So how did she celebrate? By heading straight back into the classroom to begin working on her master’s, of course!
The 22-year-old student from Vegreville, Alta., earned the prestigious Goodspeed Award as the top student in the BComm program in the Edwards School of Business this year, recording a 93.05 cumulative grade point average over her four years of study at the U of S.
“I worked hard to get those marks, but to me, I always just wanted to learn from being in university and it was never about being the top student,” said Loewen, who majors in accounting. “Obviously it was nice and I was really proud of the fact that I came out of university with the top marks. But most importantly I feel that I have really set myself up to succeed and that is way more important to me than graduating as the top student.”
Loewen’s admirable academic achievements included posting perfect marks of 100 per cent in five of her university courses: Math 121; Economics 114; Commerce 203; Psychology 121; and Psychology 253.
“When I left high school, people told me that I would never get 100 per cent again, so I went and proved them wrong,” said Loewen, with a smile. “I studied a lot, especially in the first and second year, I didn’t have hobbies. But in my third and fourth year I realized that you could have a social life, too. So I learned throughout university how to find a balance between studying hard and getting really good marks, but also hanging out with friends sometimes was OK, too.”
On the Dean’s Honour Roll for three straight years and a multiple scholarship winner during her time on campus, Loewen has now started her Master of Professional Accounting Program (MPAcc), an intense summer session spent hitting the books instead of hitting the beach.
“We had 30 hours of class this week and then we have presentations and assignments due all the time, so it’s a lot of work, but it’s fun and you learn a lot,” said Loewen, who is planning to complete her master’s over the next two summers. “It goes fast. We do a whole semester of tax (courses) in one week, so it’s a lot, but it’s good.”
The master’s program at Edwards was one of the big reasons why Loewen chose the U of S over studying business in Edmonton at the University of Alberta (U of A), which was only an hour from her home in Vegreville.
“I really wanted to do MPAcc, that was a huge factor in my decision because I didn’t want to move twice for my university, since I could do my master’s right here,” said Loewen. “And Edwards was a really big draw for me because I like that it is a direct-entry business program versus U of A, where you have to do a year of prerequisites first. The U of S was the best fit for me.”
Loewen’s passion for the profession comes naturally, following in her father’s footsteps into the field of accounting. But her path to math is about more than names and numbers.
“It’s hard to explain and honestly, I don’t feel that accounting is very much numbers-based,” she said. “It’s a lot of analysis and very little math … You answer a question and you say here are the pros and the cons and here’s the conclusion and these are the most important factors to consider.”
Not surprisingly, given her academic excellence, Loewen was recruited by multiple accounting firms, but quickly settled on staying in Saskatoon and working for Buckberger Baerg & Partners LLP, where she will begin working full-time in the fall.
“They were my top choice, so that was great,” she said. “They seemed to really want me as well, so it was just the perfect fit. I was a good candidate for them and they were the perfect firm that I wanted to work for, so I am really happy that it worked out … I can’t wait to start.”