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Next Steps For 2021 Seniors: Clayton Cook

byRyan Chamberlin

Senior accounting major, Clayton Cook (’21), summarizes his reason for choosing MNU with one word: community.

“It was awesome to see the way people talked about MNU,” says Clayton. “I knew that I wanted to attend a school where I could also be a part of a community that cares so much about each other with God at the center of it all.”

However, Clayton tells us that this decision did not come easy for him, even as a second-generation Pioneer—both of his parents attended MNU.

“Before I came to MNU, I was worried about it being a smaller school and that there would not be as many opportunities for me or that it would be too close to home,” says the Kingston Missouri resident. “I could not have been farther off; I have been able to do more than I ever expected!”

Clayton has taken multiple leadership roles, forming a GoGroup to play LEGOs with elementary students at an Olathe Public School, and representing undergraduate students on MNU’s Board of Trustees. He served as a resident assistant in a residence hall and has supervised a team of students for MNU’s Phonathon, helping raise thousands of dollars for the university.

With his extracurricular experience and academic achievements under his belt, Clayton is happy to say that he already has landed a job in his chosen field after graduation. He recently accepted a position at BKD LLP, in Kansas City, one of the largest accounting firms in the country. He also plans on furthering his education to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

Clayton says his favorite things about MNU are the many students, staff, and faculty that invested in him. His resident educators, Matt Lee and Asher George, and student government sponsor, Lisa Downs, are a few he mentions by name.

“I have been blessed with all the staff and faculty here,” Clayton says. “They have guided and taught me so much.”

Clayton also relates that one of his favorite and most impactful classes was a Marriage and Family course, which, ironically, is where he met his fiancé, Rebecca White (’21).

Clayton appreciates his time and experience at MNU. The most important thing he wants to say is a simple “thank you” to MNU staff and faculty, his fellow students, lifelong friends, supporters of the university, his family, and to God.

As Clayton’s education at MNU comes to a close, he has some advice to pass on to future students.

“Step outside of your comfort zones,” he advises. “When opportunities present themselves, do not be afraid to say yes to something new.”

If you know someone thinking about a career in the field of accounting, suggest they learn more about MNU’s accounting degree.

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