Sarah Wenzel

Science and Business

Sarah Wenzel's Story

Wenzel is a staff accountant. She works in both the tax and audit departments at her firm, primarily preparing individual tax returns and working on governmental financial audits for cities, counties and school districts. “Public accounting is, in my opinion, the best place to start and gain experience in different areas of accounting involving many industry types, before settling on an expertise or becoming an accountant in the private sector.”

“Those who do not understand science will miss out on an incredible opportunity in business as well as in science. The new research and developments that lead to the betterment of humans cannot occur without scientists, but these same developments cannot ever make it to market and financially succeed without businesspeople. We have to work together.”

“I never stop contemplating a possible return to the biotech industry after I gain even more experience,” said Wenzel, who credits her background in science for helping her achieve all she has so far, including an internship at the Lawrence Regional Technology Center. She believes her chemistry major helped her stand out among a crowd of business majors. “It enabled me to have the thinking skills and learning abilities necessary to succeed in multiple disciplines.”

Tying it all together

Wenzel said she made the decision to revisit accounting as a career because she wanted to apply her technical background in a different way than laboratory research. “Most – if not all – companies need accountants and others to run the business successfully, and this includes firms in the fields of pharmaceuticals, biotechnology and life science,” she said. “Monmouth College really prepared me for this type of career path. The classes constantly challenged me to change my thinking and develop according to diverse learning environments. I had to always give my best effort, which is 100 percent necessary in the real world.”

  • Busy summers
    With the assistance of Monmouth’s chemistry faculty, Wenzel landed two summer Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) opportunities.
  • Family ties
    Chemistry faculty helped steer Wenzel in the right direction, and so did Monmouth’s strong accounting department. Her parents are accounting professors Frank Gersich and Judy Peterson.
Monmouth College really prepared me for this type of career path. The classes constantly challenged me to change my thinking and develop according to diverse learning environments. I had to always give my best effort, which is 100 percent necessary in the real world.


Sarah Wenzel ’10
Major: Chemistry, Certified Public Accountant, MBA, University of Kansas