By Sue McMurray, Carson College of Business

In early August Andrew Hecker, a WSU Carson College of Business accounting student, received a $10,000 merit scholarship that changed his undergraduate experience and his future.

Hecker was one of approximately 165 recipients at other schools recognized by the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board for demonstrating accounting and auditing aptitude and high ethical standards.

“Because of this financial support, I was able to attend many great summer leadership conferences and secure an internship next summer (2019) with Deloitte, one of the Big 4 accounting firms,” says Hecker. “I also will not incur any more college debt and am financially able to start my accounting master’s program in January.”

“Andrew is very driven and excelled in both my managerial accounting and tax classes,” says Brandon Holbrook, clinical assistant professor of accounting. “He is one of the top students in terms of academic and extracurricular performance that I have come to know in my three years of teaching at WSU.”

A change in game plan

Hecker originally chose WSU to play football and major in mechanical engineering. After playing both Cougar football and baseball for a time, he decided to focus exclusively on academics. He also switched his major to accounting after an accidental discovery of the social aspects of the field.

“Growing up I always loved numbers, teamwork and problem-solving,” he says, “but I didn’t know there was more to being an accountant than crunching numbers. My parents thought I should consider accounting and arranged for me to have lunch with a friend who is an accountant. After this conversation, I was interested enough to try it. The teamwork and networking portion of the profession is a lot more relevant than I ever thought, and as a person who loves networking and working in teams, it’s a perfect fit for me.”

Networking, professional opportunities

Hecker plans to focus on the auditing realm of accounting and says he is drawn to the process of interpreting information and explaining it to solve clients’ problems. To prepare for his career, he joined Beta Alpha Psi (BAP), a national honorary organization for current and future financial information professionals. He served on the BAP student officer board as a junior, is co-president, and has helped increase attendance and student interest in the club. He also engaged in many networking and recruiting opportunities with accounting firms.

“Learning from industry and connecting with faculty improved my overall experience as an accounting major and is a big portion of why I received this scholarship,” he says.

Closing the loop

In addition to accounting, Hecker is passionate about helping others. Since high school, he has spent breaks helping student athletes in his community with everything from sports and academics to other instances in which he can serve as a mentor.

“In the future I would like to come back to WSU and recruit students for my company,” he says. “I hope to one day be able to provide a student with a scholarship in order to take as much financial burden off of them as possible.”