HHS grad counting on real-world education at WSU

Amber Loewen, a Hillsboro High School graduate and now accounting major at Wichita State University, received an internship with Koch Industries Inc. while only a college sophomore.

Loewen chose accounting because ?it fit,? she said. With a math teacher as a mother, she grew up excelling at numbers.

?I am extremely organized and meticulous. I like rules and consistency,? she said. ?I love the work I?m doing.?

While some may view accounting as a boring career, Loewen finds it exciting and challenging.

?Accounting is also a very demanding career, but I have always loved a challenge,? she said.

The opportunity to work in an accounting position before obtaining her degree is an added perk to her internship with Koch.

Loewen learned about cooperative education early as a junior in high school. At WSU, she took advantage of the Cooperative Education and Work-Based Learning program?s ability to place her in the accounting field.

?I am so grateful that I get to learn about accounting while getting college credit and getting paid,? she said. ?It?s a great system.?

Loewen works in corporate accounting as a ledger accountant for discontinued operations at Koch.

?It is almost impossible to sum my job up,? she said. ?I am responsible, like any other entry accountant, for the day-to-day activities of my ledgers,? including paying bills, booking entries, completing reconciliations and financial and government reports.

Loewen deals with many different business matters at Koch that have her at the top of her game. She sees the big picture of business and how it operates day-to-day.

?The great thing about my job is that I am doing the same work that an entry level accountant would do in the private sector of accounting,? she said.

Loewen said her co-op experience has challenged her more than any job she?s had in the past, and she has learned more about accounting and business than just by being in a classroom.

?I have learned a lot in the classroom that I have been able to apply at work, but I have also learned at lot at Koch that I have been able to apply to the classroom learning,? she said.

Her internship with Koch is not the only experience she?s had with major accounting projects.

Loewen participated in the Barton International Group, a group of students from the W. Frank Barton School of Business chosen to complete projects in the global marketplace.

She was one of 13 members selected to participate with Spirit AeroSystems Inc. and travel to Malaysia to complete a cultural scan of the Spirit Malaysia facility.

?This experience allowed (me) to work with top executives from the United States, Europe and Malaysia,? she said.

Because of her hectic schedule, Loewen is no longer on the BIG team, but she stays involved on campus through the Student Ambassador Society and the Barton School Deans Ambassadors.

Loewen will begin another internship with Allen, Gibbs and Houlik LC, a public accounting firm in Wichita, in spring 2011, and she?ll graduate with her bachelor?s degree in business administration in accounting that December.

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