Accomplishment: Leadership Program at Principal Financial
Major: Accounting, Business Administration
For many students, it can be difficult to see how their classwork will one day benefit their lives. As students read novels, memorize dates of battles, and apply theorems, they can struggle to see the bigger picture.
For Jennifer Abraham ’11 it’s now clear to see how her classwork at Graceland influences her today.
Jennifer is a member of the Leadership Development Rotation Program with the Principal Financial Group in Des Moines. Through this program, Jennifer gains valuable leadership experience around the company for her first three years, eventually being placed in a position where she can utilize her experiences.
As an Accounting and Business Administration double major, Jennifer says many of the skills she learned and practiced at Graceland are tools she utilizes in the work place.
“Being able to do a cost-benefit analysis is so helpful; no one else in my program’s class had ever done one before,” said Jennifer. “I had to do them all the time in my senior seminar class, so the course work definitely prepared me.”
"At Graceland, I had the opportunity to be involved in everything and not be limited to just one thing. I liked being in a comfortable environment where everyone wants you to succeed and everyone takes an interest in what you're doing."
Jennifer also notes that the environment at Graceland gave her opportunities to gain leadership experience for this role. While at Graceland, Jennifer was a member of the Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team, serving as a project manager for several projects and she served on the leadership council. Jennifer also participated in the Women’s Soccer program, was a member of the Student Senate, a member of the Intramural Board, and served on the Student Center Committee.
Jennifer started at Principal, a Fortune 250 company, the June after her graduation, securing her position before Thanksgiving of her senior year. Jennifer heard about the position through Terra Paialii ’09, another Graceland alumni working with this prestigious team.
Jennifer is still completing the first of her three years with the Leadership Program. Afterwards, she has international aspirations with the company.