5 Questions with Joanna Muenks (B.B.A., B.S.A.)

In our 5 Questions series, we will hear from those at the heart of the Bloch School – our faculty, staff, students and friends.

Why did you choose the Bloch School?

Choosing the Bloch School was a “happy accident.” I was attracted to UMKC by the Trustees’ Scholar Program. However, my initial major was Biology. I enjoyed my science classes, but saw the activities and programs going on in the Bloch School and realized that business more closely aligned with my interests. I changed my major to a B.B.A. with a Marketing emphasis, and later added on the Bachelor of Science in Accounting after being encouraged by my Introduction to Accounting professor, Dr. Leigh Salzsieder. I was previously unaware of the opportunities in accounting, and was intrigued by the challenge of the degree.

What are some of your favorite activities you’re involved in on campus, and what are some of the challenges/rewards?

I’m involved in many activities, but my two favorites would have to be the Triathlon Club and the various business competitions. I have a competitive nature and am always up for a challenge. Last year another Bloch School student, Ben Hammes, and I teamed up to compete in the Regnier Institute Roo Idea Jump. Challenges like these allow me to utilize not only my interests and ideas, but also both of my degree programs. We were fortunate enough to come out on top!

What’s your favorite spot in Kansas City?

It’s hard to choose considering the options! I love the atmosphere of downtown and all the festivals that happen across the city. In trying to think of specifics, Onelife Fitness and Thou Mayest coffee shop come to mind. Onelife offers a great place for young professionals that work downtown to make a healthy lifestyle a priority—something I’m very passionate about! Thou Mayest has my favorite coffee and lots of room to study.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

One of the best pieces of advice I have recently received actually comes from a former Trustee Scholar and Bloch School graduate, Kevin Barb. The advice is to “be a problem solver, not a problem identifier.” Simple advice, but it resonated with me. I feel like people, myself included, are guilty of being quick to vocalize the many problems that exist; not nearly as many of us are willing to take the problem head on or consider potential solutions.  It was an eye opener to think about problems in a different way.

What has been the proudest moment in your academic career?

The proudest moment in my academic career will be speaking at commencement in May. It is an honor that I did not even realize was possible, and I have the accounting faculty to thank for nominating me! I love public speaking and am excited for the opportunity.

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