Alumni Spotlight – Diane Hershewe (B.S.A. ’09, M.S.A. ’10)

Bloch School of Management graduates are enjoying exciting and rewarding careers all over the Kansas City region, and all over the world. Bloch alumni at different stages in their careers are in leadership roles in important organizations; are viewed as rising stars with significant leadership potential; or are enjoying a fast start right out of the gate.

This is one of a series of profiles of Bloch alumni who have used their education as a launching pad for early and ongoing success.

Diane Hershewe (nee Winnard) got a lot out of her bachelor’s and master’s degrees at Bloch – a good job with one of the Big Four accounting firms; a career arc that has taken her from Kansas City to the other side of the world – so far; and a spouse.

All told, a pretty darn good ROI.

As Hershewe prepared to graduate from Blue Valley North High School in 2006, she had a lot of options.

“I knew I wanted to major in accounting. I took an accounting class in high school and it came easily to me. It was something I was good at and thought it made sense to continue with it,” she recalled. She considered the University of Kansas and Truman State University, but decided Bloch was her best option.

“I remember coming to UMKC on a visit and feeling right at home. The campus is beautiful and the Bloch School has a great reputation,” Hershewe said. “The faculty within the accounting program was amazing, particularly Dr. (David) Cornell, Dr. (Lavern) Krueger and Dr. (David) Donnelly. I was challenged in their classes more than I had ever been before. I still use many of the skills I learned in their classes in my day-to-day work – critical thinking, problem solving, knowing my resources.”

Don’t think her reference to “day-to-day work” implies a sleepy routine. Not when PwC offered her the opportunity to pursue a “secondment” (long-term but temporary transfer) to help them build capacity at their office in Sydney, Australia. The company pays travel expenses for Hershewe and her husband, including an annual trip back to Kansas City to reconnect with their friends and family; all visa expenses; and moving their belongings to Sydney and back.

“I interned for PwC in the summers between 2008 and 2009 and then started full time with them after graduating with my Master of Science in Accounting in 2010. There is a program in the firm where they encourage people to do a secondment to another country. I had always wanted to live abroad, and I was at a point in my career where it made sense. Joe (her husband) and I got married in September 2013 and moved to Sydney in November 2013, so it also worked out from a personal perspective.”

And yes, Joe Hershewe was another benefit that Diane accrued from her time at Bloch.

“Joe worked in the Office of Admissions processing applications for his work study job and I was a campus ambassador (giving tours to prospective students and parents). One day I was studying in between tours and he came up and made a comment about my accounting book. The rest is history!”

Joe Hershewe earned an undergraduate degree in accounting from Bloch, then went on to graduate from the UMKC School of Law. In Kansas City he worked at a litigation firm before resigning for the move to Australia. He now works as a claims attorney at an insurance company in Sydney.

For now, the Hershewes’ Australian odyssey is open-ended. They are enjoying the opportunities their temporary home base offers, such as a recent tour through New Zealand with extended family.

So, where will the life adventure that started at the Bloch School take them next – and when?

“That’s a tough one – we’re still deciding!”

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