The University of Iowa’s strengths in accounting, writing, and athletics provided Stephanie Herzog the perfect place to succeed as a student, creative writer, and Hawkeye golfer.
Tom Snee
Justin Torner
Stephanie Herzog

Hometown: Red Wing, Minnesota

Degree: Bachelor in Business Administration in accounting; Certificate in Writing

Future plans: Work as an assurance associate at Deloitte in Minneapolis

Some people are good with words. Some people are good with numbers.

Stephanie Herzog manages to be good at both.

“I’m not sure how,” she says. “I started to write when I was 6 or 7, and I started to like math at about that time too.”

Herzog graduates in May and, in line with her varied interests, is receiving a Bachelor’s in Business Administration in accounting from the Tippie College of Business and a Certificate in Writing, while maintaining a 4.0 grade-point average.

She doesn’t see it as a very big deal that she likes to do both. After all, why limit yourself to just one set of squiggly lines or the other? Why not expand your horizons as far as you can?

So which does she enjoy working with more?

“It depends on what kind of mood I’m in,” Herzog says. “If I’m feeling ambitious, then numbers hit the spot. I love numbers and I love problem-solving, and I get a lot of satisfaction when everything balances at the end. But if I need a creative outlet, then writing is something I focus on. I get so much enjoyment out of both.”

Certificate in Writing

The undergraduate Certificate in Writing enables students in any major to benefit from the university’s wide-ranging writing programs and resources by pursuing a concentration in writing related to their majors, career goals, or personal interests. Good writing skills will help you in all fields of study and in any career you choose.

Growing up in Red Wing, Minnesota, Herzog considered careers in writing and math, eventually settling on math—accounting in particular. The career opportunities were more appealing, she says, and writing gave her an emotional and creative outlet she didn’t want to lose by turning it into a job.

She looked closely at Iowa because of its renowned accounting and writing programs, but what clinched it was a recruiting visit to campus for the women’s golf team. The place just seemed to fit, she says, so when Coach Megan Menzel offered her a spot on the team, she jumped at it.

Herzog started writing mostly short stories and novels—she’s self-published two volumes of short fiction on—but a class this semester in creative nonfiction has her now working on a memoir of her golf career. She took as many writing and language classes as she could, including an etymology class that traced the evolution of classical Greek and Latin words into English.

She’s also an honors student in accounting, writing a thesis comparing certain components of accounting standards used in the United States and those used internationally. Her adviser, Cristi Gleason, professor of accounting, was impressed with Herzog’s scholarly inquisitiveness and intellectual curiosity.

“I am impressed with how well she has navigated a COVID year. She has worked on her thesis, classes, and golf with a great level of organization and effort.”

Cristi Gleason
professor of accounting

“She started her thesis work with a really strong belief that the U.S. should move to the international standards,” says Gleason. “But the evidence she collected strongly suggested an answer that she didn’t expect. She is a true scholar and wants to know the answer.  

“I am impressed with how well she has navigated a COVID year,” Gleason says. “She has worked on her thesis, classes, and golf with a great level of organization and effort.”

Though Herzog had opportunities to golf at other schools, she picked Iowa specifically because she knew she would not be among the top players and would have to push herself to get playing time.

“I was able to get into the starting lineup about 75% of the time and outperformed what I thought I could do,” she says. Unfortunately, her last two years were a struggle, as her junior year season was shortened by COVID-19, which she would eventually contract herself, and a thumb injury sidelined her for her senior year.

Menzel says Herzog has been a model student-athlete for the Hawkeyes and was a role model for her teammates.

Accounting at Iowa

Iowa’s Undergraduate Program in Accounting will give you a strong base of accounting courses but also knowledge of information systems, written and oral communication skills, leadership ability, and teamwork skills. Completion of the program qualifies you to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Management Accountant (CMA) exams.

“Stephanie is an outstanding student-athlete and has elevated our team’s work ethic on and off the course,” says Menzel. “She has improved each year as a player and has played a huge leadership role on our team with time management and inspiring others to excel and appreciate their academic opportunities at Iowa. Stephanie will always be remembered for her ability to find fairways and to beat the course with her gritty short game.

“We have been thrilled to have Stephanie on our team.”  

Herzog has a job lined up after graduating, working as an assurance associate at the accounting and consulting firm Deloitte’s office in Minneapolis. In the meantime, she’ll spend the summer studying for her CPA exam and working as an official with the Minnesota PGA, managing and officiating girl’s and women’s golf tournaments around the state. She’s also thinking about pursuing some kind of graduate education, though whether that’s in accounting or writing she isn’t sure.

“I love school a ton,” she says.