Alumni Testimonial from Steve Bloechel

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Tuesday, Oct 22, 2013

Alumni Testimonial from Steve Bloechel

I am proud to say that I am now a two-time graduate of Herzing University. I originally came to Herzing’s Madison campus in 2004 (back when it was still Herzing College) after a disastrous one-semester stint at a very large university. I had heard about Herzing from my brother, who had considered enrolling there. After touring Herzing I was convinced that it would be an excellent fit for me.

I can’t say enough about how much I enjoyed my first time studying there. I loved the fact that Herzing offers small classes and a great deal of one-on-one interaction with instructors. I was happy that the Herzing instructors place a lot more emphasis on individual assignments than on exams, as I have always performed better on regular assignments than I did on tests and exams. I had the opportunity to serve as one of the original members of the Madison campus’s PBL chapter, eventually working my way up to Vice President/Treasurer and being one of five members to represent the chapter at the 2006 National Leadership Conference in Nashville. I found Herzing’s Career Services department to be extraordinarily helpful, and Jeff Westra has continued to be a huge help to me with my resume and interview questions in the years since.

My first job out of college was in the accounting department at Epic in Verona. After a few years I started to think about going back to school for an accounting degree. After I moved away from the Madison area to join my wife (then fiancée) in Eau Claire in 2010, I started to think about it more. It was something that she had wanted me to do as well, as I had left the accounting field when I moved to Eau Claire and soon began to miss it, but was having some difficulty finding a job that would allow me to return to real-time accounting work. I did eventually get an accounting job with Community Health Partnership, a non-profit health care company in Eau Claire that provided Medicare and Medicaid-funded services to the elderly and disabled. But in September 2012, just five months after I joined CHP, it was announced that they would be closing at the end of the year. Fortunately I avoided the unemployment line, as I accepted my current position just a couple weeks before CHP closed. I am now working as the controller for Apex Insurance Group of WI, LLC, a multi-location insurance agency, at their main office in Bloomer.

Even though I did find another job in time, the CHP closure was my wake-up call. I knew that now was the time to return to school for an accounting degree. Since I had such an excellent experience during my first time at Herzing, I contacted them about the possibility of returning online since I now live 3 hours away from Madison. When I found out that I was only 11 classes away from a Bachelor of Science in Accounting since I had already earned my Business Administration degree from Herzing, the decision to come back to Herzing became a no-brainer. I began classes at the end of October 2012, and once again, Herzing has not disappointed. My instructors have been wonderful, and I believe the classes I have taken this time around will be extremely beneficial in the years to come.

Around the time that my return to Herzing became official, I made the decision to sit for the CPA exam after graduation. I am hoping to have all four parts of the exam completed by the end of Summer 2014. I do not know what is in store for me after that, but in addition to the areas of payroll and general ledger accounting that I currently do, another area that I believe I may have an interest in exploring further is auditing and forensic accounting because of some of my previous experiences at Epic. But whatever lies in store for me in the future, I will always be thankful to Herzing University for giving me two excellent educational experiences that will allow me to continue and advance my accounting career.