Senior Edwina King's Notre Dame education has taken her from the stadium sidelines during football games, to accounting internships with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), to a Gilman Scholarship sponsored by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, which allowed her to study in Toledo, Spain. Here, she tells us how she decided on her majors, the Gilman Scholarship, and what she loves about being a Notre Dame cheerleader.
Major: Accounting, Spanish
Hometown: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Clubs and campus involvement: Varsity Cheerleading Team
Why did you choose majors in accounting and Spanish?
I always knew that I was intrigued by business, but my admiration for accounting did not ripen until I made the decision to take accounting classes during my junior and senior years of high school. For me, studying accounting is as realistic as stepping into an actual firm to analyze financial statements and identify budget variances. At the end of my sophomore year, I knew that I wanted to select accounting as my major. So far, studying accounting has been a challenging but rewarding experience. I love learning about changes to the codifications, the processes for analyzing financial statements, and solving accounting problems. Choosing accountancy as my major has already introduced me to a variety of career options, including auditing and taxation. I have interned twice with an accounting firm called PricewaterhouseCoopers in Minneapolis.
Additionally, I have been studying Spanish since I was in high school, so selecting Spanish as my second major was important for me as well.
How did you decide to apply for the Gilman Scholarship?
The Gilman Scholarship program is a program specifically for students who will be studying abroad either during the academic year or in the summer. To coincide with my cheerleading obligations, I decided that going in the summer was the best option. Initially, I was looking for a program to help me defray some of the costs of studying abroad. With the Gilman scholarship program, I was able to study abroad in Toledo, Spain, and improve my Spanish fluency. Additionally, I wanted to become a Gilman Scholar so I could conduct a service project to help Hispanic youth in the South Bend area prepare for college and learn about study abroad opportunities.
[In Spain], I took classes in Spanish history and 20th century Spanish literature at the Fundación Ortega-Marañón, Notre Dame’s affiliate University in Toledo, which allowed me to travel to other cities around Spain, and visit several museums and cathedrals. Exploring its cultural attractions helped in my understanding of Hispanic culture, and interacting with natives definitely improved my Spanish speaking ability.
What do you enjoy most about being on the Varsity Cheerleading Team at Notre Dame?
Standing on the sideline at the home football games and waiting in anticipation for the marching band to play so we can begin executing the traditional Notre Dame dances gives me a special feeling of pride, excitement, and joy that no other extra-curricular activity here at Notre Dame could grant me. When families, children, and fans approach me to take pictures and to sign autographs during game day weekends, I feel very honored to share the Notre Dame experience with so many people who value the spirit of the University that I love. Positively influencing my peers and the people around me is a trait that I respectfully carry inside and outside of cheer. The motivation behind my dedication to improving my cheerleading abilities, while managing my time to excel in academics, is for a greater purpose; I want to continue to be a positive role model for young girls who want to pursue their passions, so they can see themselves in me.
Do you have any advice for future Notre Dame students?
If you do not know what you want to major in, don’t worry about it! It takes time to truly know what captures your interest. Talking to your professors is a good way to learn more about the specific majors offered at Notre Dame, and the kinds of opportunities that come from majoring in specific fields.
In general, it is important to have good relationships with your professors beginning in the first week of class. Don’t be shy to introduce yourself and get to know them as people as well. A lot of them, especially in Mendoza, do interesting research that they will be happy to explain to you!