Alumni spotlight: Ian Berg juggles rock stardom and life as accountant

Ian Berg graduated with an accounting degree from Cal Poly Pomona in 2016. He is the guitarist for the band he started, In Her Own Words (IHOW), which has been growing a steady following since 2013 when it released its first album, “Everything I Used to Trust.” 

Juggling college, work and a band life was Berg’s entire experience at CPP. He would get up to work in the morning, go to class in the afternoon and then work on the record, “Unfamiliar,” at night. The band tours were scheduled after each quarter to accommodate Berg and drummer Omar Sultani’s college studies. 

Berg continues to apply the accounting skills that he picked up at CPP to manage IHOW. 

“They say a lot of people, they either get it or they don’t, and it kind of just clicked with me,” Berg said. 

Eric Ruelas (left) and Ian Berg (right) posing with their instruments.
(Courtesy of Paul Cordebard)

Since then he’s been able to pursue a steady career in accounting at Eide Bailly (EB), an accounting and business advisory firm, and perform with his band IHOW.

Berg’s father sparked his interest in music by introducing him to the guitar, along with a couple of ‘80s bands that continue to inspire him today, such as Cheap Trick. 

His father also jump-started his career in performing when he let Berg play guitar with him at a beach house when he was only 11 years old. Berg remembers this as one of his very first shows, which led to his growing interest in music. 

Berg formed IHOW through MySpace when he posted an interest in recruiting a new singer for his band. 

He held auditions for the role, which resulted in Joey Flemming, from New York, becoming the lead singer. 

He then reached out to Sultani to be the drummer, who then brought in his best friend, Eric Ruelas, as the bassist. 

The music that IHOW has released touches on topics such as insecurities, heartbreak, suicide and more. 

IHOW tends to connect its audience to its members and the music on a deeper level. With that impact, the band had been able to tour across the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand and Japan.  

Pomona resident David Vazquez met Berg after attending his first IHOW concert in San Diego. “There’s something really cool about up-and-coming bands when they’re small, you get to really have a close experience whenever it comes to seeing them live,” Vazquez said. He has stayed in contact with them since through social media.

After attending Citrus College for five years in a recording arts program, Berg transferred to CPP to pursue a major in business and accounting. 

With that, Berg has managed to help his band manage funds and “make better decisions,” he said. Since then, he’s been managing IHOW, which helped him land his current job at EB.

“I got recruited out of Cal Poly Pomona because my boss … it stuck out to her, because I put on the resume about my band and starting it and managing it,” Berg said. 

Since then, he’s been working in EB’s consulting services and continues to manage IHOW’s paperwork.

Berg will be at CPP for Beta Alpha Psi’s “Meet the Firms” event, taking place on March 11 at Ursa Minor in the Bronco Student Center, for accounting students getting ready to graduate. 

He will be there to recruit up-and-coming accounting students who are interested in working with EB. To purchase a ticket for the event go to

IHOW’s music can be found on Spotify, Pandora and Apple music. For basic information and updates on upcoming shows, go to, or follow the band on Instagram @ihowband and Twitter @InHerOwnWords.

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