.”

Those time management skills came in handy as her schedule became more and more packed with opportunities. For three years, Kelli was the management supplemental instructor, hosting study sessions for students and helping them understand difficult material. On top of all this, she served as a student ambassador in the admissions office for four years, working hands-on with students considering Simpson.

“It has let me share my Simpson experience with prospective students while also improving my public speaking skills,” she said. “Going up and talking to strangers was never easy for me so this job took me out of my comfort zone and made me a better communicator.”

Despite all this, Kelli still had time to study abroad in Italy during May term, learning about innovative business there. But one thing stood out above the rest from the trip.

“I was able to experience real Italian spaghetti and meatballs,” Kelli said. “People are not lying when they say that there is nothing better than real Italian cuisine!”

With all these things going for her, Kelli quickly felt at home at Simpson.

“I had wonderful friends, a great job, and relationships with many professors in and out of my major. I could not imagine attending a different school,” she said.

All the while, Kelli kept her future in mind. During her freshman year, she job shadowed at Ernst & Young in Des Moines, an experience that solidified her path in accounting. The next summer, she participated in EY’s summer leadership conference, where she was one of 12 and the only one from a small school.

“I think that set me apart from everyone else,” she said. “A couple of days later I was asked to come back to interview for an internship position. During those interviews all of them talked about my experience as a student-athlete, I think that is another aspect that set me apart from other applicants.”

Lo and behold, she was offered an internship that she would complete during her junior year. EY was so impressed with Kelli’s work that they offered her a full-time position after graduation on her last day.

“I am excited to start my career at my dream job. I do not think this would have been possible had I not gone to Simpson and made connections through that initial job shadow,” she said.

So can you have your college cake and eat it too? If you ask Kelli, you can have all that and more.

“I had an amazing college experience because I was able to do everything I ever wanted to,” she said. “I was able to continue playing the sport I love, found my passion for accounting, be able to have multiple jobs on campus, and graduate with a job.”

There’s just one thing you have to do, and Kelli said it best: “Come to Simpson. It was the best decision I ever made.”

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