Shemree Naegele, CPA: Accounts, Dreams, and Journeys

Posted: April 29, 2024 | Author: Madalyn Bushman | Read Time: 4 minutes

Headshot of Shemree Naegele

Shemree Naegele, currently a Group Controller at The KeyState Companies, achieved a significant milestone in her life by graduating from Southern Utah University with both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Accounting.

While in her undergrad, Naegele took advantage of a special program for college seniors that allows them to enroll in master’s level courses during the final year of their bachelor’s program. This gave her a jump start on a MAcc degree, so she could complete that graduate program in just 12 months.

“Why not spend one more year to get the master’s degree,” Naegele said. “I was in school mode and the advanced degree, in such a short amount of time, would open a lot more doors for me.”

In addition to being a CPA working for an investment firm, Naegele promotes brands on social media as her fun job. Ever the accountant, Naegele said, “If I am recommending products to my friends and followers, I might as well monetize it.” Naegele is also a Dreamboard Instructor, Collagen Educator, and Mindset Coach.

Throughout her life, Naegele has worked in accounting. Starting at the age 12, she was doing accounting for her family business. At 16, Naegele did accounting for a local manufacturer in Cedar City, Utah where she grew up.

She has a breadth of experience, working in all areas of accounting:

  • All sizes of accounting firms
  • Controller
  • Internal and External Auditing

Although Naegele worked in accounting, she wasn’t entirely certain that was what she wanted to study in college. While she was in school, she kept switching between Accounting and Nutrition.

Then, Naegele took a break from school when she got married and had a baby. Life got busy and she wanted to prioritize her roles as wife and mother. After she was divorced, Naegele returned to school intending to graduate as quickly as possible since she had become a single mother. When working with her advisor to create the fastest degree plan to reach that goal, she learned that both Accounting and Nutrition would take the exact same amount of time to complete.

Naegele decided to focus on majoring in Accounting, as she figured Accounting would be better for Law School admission - another path she was interested in.
“You don’t have to have it all figured out to get started,” said Naegele. “And if after you get your bachelor’s you aren’t finding the jobs you want, go back and get the master’s degree.”

Experience at SUU

While at SUU, Naegele took advantage of SUU’s Business School’s Career Fairs where she connected with employers. She also took an Office Tour of accounting firms in Las Vegas where she received job offers.

“The most valuable part of my education has been the opportunities that have opened up. The network connections you make with your classmates and professors during college can be invaluable after college,” Naegele said. “A professor was a reference for me when I was getting started. And you never know what opportunities will come your way because of a connection you made in school.”

She appreciated how her professors were all genuinely interested in their students' futures and successes. One of her professors encouraged her to go for a large firm as she was graduating and job searching. The professor explained that large firms hire fresh graduates and it’s much easier to go from a large firm to a smaller firm than it is to go from a smaller firm to a larger firm.

Naegele quickly learned what worked well for her during her educational journey. She knew she needed to have discipline, and in turn, she set up a strict schedule of hours to do her homework and stuck to it throughout her journey.

“My baby would go to bed at 8 p.m., so I did homework from 8 p.m. to midnight,” Naegele explained. “As a young single mom supporting myself and my child, I learned that I could do hard things, and that has been a lesson I have had to rely on in life.”

Advice for Future T-birds

Naegele wished she had understood that you don’t need to have it all figured out prior to attending college. Since she didn’t know what she wanted to major in, Naegele didn’t start college right away after graduating high school.

Naegele believes that there is a lot of pressure when it comes to starting college because you think you have to pick a major right away and know what you want to do as a career. However, that isn’t the case. Now she advises people to not let pressure or indecision stop them from attending college.

“You’ll find your path. You just have to start.” Naegele said.

“Why not go one more year to get the extra degree?” Naegele advises others who are considering going to school for their Master’s in Accounting. “When it comes to the MAcc, you already know the accounting concepts and you get to delve deeper into them so you have a better understanding of them. It will really help you excel more.”

Naegele has generously offered to be a resource for students when they are deciding on education or accounting career paths. Students can find her on SUU Connect, where they can message her seeking advice.

Tags: School of Business Accounting SUU Online Non-Traditional Student Services