LVC Alumna Receives Women in STEM Award
Lauren Fenner ’13 was destined to be an accountant. With her proclivity for math and working with numbers, and the fact her mother works as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), the path was clearly laid out for her.
For the past eight years, Fenner has worked with Brown Schultz Sheridan & Fritz (BSSF), an advisory firm providing various accounting consulting services. As a senior manager, she oversees team members’ work, assists with preparing financial statements, and presents reports and financial statements to their clients’ board of directors.
“The people are one of the main aspects of my job that I enjoy,” Fenner said. “Most of my work involves partnering with nonprofit clients to help them improve their financial reporting and business. Being able to help nonprofits further their community impact is truly rewarding.”
Fenner lived close to LVC’s campus as a child, recalling the soccer camps she attended with her brother. She was certain that LVC was a good fit, so she enrolled as an accounting major.
Fenner played on the Flying Dutchmen tennis team and quickly picked up skills from the collaborative aspects of the sport.
“Everyone has a role to play on the team to help achieve success, which applies to my career as an auditor as well—everyone on the audit team has a role to play to complete the engagement. Tennis was also a family atmosphere, which helped us achieve success on the court and in the classroom,” she said.
Additionally, two internships she held before graduating, one at a CPA firm and another at a law firm, provided real-world experience and bolstered the knowledge she gained in her classes.
“Those experiences were extremely insightful on how to operate in a business environment,” Fenner said. “Seeing how what you learned in a classroom applies to the real world can help you decide if you made the right career choice. I encourage students to do as many internships as possible.”
Fenner discovered BSSF at LVC’s annual Accounting Night, an event organized by the Breen Center for Graduate Success to help students connect with area employers for jobs and internships. After going through the interview process, she secured a job with them before graduating and even passed the CPA exam before starting at BSSF that fall.
“I took a Becker CPA Exam Review class LVC offered,” Fenner said. “It was an important benefit because my full-time job was essentially just studying for the exam that summer after graduation.”
For her years of service to nonprofit organizations, Fenner was honored by the Whitaker Center for Science and the Arts through the 2020 Women of Impact: Celebrating Women in STEM Awards Program in the Women to Watch category. This category recognizes women younger than 40 who have had significant accomplishments in STEM.
“Giving back to the community is important to me,” Fenner said. “I believe when you see someone who needs help, you help. I am thankful I was assigned to the nonprofit and government team at BSSF because I know my work benefits an organization whose mission is to help others.”
-- Josh Hildebrand, Marketing & Communications Student Assistant