Michaela Kleinwolterink ’21
Sheldon, Iowa
Michaela Kleinwolterink

Adding it up

An accounting major with a minor in business administration, Michaela has been active in campus ministry and the Women in Leadership Club while serving as a leader in the Business Club. She has also participated in three Spring Service Partnerships. Already hired to work for Plante Moran in Denver after graduation, she plans to obtain her CPA license. Her dream is to work in nonprofit auditing or wealth-management tax.


I chose Northwestern for the community. I wanted to be at a place where I knew not only my peers, but also the professors and staff. When I visited Northwestern, I could see all the students felt like they belonged, and that is how I wanted to feel.

More than numbers

I came to Northwestern as a business education major. In a financial accounting class my first semester, Professor Gibler mentioned to me that if I was no longer interested in education, I should consider accounting. At that point, I was dead set against working with “random numbers” for the rest of my career. After a few job shadows during which I realized accounting was more than plugging in numbers, I was hooked.

Faith at work

After my sophomore year at Northwestern, I struggled a lot with the idea of being a Christian and an accountant. The two didn’t seem to go together. There seemed to be little point of being a Christian in a job that is black and white. After talking with professors, I began to understand that accounting is more than entering numbers in a tax return. It is also about using your gifts to serve your clients in a Christ-like way.

Business models

The thing I most appreciate about the business department is the intentionality of the professors. I have a personal relationship with most of them. In every class, the content is set up so students understand how what they’re learning is applicable in real-world situations. This leads to a deeper understanding of the material, as well as deeper relationships. During my internship, I saw these two strengths working together to help me succeed.


I believe I am prepared for my future because of the education Northwestern provided. During the summer of COVID, I had a tax internship with Plante Moran in Denver that was moved online. I felt prepared to learn new tax software and difficult content—as well as form relationships with peers and management—while being completely out of my comfort zone. Northwestern pushes students to find ways to overcome challenges in the midst of adversity.