At the age of eleven Grace Heneveld decided she would one day live in Denver. What Heneveld didn’t realize is that she would spend the majority of her college career at CU Denver and secure an accounting position with her dream company before graduating.
Heneveld graduated this December and earned a BSBA in Accounting from the CU Denver Business School. Heneveld grew up in Fort Collins and attended a small private university in Florida her first semester. However, she knew she wanted to transfer, and CU Denver’s downtown location was the obvious choice once she decided to move back to Colorado.
CU Denver’s downtown location was the obvious choice once she decided to move back to Colorado.
Working 32 hours as a licensed account manager and taking five classes each semester, Heneveld had to prioritize and strategically organize her time. Despite her heavy work and class load, Heneveld says she has grown more than she otherwise would have.
Empowered by a professor and career advisors
Taking a foundational accounting course from William Strawser, PhD, assistant professor of Accounting, helped build a firm foundation for Heneveld’s other accounting courses and future career. She also gained the critical thinking skills necessary for the accounting field from his class.
Sue Wyman, Director of the Business Career Connections (BCC) and Stephanie Sindt, Career Advisor, have helped prepare Heneveld for the job seeking process. From Wyman helping with resumes and cover letters to Sindt helping her find out which type of work environment will best utilize her skills and talents, Heneveld had a great foundation of where to look for a job.
Even on the day of her Prologis interview, Sindt met with Heneveld to prepare for the interview. Sindt walked her through each line of her resume and told her precisely why she was qualified for the position. As a result, Heneveld walked out of the advising meeting empowered and walked into the interview with confidence.
Contacting target company until she got the job
Last February at the Business School Career Fair, Heneveld met an accountant from a real estate logistics firm, Prologis. They instantly hit it off, and Heneveld was so impressed with the representative that she decided she wanted to work for a company that hired such quality people.
She immediately reached out to that HR talent acquisition specialist at Prologis, stating her interest in the company and asking if they had any available positions. Every month thereafter, she emailed the HR representative asking if they had any new positions available and reaffirmed her interest in a career at Prologis.
One day she saw a position available on their website, applied for the job, and notified the HR representative that she applied for it. She then received the call for an interview and five days later got the job. Heneveld’s persistence placed her at the forefront of the company’s mind.
Entering the company as an accountant for the cash and leasing department, Heneveld will frequently be coordinating with other accounting teams. After a year in this role, Heneveld will have the opportunity to broaden her skill set by transferring to another accounting department within the company.
Lessons learned at CU Denver
“Be confident where you are mentally and emotionally even if it’s not where you think other people around you are because chances are they are right where you are too,” Heneveld shared.
A personal lesson Heneveld learned is to accept her weaknesses and shortcomings. For example, she learned to accept the fact that she may not know what she wanted to do with her life before graduating. She also acknowledged that struggling in a class and asking for help by going into office hours was not a sign of defeat, but instead an opportunity to learn how to ask for help.
“Be confident where you are mentally and emotionally even if it’s not where you think other people around you are because chances are they are right where you are too.”
Introducing yourself to the professor on the first day of class is one tip Heneveld encourages all students to do. She says it can make the difference between a letter grade and is helpful for a professor to associate a name with a face.
Heneveld’s relentless pursuit of a position at Prologis certainly paid off. Forming connections and keeping in contact with them oftentimes differentiates between getting the position and not getting it. We all can learn from Heneveld’s example of setting a goal and diligently chasing it.