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After four years of business classes at Drury, the time finally came for me to test my knowledge this summer during an internship. I worked at the Kansas City office of BKD, which is a major public accounting firm. As someone who never originally considered the field of accounting, I was fortunate to have a professor that helped me find a spot outside of the traditional audit and tax arenas. I signed on to be a part of BKD’s small but quickly growing transaction services team. It’s a consulting group that performs due diligence procedures for mergers and acquisitions, as well as feasibility forecasting for healthcare systems, among other projects.
Some people get the impression that interns often do menial tasks, and don’t really get to experience what the work is truly like. This was certainly not the case for me, as I started doing meaningful work the very first week. I was able to apply much of what I learned throughout my accounting courses at Drury, while also learning as much as I could from my team members about how things are done at BKD.
Within a few weeks, I was doing most of the work on a new buy-side diligence engagement. I prepared schedules for our report from client documents and developed questions for management of the target company. This preparation culminated in a trip to the target company in Houston, Texas, where I worked with both our client and the CFO of the target company. This was a great chance to see a project through from start to finish, and be able to work with not just the BKD team, but the client as well.
Sometimes the learning curve was steep, and expectations were high, but I always felt confident that I had learned what I needed to know in my classes at Drury. I learned more from the experience than I could have imagined, and was disappointed when the internship was over. I developed strong connections during the summer, and I may very well end up working in that group after I graduate thanks to the internship opportunity.
Jason Kester is a senior majoring in Economics, Accounting, and Finance