2016 Career Session Speakers


Sadie Hayes

Sadie Hayes

Sadie Hayes, Life Care Services

Financial Analyst

Accounting: Does the Shoe Fit?

A degree in accounting can take you many places. The skills learned with a degree in accounting can prepare you for future success as a business leader. No matter where you are on the journey of choosing a college major, this session will help answer your questions about everything accounting. What is it like to major in accounting? What could I do with an accounting major when I graduate? Could I be good at accounting? Would I enjoy a career in accounting?  Does the accounting shoe fit you? 


Sadie is a CPA and a recent graduate of Iowa State University with Bachelor of Science in Finance and Accounting and a Masters of Accountancy. She is currently a Finance Analyst for Life Care Services in Des Moines, Iowa. Sadie supports Senior Living Communities around the U.S. with financial budgeting, projections, financial statement review, etc. Sadie enjoys running, spending time with family and friends, and a good book.  



Emmy Quinde, Principal Financial Groupemmy-quinde

Claim Analyst

From Personal to Corporate: Finance Careers Power the World.

We will discuss the three main categories of finance: Public, Corporate and Personal Finance. We’ll touch on what education and certification you will need to work in finance. Several types of certification exist for financial workers, depending on their area of study and expertise. We’ll explore different career paths and options for potential job opportunities such as commercial banking, financial planning, investment banking, money managing, insurance and real estate. You should find enough information to provide you with a good starting point to narrow your focus on the type of job and the career that is right for you.


Emmeline was born in New Jersey but was raised in Ecuador. In 2008, she returned to the USA to pursue higher education and graduated from Iowa State University with a degree in Finance. While attending ISU, she was involved in many student organizations such as Alpha Kappa Psi, Gerdin Citizenship Program, Finance Club, International Business Club and Descarga Latin Dance Club. Her experience is in Banking, insurance Sales and investments. She graduated from the Latina Leadership Initiative in 2013. She served on the board of the Des Moines Social Club and the advisory committee of the Solidary Women’s Microfinance Program and Iowa Community Capital. Currently, lives and works in Des Moines as a Claims Analyst for Principal Financial Group. In her free time she enjoys learning new languages, volunteering and dancing. 


Mara White

Mara White

Mara White, Flynn Wright

Director of Public Relations

Leslie Millard, Flynn Wright

Account Coordinator

What Really Matters?

Looking ahead to college and beyond, you may or may not have a crystal clear view of what you want to do professionally and what path you might take to reach your goals. We are going to talk about how you can set yourself on a path for success no matter what you do. Our discussion will talk about social media (think before you post), GPAs and class rank (important?), making good choices (always), listening to leaders around you (usually) and thinking short-term instead of long-term (risky). These are foundationally the most important years of your life and we’re here to help you look and plan ahead!



Founded in 1984, Flynn Wright is a dynamic, full-service advertising and marketing agency. Headquartered

in the heart of downtown Des Moines, our team works with clients across the nation. Mara and Leslie each focus on various roles for a variety of awesome clients. Artists, strategists, writers, specialists, researchers, managers, accountants, and coordinators – together we make up the Flynn Wright family. A mixture of creative ideas and professionals who have a passion for their jobs and serving our clients is what makes our business so rewarding. For more information, visit www.flynnwright.com.


Nicole Ryan

Nicole Ryan

Nicole Ryan, Wells Fargo

Marketing Consultant

Developing Your Personal Brand:  Showcasing Your Personality to Develop Your Career Goals

What exactly is a personal brand and why is it important? This session will discuss what personal branding is and why it’s crucial to have a developed personal brand statement at any stage of your life. Whether you are going to college, looking for a job, or simply want to better understand your passions and goals, we will go through an exercise to help you develop and narrow down your personal brand that reflects your unique personality.


Nicole Ryan is a Marketing Consultant at Wells Fargo creating and executing creative strategy campaigns for every day consumer credit cards. Nicole Ryan graduated with her undergraduate degree in anthropology and classical studies (2010) and graduate degree (2013) from Iowa State University. She has a passion for creating customer-centric materials to help the public better understand complicated topics inherent within the financial and insurance industries.


You will most likely find Nicole with her husband taking care of their century old home in Des Moines, crocheting or knitting, or planning her next travel adventure.



Alba Perez

Alba Perez

Alba Perez, Coopera Consulting

Client Relations Director

The Journey, the Challenges, the Joy

The professional journey starting at zero.  An immigrant’s personal and professional journey, its challenges, overcoming hurdles on the way and giving back.  


The professional journey starting at zero. An immigrant’s personal and professional journey, its challenges, overcoming hurdles on the way and giving bMs. Perez joined Coopera Consulting in the fall of 2015. Prior to this she served as the Executive Officer of Latino Affairs for the Iowa Department of Human Rights for four years.

Perez worked as Diversity Development Director for the Greater Des Moines Partnership for twelve years prior to working for the state of Iowa. In her spare time Perez is an activist and volunteers for different boards and community. Originally from Tegucigalpa Honduras Alba calls Iowa and Des Moines home for her, her children and grandchildren.


Niki Wilson, Aflac
Niki Wilson

Niki Wilson

District Sales Coordinator

Who Runs The World? GIRLS! – Women in Entrepreneurship  

This session will focus on eliminating stereotypes in the business world. Women are just as important as men. This session will work on the skills needed in an interview in order to market yourself in the best way and become the leader/boss you want to be! 


Niki is an ISU Alum! She graduated from Iowa State with degrees in Political Science and Criminal Justice in 2012. Niki started with Aflac right after college as a Sales Associate and have since climbed the ladder. She is currently a District Coordinator of Sales for Aflac in Central Iowa. She loves to travel, meet new people, play with her puppies, and cheer for the Cyclones! 


Management Information Systems

Antoinette Stevens

Antoinette Stevens

Antoinette Stevens, Reboot Iowa, Inc & Principal Financial Group

Executive Director at Reboot Iowa, Inc./Network Security Analyst at Principal Financial Group

Think Like A Computer

Learning to code means learning how to think like a computer. This session will teach you about how computers think by having you complete (not-so) simple tasks while thinking like a computer.


Antoinette moved to Des Moines from Atlanta, GA in 2015 after graduating with her degree in Computer Science from the University of Georgia. She works as a network security analyst at Principal Financial Group and serves as Executive Director of Reboot Iowa, Inc, a non-profit she founded to teach adults about coding and technology. In her spare time she is a Stormchaser dancer for the Iowa Barnstormers Arena Football Team, an instructor and coordinator for Iowa’s first Girls Who Code club, and a member of several groups in the Des Moines area.


Supply Chain Management

Marcy Spieker

Marcy Spieker

Marcy Spieker, CH Robinson


Leadership—What Does it Look Like to You??  

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an effective leader?  In this session, learn how to develop the leader within you!  We will look at what leadership means to you personally and how to inspire, motivate and be successful as a leader!


Marcy Spieker has been with C.H. Robinson for eleven years and has worked in several different roles.  She is currently managing a group of professionals in the transportation and logistics industry.  She is a 2005 graduate of Iowa State University with a degree in Communication Studies.  C.H. Robinson is a leading third party logistics company as well as a Fortune 500 company.  


Jen Estochen, 3M

Jennifer Estochen

Supply Chain Manager

Create Your Chain Reaction – How a Supply Chain degree Ignites your Future!

Have you ever wondered… how did that product get on the store shelf? How do they make that? How do they know how much to make? What is the best way to make it? If so, then a career in Supply Chain might be in your future!  Join this session to learn how a career in Supply Chain can help you explore answers to these questions, and create a chain reaction for your future!


Jen has been with 3M for 17 years, beginning as a work-study student in IT and Supply Chain at the Ames facility, moving through roles in IT Warehousing and eBusiness, supply chain positions in 3M’s Industrial Adhesives and Tapes Division (IATD) and Electronic Markets Materials Division (EMMD), a Lean Six Sigma assignment in EMMD and a Manufacturing Operations Supervisor in EMMD.  Jen also led projects to define cross-functional support processes for all business processes (supply chain, manufacturing, finance, human resources, and customer-facing) engaged in Business Transformation and ERP deployment efforts.


Collegiate Women in Business


College of Business, Iowa State University

Business Majors: A Day in the Life

Meet current members of the College of Business Collegiate Women in Business student organization, tour the Gerdin Business Building, plus have your questions about business majors, career opportunities, and what it’s like to be a college student answered!