Hannah Miller worked three jobs to help support herself while attending Saunders College of Business—and said all the hard work has paid off. The accounting major is graduating with a degree in business administration from Rochester Institute of Technology this May, and she is also the recipient of the 2014 RIT Outstanding Female Senior Award. Since 1996, the RIT Women’s Council annually grants the award to a graduating senior who demonstrates high scholarship and academic success in the face of personal challenges.
The Canandaigua native, who now lives in East Rochester, has financially supported herself since the age of 17. Before coming to RIT, Miller received an associate degree in liberal arts and science from Finger Lakes Community College (2009) and an associate degree in business administration from Monroe Community College (2012).
“Hannah has taken the challenges in her life and turned them into opportunities to better herself and those around her,” said Jenna Lenhardt, academic adviser at Saunders College who nominated Miller for the award. “Her focus and determination on her professional goals—along with always supporting her friends and family—is inspirational.”
Miller said her father, John Miller, has always been her inspiration—pushing her to excel outside her boundaries and “to pursue a career that I love because it will not feel like work.” Another influence is her older brother, Caleb, who is serving on his second overseas deployment with the Army in Kuwait. “Family is very important to me and I’m hoping to find an auditing position locally because this is my home,” said Miller. “I’ve enjoyed my experience at RIT, especially working as a co-op student internal auditor for Institute Audit, Compliance and Advisement at RIT—but with three jobs and a full academic schedule, I haven’t had as much time for social activities as I would have liked. I have a hard work ethic: paying bills comes before fun.”
William Dresnack, associate professor and area head of accounting and finance at Saunders College, said Miller attended two of his accounting classes and that she was prepared and engaged, a willing and informed participant in discussions.
“She always seemed upbeat and cheerful despite the very difficult technical material we covered. I was amazed at her ability to stay focused despite the personal struggles she was enduring to simply survive on her own while attending classes. She is a role model for determination, hard work and a positive attitude.”
Miller plans to “save” the $500 scholarship awarded by the RIT Women’s Council to apply for the CPA exam. She will be honored during the council’s spring luncheon on May 14.
Note: Saunders College of Business is one of nine colleges at Rochester Institute of Technology and is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business International (AACSB). Enrolling more than 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students, Saunders College works in partnership with RIT’s entrepreneurial Venture Creations incubator and No. 1 ranked Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship to integrate business education with RIT’s world-leading technical and creative programs. Saunders College offers seven undergraduate, three MS, two Executive MBA, and five MBA programs where students gain real-world business experiences in the classroom and through co-ops.