Intern Spotlight: Keeping Stock & Thinking Global
Every day Kristin Heckel, Accounting Intern at First Source Worldwide, LLC (FSW), comes into work she’s guaranteed something new to work on. “I love the variety, each day is something different,” she says. Currently an Accounting and French student at University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, Kristin has been with FSW for six semesters working in the accounting department.
Since her start, Kristin mainly works with the Chief Financial Officer and Accountant at the Corporate Office in Neenah, WI. Her responsibilities include keeping up with international financials, inventory control and costing, and many aspects of accounts payable including solving invoice discrepancies, checking freight charges, and keeping bills paid on time. But it changes rapidly, “I’ve really been surprised by how many different projects I’ve been able to work on, even internationally.” She reflects on how choosing FSW for her internship had a lot to do with the desire to do private accounting. FSW offered her the opportunity to handle a variety of different accounting tasks stretching across borders into Central America and overseas. After traveling to Europe herself for a semester, she’s returned to FSW for the continuous opportunities that match what she’s passionate about.
One of her favorite things, however, is her office environment. “I enjoy working directly with the CFO and Accountant, and even outside of the department with Customer Service and Purchasing. It’s incredible how everything is so connected.” In a growing business, things can change rapidly. After her semester abroad, she returned to FSW following a major system upgrade to Deacom. “I wanted to see how we operated with something so efficient and precise. Our processes are smoother and our reports more accurate. Even with a learning curve it’s amazing to experience what a sophisticated ERP system can do for a business.” Kristin expressed how she’s enjoyed watching the company grow and being a part of it. “It’s rewarding to see the effects of my work, I don’t think I’d get that same satisfaction at a larger company.”
As she’s grown with the company, Kristin’s been a part of many corporate events and festivities including company Brewer game outings and picnics. She’s also spent a few days in the Milwaukee operations facility, getting to meet lab and production coworkers creating the products she accounts for back in the office. “In just a simple tour it gave me a better idea of how our products are created and who’s involved. It’s helped me carry that over into my work and be more effective and understanding.” The additional training and introductions she’s had over her time at FSW allowed her to have a better picture of how a business is organized and operates successfully. “The concepts you learn in the classroom are picture-perfect companies and situations. When you’re working in a live company, it’s never that simple and we’re always problem solving to find better solutions.”
Kristin graduates December 2015 from UW-Oshkosh and plans to attain her CPA shortly after. She is keeping her options open for where she’ll continue her career post-graduation. Kristin is interested in continuing international accounting as she enjoys the cultural aspect of working across borders. “The great thing about interning at FSW is the exposure I’ve had. I feel like I’ve touched such a variety of areas that I’m ready to make a commitment to a career that will closely align with what I truly enjoy.”
Do you envision yourself in this position? Gain similar experience and explore our internship opportunities to advance your career.