Top accounting student off to Notre DameMay 06, 2013
Jeffrey Ritter knows he’s on the right track, but don’t expect him to brag about it.
After all, the accounting major is graduating with a perfect 4.0 grade point average, his professor says he's among "his best accounting students ever,” he’s sitting for the Certified Public Accountant exam this summer, and then he’s off to the University of Notre Dame on a graduate assistantship.
But one might be hard pressed to hear Ritter talk about all that. Yes, he’ll acknowledge the GPA (“I was always a pretty good student but when I came to college I decided to really commit”), and that he’s sitting for the notoriously difficult CPA exam (“It just kind of makes sense to take the test now”), even that he landed a plum spot at Notre Dame (“I’m really very grateful.”)
Just don’t ask if he’s anyone’s best student ever.
“I’ve worked hard,” said Ritter, 22, of Bridgeton. “But the best accounting student ever? I don’t know.”
Ritter: Notre Dame bound
Dr. George Romeo, a professor of accounting in the Rohrer College of Business since 1979, said there is little doubt.
“He is the best all around student I’ve had in terms of scholarship, personality, leadership and academics,” Dr. Romeo said.
And yet, he said, Ritter is humble and beloved by his classmates.
“He’s a straight-A student but he’s so gracious that other students want to be in class with him,” Dr. Romeo said. “He’s actually corrected two errors I’ve made in class but he did it with such humility, never in front of others.”
In addition to a perfect GPA, lots of extracurricular activities and a great work ethic, Ritter scored 730 on his GMAT, the business school entrance exam, higher than the average required for any business school in the country, Dr. Romeo said.
Even more impressive, Ritter has performed so well in school with an illness. He was diagnosed at 16 with Type 1 diabetes and monitors his blood sugar levels throughout the day, administering insulin as needed.
“I test my blood seven, eight times a day and wear a continuous glucose monitor,” he said. “I have to let all of my professors know I have it so if I have to give myself an injection or test my sugar in class they’re not alarmed or think I’m on a cell phone.”
To help maintain a healthy blood sugar level he also exercises frequently and counts his carbs.
Opens all doors
After sitting for the CPA exam this summer he’ll move to Notre Dame to set up his apartment and get ready for the coming year in which he’ll earn a master of science in accountancy.
Ritter, who has not ruled out a career in academics, believes he’ll start out in the business world, possibly in a management consulting or public accounting firm.
“An accounting background opens all doors in business,” he said.
At Rowan he began building experience and adding to his resume. He helped file returns for low-income residents through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program, served as president in the Accounting Society, and was an academic senator for the College of Business in the Student Government
Association his sophomore year.
He was also an accounting intern at the Cumberland Insurance Group in Bridgeton.
“There are so many different areas an accounting major can go into – auditing, taxes, forensic accounting,” he said. “I love working with numbers and my goal is to make a career of it.”