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Meet Keeley Van Antwerp: Our January Leading Woman

Name: Keeley Van Antwerp

Major: Accounting

Hometown: St. Louis, MO

What are your career/life goals? My main career goal is to become the CFO of a company whose mission I am passionate about. I believe the ideal career does not feel like a chore, but rather is the intersection of your passions and unique skillset. This career would allow me to combine my interest in financial analysis with my drive for creating a lasting impact.

What is your favorite part about your major and why did you choose it?

In high school, I knew I wanted to be a business major after being involved in our business club and taking classes, but was unsure which emphasis area. I ultimately chose accounting because I wanted a major that would feed my intellectual curiosity and also have a wide variety of applications. This leads to my favorite part about my major. I love the opportunities having a degree in accounting provides a young professional. Accounting is said to be the “language of business” and it has provided me with an in-depth understanding of business mechanics that will set me up for success in my career.

After you graduate, do you know where you will be working? I have a fifth year to complete my Master's program, but this upcoming summer I will be interning at Lincoln International in Chicago as an investment banking summer analyst.

What are you most excited for about this job? As an investment banking analyst, I will act as a sell-side advisor to middle-market companies looking to sell their businesses. I am very excited to work directly with founder-owned businesses because the sale of their family business is one of the most important moments of their lives. I am eager to get to know the founders and learn about their unique businesses.

What organizations or hobbies are you passionate about? I am extremely passionate about each of the organizations I am involved with in the Trulaske College of Business: The Cornell Leadership Program, The University of Missouri Investment Group Associate’s Program, and the AACE Venture Fund. Each of these organizations has provided life-changing experiential learning opportunities that have shaped my college experience as well as given me lifelong friendships.

How have your experiences in Theta changed you? My experiences in Theta have given me the confidence the take risks for myself. My sisters have continuously encouraged me to apply for that dream internship or leadership position I was on the fence about because they saw potential in me that I did not yet see in myself. I think this is the mark of true sisterhood and attests to the values of Kappa Alpha Theta. Even in the midst of fear or self-doubt, I have been able to rely on my sisters to call me higher and to push me to continue reaching my full potential.

What does Theta mean to you? Theta means authentic love. One of my favorite aspects of Theta is not the incredible involvement of our members, but the unapologetic authenticity of each member. Every Theta is infectiously passionate about something and I love seeing this effect change around Mizzou’s campus. Theta is such a supportive place to explore your passions and have a hundred women around you cheering you on every step of the way.

Do you have any advice for the underclassmen? My advice for the underclassmen is to invest in your relationships. Get to know the upperclassmen that you look up to or the girl in your member class that you really want to be friends with. Your time in college truly will go by in the blink of an eye, and the last thing you want to do is look back on your time at Mizzou and realize you spent more time in Ellis Library than you did forming meaningful relationships. The individuals we surround ourselves with ultimately shape who we are, so reach out to your friends and deepen your relationships because life is more rewarding to do with authentic friends by your side.

Do you have a specific favorite Theta memory? My favorite Theta memory is singing the senior song during preference round of recruitment this past year. Sitting in the front of the living room alongside my best friends, being in the exact place where I watched some of my best friends sing the senior song last year, was such a tender moment. It was incredible to watch as our member class joined together as one and reflected upon the memories we have made together throughout the past four years. I cried each round we sang the song, and I am not a big crier, but looking around the room at the incredible women I have spent my college career with, I could not help but be filled with bittersweet emotions.

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