When she was just 15 years old, Sukriti Nayar took advantage of an opportunity to jump-start her college career. As a high school freshman, she enrolled in her first college credit courses offered at Valley High School in Des Moines, and boosted herself closer to a college degree.
Thanks to her high school’s agreement with an area community college, she began earning dual credit, courses that would appear on both her high school and college transcripts. By the time Sukriti stepped onto the University of Iowa campus, at age 17, she already had earned 48 hours of college credit, catapulting her to nearly junior credit status. Sukriti was admitted directly to the College of Business, putting her on a fast track to business degrees in accounting and finance, and an English minor.
“Many schools don’t accept advanced placement (AP) credit in your chosen major. Coming to Iowa meant I had almost all the general education requirements already out of the way, and it gave me an opportunity to not only start early, but to do more than I would be able to if I went to another school,” she said. “I will graduate with two majors and a minor, and I will have had 12-15 semester hours every semester. My course load is not packed full. This way, I can still be involved in student organizations and do more in the community.”
Sukriti capitalized on this opportunity by engaging in a variety of campus activities. She immediately immersed herself into the college experience and dedicated a great deal of time her freshman year to The University of Iowa’s mock trial team. She had participated in mock trial while in junior high and high school, so she was eager to compete at the next level.
“I loved it. Competing felt natural, but it demanded a lot of my time. I valued the experience, but I’m focusing more on my studies now,” she said.
Her years of mock trial experience won’t go wasted as Sukriti’s long-term career plans include a CPA and J.D. with intentions to work in the nonprofit sector.
During her second year of college, Sukriti helped to found the University’s first Ethics Bowl team of which she was a member of the five-person team to compete on a regional level. She also serves as a peer tutor at the Frank Business Communications Center housed in the Pappajohn Business Building.
“This has been my favorite experience in the business school, because I enjoy working with undergraduate students from across campus on writing issues,” she says.” I love to read and consequently I love to write.”
She said she appreciated the mutual learning that being a peer tutor provided her by sharpening her knowledge of writing and constantly finding ways to hone her own skills. Sukriti earned the Department of Accounting’s Junior Excellence in Writing Award for 2009-2010.
She sought additional leadership roles on campus, including her involvement in the student organization World Health Initiative, where she was executive secretary-treasurer and now holds the executive chair position.
With the ambition and foresight Sukriti possesses, it seems she could find success in nearly any major. So, why choose accounting?
“I’ll admit when I was 11, I didn’t dream about being an auditor, but both my parents are accountants and my grandfather was chairman of a bank for 40 years.”
Being surrounded by accountants opened her mind to possibilities. “To me, business is a stepping stone to a more specific career choice. You can’t go wrong with a business degree because it has enough theory and enough practical application that whatever path life takes me on, I’ll find a way to use it. Accounting is by far the best preparation for the business world no matter what you chose to do.”
Sukriti is now an Associate in Transactions and Restructuring at KPMG Advisory, a business solutions company.