Student spotlight: Jessica Couch

Jessica Couch has been named the Crain’s Detroit Business 2016 Newsmaker Student Scholarship awardee. Couch, who currently boasts a 3.95 GPA majoring in accounting in the Mike Ilitch School of Business, has been an academic achiever since she was in high school.

Couch attended University High School Academy in Southfield. She said the school focuses on STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) subjects.

“In my high school, students were very competitive academically and that pushed me to want to excel in all of my classes,” she said.

Couch decided to pursue an accounting major after taking her first accounting class at Oakland Community College before transferring to WSU.

“At the beginning of the class, my accounting teacher said ‘After this class, all of you will be accounting majors.’ Within two weeks, I was an accounting major,” she said.

She said her teacher had such passion and enthusiasm for accounting that it was hard not to love the subject.

“Accounting truly is the language of business and the foundation of it, as well,” she said.

In addition to being involved in academics, Couch is also involved in campus business organizations.

“Currently, I’m involved in the National Association of Black Accountants, where I have just been elected president of the chapter,” she said.

She is also a peer mentor for the Warrior Business Community, a learning community for incoming freshmen who are interested in pursuing a business major.

“In this role, I help students in their personal and professional development by holding resume workshops, study sessions, etc.”

Couch said that obtaining this scholarship will make it that much easier for her to attend school.

“I’ve always struggled to gain funding for my education,” she said. “Professionally, I think it will show prospective employers that I have not only excelled academically, but that I have been recognized for my achievements, as well.”

Couch is planning to earn her bachelor’s degree in accounting and then an M.B.A. in business administration. After finishing her studies, Couch hopes to work for an accounting firm, establish or contribute to a campaign company and form a program for high school students in low-income areas who are interested in business.

Couch officially received the award in February at Crain’s annual Newsmaker of the Year luncheon. She was honored with the year’s “Top Newsmakers,” including Ilitch School benefactors Mike and Christopher Ilitch, and Matt Simoncini, CEO of Lear Corp., who is also a WSU business alumnus.