Accounting Major Interns With Firm, Participates in KPMG’s Discover Program

Photo of Amanda Hanson and her Discover group

Amanda Hanson and her Discover group

Amanda Hanson of Ballwin, Mo., who is pursuing her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting at Southeast Missouri State University, will intern with KPMG in summer 2014 after she participated in the firm’s Discover Program for accounting students.

She is currently interning for the fourth summer with Cassidy Turley, a commercial real estate firm.

“After interning in corporate accounting for four years I knew what I really wanted to do was go into public accounting. I am much more interested in the hands-on and teamwork aspect associated with public accounting,” Amanda said.

The Discover Program is a two-day event that helps connect students to accounting firms looking for interns, and allows interns to decide whether or not they like the company as well. Amanda completed the program with KPMG, a network of firms providing audit, advisory and tax services.

“This was definitely one of the best experiences I have received. It got me very excited for my future in public accounting,” Amanda said.

Amanda’s group included 23 people. The first day featured an overview of the firm and a visit to a client site. The group also attended a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game together.

“Visiting the client site was a very beneficial experience for me since I plan to be an auditor in the future,” Amanda said. “The Cardinals game was really fun because it offered a more laid-back atmosphere to get to know some of the employees of KPMG and see if you feel like you would fit in there.”

The second day included an interview for a chance to land a winter or summer internship. She said it was intense but easier, since she was already familiar with the interviewers. The group also participated in a community service project and a panel.

After participating in the Discover Program, Amanda received and accepted an internship offer from KPMG for summer 2014.

“I had taken an accounting course in high school and enjoyed it, so I was thinking about majoring in accounting in college, but was unsure,” Amanda said. “When I originally started talking with Cassidy Turley, I was just aiming to do a job shadow to get an idea of the corporate accounting lifestyle. It ended up turning into me getting an internship offer that summer and confirmed my interest in accounting.”

Her first summer with Cassidy Turley, she worked in accounts payable. She assisted with basic tasks such as organizing spreadsheets, scanning files, creating copies and filing, and more complex tasks such as invoice coding and distributing cash.

The next two summers, she worked with the brokerage accounting firm. This involved her handling journal entries, bank deposits, cash receipts, and account reconciliation and analysis, in addition to continuing with invoice coding.

This summer, she is working with the accounts receivable team and is helping analyze the Aging Report for the company. She pulls checks to review, contacts property managers about payments and looks up and sends invoices.

“It has taken a lot of problem solving skills, since each instance is a different situation,” Amanda said.

In addition, she aids with preparing manual invoices, completing payments, making sure invoices have enough documentation and cleaning up information to put into the software. She also assists with finances, such as reviewing fees and making copies of checks.

When she’s not interning in the summer, Amanda is a member of Tri-Delta, a sorority at Southeast. She served as treasurer and helped raise funds for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, her sorority’s philanthropy. She also loved being part of Homecoming.

Amanda said she likes to do anything that involves hanging out with her friends. She also likes to play volleyball, cook, scrapbook and travel, which she said her career choice can offer her.

“I am excited for the hands-on experience I will gain by going out to client sites and performing audits. I am also excited for all the travel and global opportunities I will receive,” Amanda said.

She says she wants to pursue her MBA with a focus in accounting and to be a licensed certified public accountant after she finishes her undergraduate degree.

“My time at Southeast has helped me be willing to try new things, which is an important part of life,” Amanda said. “It has also helped me be willing to put myself out there and go for what I want. It taught me to try my hardest whether inside the classroom or outside.”

Amanda advises future students to “get as involved as you can. There are so many organizations and other activities offered that will not only help you learn and grow, but help you network. Also, get to know your professors. There are some wonderful professors at Southeast that will help you along the way and that want to see you succeed. I would also advise all future students to look into studying abroad. I never did and I wish I would have.”