Student Spotlight: Dana Butz
By Sarah Spreadbury
TAMPA (March 1, 2019) -- Dana Butz thought that she would be an engineer when she started at USF in 2016, but with the influence of her sister, Marcy, who was also a Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy student, she decided on accounting. “For as long as I can remember,” she says, “I have always been excited about subjects that are math and numbers-based.” Dana, who also is president of Beta Alpha Psi, will graduate with a bachelor’s degree in accounting in the spring and start her internship with Ernst & Young all before she is 21 years-old. In the fall of 2019 after her internship, Dana plans to come back to USF to complete her master’s degree in accounting. The Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy recently sat down with Dana to ask a few questions:
What did you want to be when you grew up?
When I was little, I had some big dreams. First, I wanted to be on Broadway. Then, I wanted to go to culinary school and become a chef. I also tossed around the idea of being an engineer, but thank goodness I did not do that. Physics just isn't for me. My sister Marcy, who was also a student in the Lynn Pippenger School of Accountancy, played a big role in helping me decide on majoring in accounting and I'm so happy that this is what I chose to do.
What classes have you liked the most? Least? Why?
My two favorite classes so far have been Accounting Information Systems and Audit. I just really loved how Professor Katie Davis taught AIS. I really enjoyed audit because it made me more excited for the career path I chose and it taught me how to think more analytically and creatively to solve problems. I am also taking an Intro to Fraud Examination class through St. Petersburg and it is very interesting. My least favorite class in college so far has been Introduction to Biology. When I found out that I had to take a science class in order to graduate, I immediately dreaded it. Thankfully, I passed with an A and I am done with science classes for good.
What advice do you have for current accounting students?
Say ‘yes’ to every opportunity that is presented to you. You never know what may happen if you say yes to something that forces you out of your comfort zone. As accounting students, it is crucial for all of us to stand out in our own ways. If you come across an opportunity that will teach you something invaluable, make sure you say ‘yes’ as fast as you can. Also, never forget a four function calculator for an exam.
What two accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction? Why?
In high school, I ran a half marathon with my mom. That was a really cool experience and it definitely taught me how to discipline myself and stay motivated. I had never done anything that involved that much physical or mental focus before and it really challenged me to stick to a strict and healthy schedule. Crossing that finish line was one of the most satisfying things I have ever done. Becoming the president of BAP is also something that I am very proud of. BAP has taught me so many things, on both a personal and professional level, and it continues to teach me important lessons every day. I am truly honored to be the president for such an amazing organization. As president of BAP, I think the most satisfying part is helping candidates and members grow professionally and seeing students gain their confidence when it comes to being a young professional.
What inspired you to join Beta Alpha Psi? What made you want to be president?
I always knew I wanted to join BAP because of the reputation it had on USF's campus. At the time, I was loving all my accounting classes and I was so excited to be surrounded by students who had the same passion as me. As a candidate, I basically flew under the radar the whole semester. I got all my requirements done and I survived the dreaded candidate semester. When I was a candidate, Aysel Guveloglu was the president of BAP. I saw what she did as an officer and I thought to myself ‘Wow, I could never do what Aysel does.’ It wasn't until Graham Myers told me that I had what it takes, that I actually considered taking on the role. I was both nervous and excited when I found out that I was uncontested for the president position, and, well, that meant I was guaranteed the position. I do not regret taking on this role one bit and I hope I can make a positive impact of BAP this semester.
Where do you see yourself five years from now?
I am definitely someone who plans out every second of their life. In five years, my goal is to be a CPA and to still be working at a public accounting firm. I would love to move to a big city, like Chicago or Seattle, but that may be more of a part of my 10-year plan. I will be starting my internship with Ernst & Young this coming summer and I am so excited to finally experience the real world of audit. I know it is not going to be easy, but I hope I am still loving my job in five years. Oh yeah, and by then I'll have a Golden Retriever named Cheddar.