Makenzie Smit, '18

Makenzie Smit, '18Major: Accounting and Spanish
Residence: Grand Rapids, Mi
Career: Public Accounting, Ernst & Young

In a nutshell, what do you do?

I am a staff auditor, so that means I work with a team to analyze the financial aspects of a business. A large part of that involves analyzing a company's financial statements and controls through different methods of testing -- like control walkthroughs, analytics, or substantive testing. Part of that includes interactions with the client asking for more support, clarification or more information on their controls or what they do. In the end, the team must issue an opinion that states whether we believe the company is in accordance with GAAP. I work with multiple different engagement teams throughout the year on different parts of the audits.

Why do you love what you do?

I love what I do because every day is different. I am faced with new challenges daily and have to problem solve to figure out the best way to perform certain testing or what happened that made something misstated or recorded incorrectly. I love working with a team where collaboration is important.

How did Albion help you get there?

First off, Albion gave me the hard skills that are needed within this field. All of my accounting classes helped to provide the background that helps me to excel and understand the workings of a company and the audit. All of my professors at Albion advocated throughout my career for things from finding internship opportunities to the CPA exam. The economics and management department has great staff that helped me to be able to develop the foundation of accounting skills needed for my job. Second, Albion helped me to develop the soft skills necessary within public accounting. Throughout the different things I was involved with at Albion&em;the lacrosse team, Cru, studying abroad, the tour guide program&em;I was able to develop skills like leadership, communication skills, problem-solving, work ethic, among many others. These other skills that I developed at Albion are just as important as the other skills&em;I use them on a daily basis.

What did you like most about Albion?

My favorite part of Albion was the personal attention from the professors. A few of my professors took an interest in my success and how I was going to proceed with my future. They were able to help not only in class but also outside of class which is the benefit of going to a smaller school. Albion made it possible for me to get to know my professors and to know most if not all of the people in my classes and majors.

For me, Albion …

… gave me the opportunity to create relationships, network, and grow both intellectually and personally. I was pushed outside of my comfort zone often, and that allowed me to learn and grow in immense ways. Albion provided an excellent foundation for the start of the next chapter of my life. I know I will always have connections here, but Albion also prepared me to create connections moving forward.