Sarah Ridley

Sarah Ridley

Senior Audit Associate, Eide Bailly LLP
Sioux Falls, SD
BBA - Accounting, 2014, Master of Professional Accountancy, 2016

"Work hard and never give up on your dreams. You can do anything if you have passion for it and work hard to make it happen!"

Q&A with Sarah:

Describe your current educational or professional pursuits.

I am currently a senior audit associate at Eide Bailly in Sioux Falls. On top of working as an auditor for many clients in and around Sioux Falls, I am also involved in our recruiting efforts, and I try to make it down to USD for as many of our recruiting events as I can to encourage other Coyotes to go for their dreams like I was able to. I also get to assist in facilitating training sessions and giving presentations to our clients and to our own employees. I am a member of the South Dakota CPA Society as well, and I get to help promote the CPA profession through events like the CPA Showcase as a member of the Society's Promoting the Profession Committee.

How did your USD experience influence your career path?

When I came to USD, I wasn't sure exactly where I wanted to go in accounting, but taking classes from great professors like Dr. Rago, Davies, Dr. Korte, Dr. Stephenson, and Dr. Porter helped me to find direction. They gave me the knowledge to go anywhere and their classes inspired me to go for my dreams of going into public accounting and becoming a CPA. Davies especially encouraged me that I could do anything I wanted to, and I am so thankful for that.

Tell us about your proudest achievement.

My proudest achievement thus far has been passing the CPA exam and becoming a licensed CPA in South Dakota and being awarded Excellence in Achievement on the Uniform CPA Exam from the South Dakota CPA Society for passing all four exams on the first attempt and achieving a good overall score. It took a lot of hard work, dedication and focus, but after my time at USD, I knew that I could do it. My time in the MPA program prepared me for the material I saw on the exam, and I learned how to research and study effectively as a student. I am grateful for USD in preparing me for life after school.

What was your USD experience like? Were you involved in any campus organizations or activities?

I absolutely loved attending USD. I did a good portion of my undergrad years at the University Center in Sioux Falls, but I spent my graduate school semesters on campus in Vermilion. I enjoyed attending Beta Alpha Psi meetings when I could. My MPA class was really close, and we spent time together studying and helping each other improve as accounting students. I have kept in contact with many of my fellow MPA students, and I cherish those friendships that I made at USD. I was a graduate assistant and got to help grade, proctor exams and help students with questions. I enjoyed helping tutor students. I enjoyed attending events in the MUC and going to basketball and football games on campus. I still try to make it back down as much as I can.

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