Joe Hinkel '20 Headshot

Joe Hinkel '20

Accounting

Ready for a bigger role

Ready to jumpstart his career, Joe Hinkel '20 enrolled in the accelerated program to find a new path.

MMU: Why did you decide to join the accelerated program?

JH: I joined the accelerated program because my career was stalled. I had been working in the accounting field for several years and I knew I was ready to take on a bigger role, but I just could not get my foot in the door. It was actually my human resources manager at the time (who is an MMU alum) that suggested Mount Mercy. I had given up on getting my degree because I did not think that I had the time and that it would take too long. Once I realized that I could finish my degree in a year and a half, it was a perfect fit!

I had given up on getting my degree because I did not think that I had the time and that it would take too long. Once I realized that I could finish my degree in a year and a half, it was a perfect fit! 

Joe Hinkel '20

MMU: How did you manage to go through the accelerated program? Did you have any concerns?

JH: I was a little intimidated starting a 4-year program, especially in my late 30s. Until I started at Mount Mercy, I had only taken college classes at Kirkwood. I was not sure if I could handle the workload or the material.

MMU: What did the program do for your career? How did it prepare you for your career?

JH: My career has taken off! I started a new job at a small CPA firm here in Cedar Rapids and I plan to continue public practice and working with my own clients.  This job would not have been possible, not only without my degree, but also the career placement services offered by Mount Mercy. It was the Accounting Interview Day where I made contact with my employer!

 "My career has taken off!"

MMU: What is your exact job description? Can you walk us through a day at your job?

JH: I am an Accountant working out of a small firm. I don’t really have a “typical” day because I work with a wide variety of clients and on many tasks. My firm primarily works with tax returns, so I prepare Individual and Business tax returns which includes bookkeeping and financial statement compilation. I also work closely with clients answering their tax and accounting questions or managing payroll for our clients.

After completing the accounting program, I feel like there is really no limit. I am working at a great firm and am working to sign my own clients soon. 

Joe Hinkel '20

MMU: How would you describe yourself before and after the accelerated accounting program?

JH: I was frustrated with my career before I started the accelerated accounting program. I enjoyed accounting and had a good job, but I never really felt like I was living up to my potential. I knew that I could perform the jobs that required a degree, but never got a second look from hiring managers.  After completing the accounting program, I feel like there is really no limit. I am working at a great firm and am working to sign my own clients soon. 

MMU: Do you have any advice for current Mount Mercy students or people who are thinking about joining the accelerated program?

JH: My advice for current or potential students is to plan your time well. Life gets busy and schoolwork can pile up quickly because of the accelerated classes. Planning and working ahead of due dates will help manage that stress and keep the workload manageable.

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