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tr ailblazer


“You must do the things you think you cannot do.” –Eleanor Roosevelt


melanieramseyer, CPA


An October 2018 article in USA Today claims nearly 74 percent of American undergraduate students are nontraditional and now outnumber those who start as 18-year-old freshmen supported by their parents, according to RTI International. Tat might make the track Melanie


Ramseyer, CPA, took for her career more typical, but her path was anything but easy.


Getting to know


melanie


Te audit senior for Peters & Chandler in Oklahoma City married soon after high school and worked full time while her husband completed his engineering degree. When she decided to go back to school, she felt more anxiety than most college students. “Going back to school was


difficult,” Ramseyer said. “I felt the pressure of giving up an income, paying thousands of dollars a semester in tuition and putting stress on my husband, who was also in school getting his master’s degree. For me, failure was not an option.” Ramseyer earned her degree from


What would we never catch you wearing? A fanny pack


What’s one thing on your bucket list? Travel through Europe. My husband and I started to cross this off last summer with a trip to Ireland, Scotland and England. We’ve definitely caught the traveling bug.


If you could have any animal as a pet, regardless of any restrictions, what would you have? A tiger


24 CPAFOCUS


What’s one movie you could watch over and over again? You’ve Got Mail


What is your favorite holiday? Christmas. I’ve always loved getting together with family that I don’t get to see very often.


What is your personal theme song? Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”


Oklahoma State University and was offered a job with a salary that doubled her previous earnings. But, Ramseyer said, that wasn’t enough. “Troughout school, I heard


professors talking about the CPA exam and how, as accounting majors, we should take it,” Ramseyer explained. “To hear these professors talk about the exam and to see the graduate students who were taking it made it seem impossible.” However, Ramseyer knew that she would need to pass the exam to reach her career goals, so she began preparing. “Working while studying for the exam was the hardest thing I have ever done,” Ramseyer said. “Te combination of learning a new job in


March/April 2019


public accounting, studying for the exam and balancing my personal life was exhausting. I would work 10-12 hours per day and go home and study a few hours a night.”


After about 18 months, Ramseyer learned she had passed. “All of the hard work, all of the sacrifices and all of my husband’s understanding had paid off,” she said. “Te day at the Capitol when I received my certificate with my family there cheering me on made everything worth it.” Ramseyer’s new career goals include mentoring. “At smaller firms, it can be hard to implement a successful mentoring program for young females due to the lack of senior ranking females in the profession,” she said. “Being in a position where I am able to set a staff member up for success by giving them the tools they need to succeed in public accounting will not only improve the individual’s career, but will also help improve the profession as a whole.” On the job, Ramseyer’s experience and attitude are the catalysts influencing her team. Her colleague, Josh Elder, a manager at Peters & Chandler and a 2017 OSCPA Trailblazer, said, “In our profession, there are ample opportunities to let your motivation and drive dip below an acceptable line, but Melanie never lets the workload or circumstances take control of her outlook. Her approach to the job builds an infectious hope that is palpable.” Summarizing Ramseyer’s career


path, Elder concluded, “Tis hope grows the morale of her team and is a trait she can fall back on when the light at the end of the tunnel is too dim to really see.”


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