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Washington State University
Dividend - Fall 2022 Creating Pathways to Excellence

Scholarships Create Foundation for Abigail Ofenloch’s WSU Experience

By Becky Kramer

Photo by WSU Photo Services

Abigail Ofenloch’s dad was shaking when he handed her the phone. By the time she finished talking to the WSU scholarship representative, Ofenloch and her parents were in tears.

They were tears of joy—Ofenloch had been chosen for a WSU Distinguished Regents Scholarship, which covers the cost of tuition.

“I have never felt more excited and relieved,” Ofenloch says, recalling the moment from her senior year of high school. “It was so empowering to know someone believed in me enough to give me a scholarship, and I could pursue my academic goals without financial strain.”

Ofenloch graduated from the Carson College of Business in May with a double major in accounting and finance. The Regents scholarship and others she received set the foundation for a well-rounded collegiate career. An Honors College student, Ofenloch earned top grades while participating in student leadership opportunities at WSU.

Ofenloch spent a year as the chief financial officer for her sorority, working under an advisor to manage a $750,000 annual budget. Ofenloch also was involved in Beta Alpha Psi, an honor society for accounting, finance, and information management students, including serving as president her senior year.

“I can’t say ‘thank you’ enough to WSU and the Cougar community for investing in my future,” says Ofenloch, now an audit associate at KPMG. “I was on my own for college and able to graduate with a minimal amount of debt. I also had time to get involved in activities that bridged the gap between classroom learning and the social skills I’ll need to be successful in a career.”

The path to accounting

Complicated math problems have always intrigued Ofenloch. Her principal at Freeman High School near Spokane spotted her aptitude for numbers and encouraged her to check out an accounting career.

Her career plans were cemented during her sophomore year at WSU when she met Marla Meyer, the college’s Moss Adams accounting relations manager. Meyer develops career programming and builds industry relationships to assist students and alumni with career placement.

“She was taking a group of students to Portland that weekend to meet with accounting firms. She had a lastminute opening and invited me to go,” Ofenloch says.

In a whirlwind day, the students visited seven firms. Ofenloch’s favorite firm was KPMG, where she completed an internship after her junior year. She started her senior year with an offer for a full-time position upon graduation.

“Marla Meyer has had an amazing impact on my college experience,” Ofenloch says. “My professors did a great job at teaching me accounting concepts and preparing me for the CPA exams, and Marla helped me with my résumé, cover letters, and preparation for job interviews.”

Giving back to WSU

Ofenloch says she plans to stay involved with WSU and the Carson College after she graduates.

“I hope to invest time and money into Carson Cougs, just as alumni have invested time and money into me,” she says. “I’d also like to mentor students and help them find the career path that is right for them.”