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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2020 Making An Impact

National Merit Scholar Ashley DeWit Invests in her Future as Finance Professional

Story by Sue McMurray • Photo by Bradley Leach

Ashley DeWit has always been academically inclined. As a child, she preferred escaping into Harry Potter books over playing outside. Understanding math came easily to her, so much so that in sixth grade, she skipped ahead two grade levels in the subject.

She’s also good at taking tests. Good enough that her high school PSAT score placed her in the top 99th percentile nationally out of 1.6 million students taking the exam—and good enough to be named a National Merit Scholar.

In 2017, DeWit received her letter awarding her the full academic scholarship covering tuition for all four years of her WSU undergraduate program.

“I was super excited,” says the Post Falls, Idaho, native. “This scholarship was definitely a game changer that will allow me to focus on excelling academically and preparing for my career versus having to work. I will be able to graduate debt free, thanks to additional WSU scholarships.”

Learning Experiences Influence Decision to Study Business

While she’s always been a huge “numbers person,” DeWit, a junior, says she became interested in business while in high school as a member of Job’s Daughters, a youth organization for girls and young women to foster leadership, charity, and character building. As the state president, DeWit enjoyed working with other chapters and gaining management experience but had no plans to pursue a business major until she discovered the opportunities offered at WSU and in the Carson College.

After exploring several programs in the college, serving as Sigma Kappa sorority’s vice president of finance, and joining the Alpha Kappa Sigma business fraternity, she settled on finance.

“You can have really good math skills but no knowledge of financial literacy,” she says. “Financial literacy is pretty important to be successful.”

One of her favorite classes is Investment Analysis taught by finance professor Mario Reyes. “He teaches us how to invest our money and create a good portfolio,” she says. She also praises Reyes’s Stock Track Competition where students have $1 million to invest in stock of their choice. Those who receive the highest returns get bonus points in class, she explains.

Investing in her Future

While DeWit isn’t 100 percent sure yet what career path she will choose, she is exploring her options as a finance professional. She was selected to attend the next Cougs on Wall Street, a program offered through the finance and management science department. The program exposes select juniors and seniors to global financial markets and networking with finance leaders.

She also attended Jed Collins’s guest seminar “Teach Me Money,” a financial literacy program for teens and young adults, and she makes it a habit to attend at least one event a week put on by the college. She is involved in the Boeing Mentorship Program, and, through the WSU Career Expo, was awarded a financial analyst internship at Boeing this past summer.

“As a Carson Coug, you are surrounded by people who care about you and your success,” she says. “By taking advantage of the many opportunities in the college, you learn to invest in yourself and your future.”