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Emma BushmanFor the past three summers, KMA has had the pleasure of having Emma Bushman join us as our summer intern. Emma will be a senior at the University of Kentucky this fall, and will graduate with a double major in Accounting and Economics. Emma has applied her considerable talents, strong work ethic and fresh perspective to KMA’s operations, and her can-do attitude has made her an invaluable asset to our team. In fact, this year Emma earned a promotion from intern to Finance and Administration Assistant.

Mary Mickiewicz, KMA’s Director of Finance and Administration and Emma’s supervisor, raves, “It has been such a joy to work with Emma these past three summers. I am amazed at her maturity and ability to hop right in and figure things out. She has been an asset since her first day, and she’s even taught me a thing or two!”

As successful as this has been on our side, we wanted to know how the experience with KMA has been for Emma. Here’s that conversation.

Emma, can you tell us about the work you’ve been doing at KMA during your college summers?

Over the past three summers, I’ve been able to work on a large variety of projects at KMA. No two days are ever the same! I’ve done everything from consulting on client projects to event planning. One thing I’ve been working on this summer is documenting all our internal financial procedures to ensure the preservation of valuable institutional knowledge within KMA. I’ve also been working closely with our Finance and Admin team to help prepare for our annual staff meeting and fifteen-year anniversary celebration!

What about this position has been the most rewarding?

The most rewarding part of my time at KMA has been the opportunity to learn from those more experienced and knowledgeable than myself. KMA has so many talented team members that I’ve had the privilege of working with and learning from, and I’m truly grateful to have had the opportunity to be mentored by them over the last three summers (in particular our Director of Finance and Administration, Mary Mickiewicz). It’s also been incredibly rewarding to see the concepts and skills I’ve learned in the classroom translated into the real world – especially this year in my role as Finance and Administration Assistant!

What for you makes an internship experience a success?

I think what truly makes an internship experience a success is getting to do things you’ve never done before! While work experience on your resume is a nice bonus, internships are really all about getting out of your comfort zone and learning something new. Despite having been at KMA for the past three summers, every year has been different, and every year I’ve been able to try new things and expand my skillset. This in particular has really allowed me to learn and grow as a young professional, which is what internships are all about!

What skills and knowledge have you gained through your work at KMA?

Countless! Like I mentioned earlier, no day is ever the same as the one before, so I’m constantly learning new skills in my role at KMA. Not only have I been able to develop my hard skills working in programs like Excel, PowerPoint, and NetSuite, KMA has also given me the opportunity to develop my soft skills – adaptability, problem solving, time management, teamwork, communication, the list goes on! This summer in particular I’ve had the opportunity to work more on the finance side of things as well, experience which has been invaluable for me as an accounting student.

What impact do you feel you have had over the past three summers?

I think the largest impact I’ve had at KMA over the last three years is helping to make our technology more accessible. In an increasingly digital world, it can be a difficult adjustment for many! I’ve been working these past three summers to develop internal instruction manuals for platforms like SharePoint, NetSuite, and Microsoft Teams to help employees with this transition, as well as teach them how best to utilize these resources.

What are your plans after you graduate next spring?

After graduating undergrad in May of 2023, I plan to start graduate school in the fall of next year to obtain my MBA. Not sure where I’ll be headed yet, but I’m in the process of applying to schools now!

Emma, we want to thank you for all you have done for KMA. You have been such a joy to work with and you will be missed. We wish you all the best for your final year of college, and know that you have a very bright future wherever you land!

If you’re not convinced of the benefits of an internship program, this post offers some recommendations on how to develop one and why it’s well worth the effort.