Internships teach USD accounting students career, leadership skills

Five University of South Dakota Beacom School of Business accounting students are honing their skills and gaining valuable leadership experience this summer through leadership development and internship programs.

 Justin Ebsen, Evan Hegge, Sean Keane and Jerry Rodriguez are getting "hands on" opportunities while contributing at firms like Ketel Thorstenson LLP, Black Hills Corporation, Deloitte and KPMG while Jamie Worall has an internship with the FBI.

"Internships are an excellent way for students to gain entry-level experience in their chosen fields and to learn the culture of the company with exposure to the day-to-day tasks of a particular job," explained Sara Hansman, manager of employment services and internships for the Beacom School of Business. "Not only does it provide them with an inside look into their chosen profession, but it also helps them gain the necessary experience to make them more marketable during their job search."

Ebsen of Madison, SD, is completing an internship with Ketel Thorstenson LLP in Rapid City where he has an inside look into how the firm runs while being treated like a first-year auditor. Nina Braun, partner at Ketel Thorstenson LLP., said interns have a unique opportunity to see how they might fit into a company's culture. "They get to see what we do and what kinds of clients we service by heading out in the field on audits and working with our team in the office," she added. "They also enjoy fun golfing with partners and volunteering at firm sponsored events."

Hegge, from Dell Rapids, SD, is completing an internship in the budgeting and forecasting department with Black Hills Corporation in Rapid City learning a lot about the energy industry.

"In this internship I get the pleasure of working alongside financial managers, directors and outside consultants to implement a new Oracle Hyperion Planning Software. It has been a great experience to be a part of a publicly-traded corporation with such a reputable history," Hegge said.

Keane of Sioux City, Iowa participated in Deloitte's Summer Leadership Program in Omaha, Neb. The four-day event allowed participants to experience Deloitte's commitment to customers, leadership and community, including IMPACT Day where volunteers spent an afternoon working with Omaha Parks & Recreation staffers to clean up bike trails.

Additionally, KPMG LLP of Omaha also hosted a summer leadership program, KPMG Discover. This two-day event encouraged students like Rodriguez to begin thinking about a potential career in public accounting. Students in the program toured Omaha Steaks International, Inc., and participated in community service projects that reaffirmed the firm's commitment to the community. "It was a great opportunity to meet the firm in much less formal setting," added Rodriguez of Sturgis, S.D. "It gave me a chance to really meet other accountants that work at KPMG and get a sense of the culture in the Omaha office."

Worrall, meanwhile, is currently completing her internship with the FBI in Omaha. The Huron, S.D. native is "really enjoying the experience" as she continues to develop some of the necessary skills she will eventually use in her career.

"Internship participants get a better feel of the culture of the internship sponsor," noted Leon Korte, associate professor of accounting and Accounting Internship Coordinator. The sponsor has a better exposure to potential future employees. It is a beneficial arrangement for each party."

For more information about accounting at USD, please go to www.usd.edu/business/accounting.

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