Since high school, Hannah Kroencke has known she wanted a career in business and accounting.
“I was an active member in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA), and I appreciated the work we did in that club, and it prompted me to look into potential careers in the business field,” she said. “During my junior year of high school, I took an introductory accounting course because I had always claimed math to be my favorite subject growing up. I found the assignments to be pretty exciting and understood the subject rather well.”
Kroencke, of Bowling Green, Missouri, will realize her aspirations when she graduates from Southeast May 14 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with a major in accounting and a business analytics minor.
During her time at Southeast, Kroencke found opportunities that allowed her to cultivate entrepreneurship experiences and hone her business skills.
As a freshman and sophomore she lived in the Business Learning Community, becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) leading this community her junior year. Her senior year, she was an RA for the SEMO Startups (Entrepreneurship) Learning Community, helping her fellow students to design and implement a small business idea. She also joined the University’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi International Honor Society for Accounting, serving as the chapter secretary and vice president.
Her enthusiasm for business and accounting led her to complete internships with the Cape Girardeau Career and Technology Center in 2019 and KPMG in 2021.
Kroencke’s next goals are to pass the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam this summer before joining KPMG as a full-time audit associate in September.
FIVE QUESTIONS ABOUT HANNAH’S EXPERIENCE
How does it feel to be graduating from Southeast?
I still find it hard to believe that I will be graduating in a few short weeks. Some days are more difficult than others, because I have really enjoyed my time here and will miss the campus events, friends who are going their separate ways or staying behind, and faculty who I have grown accustomed to seeing multiple times each week. Other days, I feel ready to “leave the nest” because I believe my time here has prepared me for the future, and I am excited to see all that lies ahead.
How have your experiences at Southeast prepared you for a career after graduation?
My time at Southeast has greatly prepared me for life after graduation. I have seen tremendous growth in my leadership abilities, beginning with the First Year Leadership Program and continuing with Emerging Leaders. I can also attribute some of this growth to faculty and other peer leaders at the University. I cannot count the number of times I was told to “get involved” during my first year here. It was a little redundant at the time, but I am so thankful for this advice. I have participated in numerous organizations that have each prepared me in different ways for the future. Now, I say the same words to my residents and other new students who I meet.
How did being a Resident Assistant shape your time at Southeast?
This year, I was thrown out of my comfort zone a little after living in the Business Learning Community for three years. I was used to participating in the same types of events each year and working with first-year students as they explored this new chapter after high school. Looking back, I recognize this transition as yet another way that Southeast has prepared me for life after graduation.
This year, in the SEMO Startups Learning Community, I worked with upperclassmen instead of freshmen and was given the task of guiding students through the development and implementation of a small business project. I have always admired entrepreneurs, but this admiration has quadrupled over the last seven months or so. I was not quite sure where to begin with this project, but luckily, I had a few residents who had lived in the community before and a great support team between Residence Life staff members and our learning community faculty liaisons. We decided to try a SEMO Startup Market after being inspired by the recurring Riverfront Market hosted by OldTown Cape. Overall, this was a great learning experience for everyone in the community, and I am satisfied with the market turnout. I am thankful especially for the community members who helped guide us in the planning stage while also spreading the word of our event. It is heartwarming to know that students are supported by those outside of the University as well as by those within.
What was it like to complete an internship with KPMG?
My internship with KPMG last summer greatly affirmed my decision to pursue this career field. I worked on three different audit teams after the assigned training period and was able to assist them in reviewing financial transactions that would be used to prepare audit reports for the companies.
What are you looking forward to in this next step in your career?
I was offered a position with KPMG based on my evaluations during the internship. My workload will be similar to what I did as an intern but possibly on different audit teams. I am looking forward to the initial training period because it takes place in Orlando! All of the new employees will travel to the KPMG Lakehouse for a week-long training/orientation period. I am very excited to meet my coworkers, learn more about my position, and spend time on the beach!
I plan to work my way up the chain of command within KPMG until I can eventually serve as one of the partners in the audit division.