Sue Wilkinson chose to major in accounting when she came to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of Business Administration, because it came naturally to her. Today she is responsible for risk management, branding/corporate communications, business services and travel and charitable giving/community relations as senior vice president at Ameritas Life Insurance Corporation in Lincoln, Nebraska.
Wilkinson with husband Bert at football tailgate
“Coming from the small town of Petersburg, Nebraska, we didn’t have a guidance counselor so I wasn’t aware of many other options to utilize my strength with numbers. After taking more accounting classes at CBA, the public accounting route became intriguing,” she said.
Wilkinson joined Beta Alpha Psi and represented CBA at a national conference held in Ohio. She presented on accounting for mortgage-backed securities and had the opportunity to meet students from all over the U.S.
“My time at CBA helped mold me to be flexible and have a curiosity to never stop learning. My professors were top notch and Beta Alpha Psi opened up the world of Big Six (now Big Four) public accounting,” she said.
Her career at Ameritas officially began in 1995 though she had served on their audit account with Deloitte for five years. Starting in cost accounting, she soon added budget accounting. After three years, she began working in the individual insurance line of business, and facilitated budgeting and planning. She then moved to the planning department for the company.
“Being flexible, having intellectual curiosity and being able to work with many types of people have helped me in my career. With the span of responsibilities I have I am able to work with all of our lines of business which I enjoy and it helps me stay on top of what is all happening in our organization. Being involved in our charitable giving gives me great personal satisfaction,” Wilkinson said.
Wilkinson at CBA Advisory Board Summit
She also serves on the CBA Dean’s Advisory Board and formerly served on the School of Accountancy Advisory Board for the college for two terms.
“I firmly believe in giving back to those people and places that helped me become the person I am today. CBA gave me an education and tools as a foundation to continue to learn and grow throughout my career. Others gave before me in order for me to receive the education and foundation I did, so it’s my turn to give back so others can benefit,” she said.
Wilkinson said her main motivation is her family, who keep her grounded and help her laugh at herself. She has been married to Robert (Bert) for 24 years, and they have two children, Chelsea 17, a high school senior, and Jake 14, a freshmen.
“My hope is that one of my children will decide a business degree is for them, and thus get to enjoy the new CBA Building (to open in 2017) and all it has to offer. The building will be a game changer and I encourage other alumni to learn more about the positive direction of CBA,” she said.