Scholarship Winner Chase Ritenauer Uses His CPA Credential to Serve His Community as Mayor
As the mayor of the 10th largest city in Ohio, Chase Ritenauer spends his days contributing to the community that raised him. He’s also still waiting on that cup of coffee from Peter Olinto.
Ritenauer, a 2018 recipient of the Newton D. Becker Scholarship, has served as Lorain’s mayor since he was 27. As mayor, he is a constant presence in the community, providing leadership and vision to the city while also administering its budget.
The Newton D. Becker Scholarship rewards hard-working individuals, like Ritenauer, who share its namesake’s values of high moral character, strong leadership qualities and commitment to community service. The scholarship offers students from many different walks of life the opportunity to prepare for the exam with Becker CPA Exam Review.
Read as Mayor Ritenauer shares how he applies his knowledge as a CPA to his political career and offers advice for those who are preparing for the big exam.
Your educational background is in political science. Why did you decide to become a CPA? Has the credential helped in your political career?
In 2010, I started thinking about becoming a CPA. Obviously, my mayoral run and election in 2011 put that off a bit. While working in city administration, I saw the value of accounting and the CPA credential in my line of work. As mayor, not only was the budget my responsibility but so, too, were other areas of municipal finance including taxation, debt issuance, bonding, etc. Additionally, I considered running for State Auditor and knew the CPA credential would help with credibility. I ultimately did not run for State Auditor in 2018, but as mayor, the CPA credential also helps. The City of Lorain was removed from “Fiscal Watch” in 2013 and now has a balanced budget, which was not always the case. As a newly minted CPA, it affirms my role and contribution to those efforts.
How did you manage your time with studying, working and maintaining your personal life? What did your study schedule look like?
The CPA Exam was a challenge in many ways, and the schedule balance was chief amongst them. My approach was a study regimen and discipline. I found that studying at various times a day worked for me with most of my studying occurring in the morning. On weekdays, I would wake up at 5 or 5:30 and study for 2.5 to 3 hours before work. At lunch, I would study for another 30 minutes to an hour. After work, I would take my handwritten notes or flashcards and study while I exercised on a treadmill at the highest incline and speed where I could walk, read and increase my heart rate all at the same time! With this schedule, I took Sundays off. I increased study time on Saturday mornings and early afternoons. By doing so, I could maintain a personal life on weekends while also getting a breather on Sunday. Mornings worked for me. They may not work for everyone, but for me they were best.
Can you share any tips for other CPA students to get motivated and focused for the exam?
You have to want it first and foremost. One CPA told me that the exam is a test of mental stamina and is a mental marathon. I viewed it as such. I tried to take each day in stride and had my week of studies pre-planned. I knew how many lectures, multiple-choice questions, and simulations I would do on a particular day. I tried to keep my focus on each day and attempted to win each day. Meeting short-term goals got me through each module, section and ultimately, the exam.
What did the Newton Becker Scholarship mean to you?
The scholarship to me meant an opportunity. I was well aware of the advantage of Becker’s CPA Review and the scholarship made Becker a reality for me. The scholarship made Becker possible, which undoubtedly played a role in me passing the CPA exam.
The Newton D. Becker Scholarship Program is now accepting applications. If accepted, the scholarship covers the cost of Becker’s CPA Review 4-Part program. Apply today!