The Businesswoman

Augustana graduate Lauren Kunkel ’16 is an audit assistant for Deloitte in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

NEXT STOP: THE REAL WORLD — 2016 GRADS SHARE THEIR EXPERIENCES.

Meet accounting and business major Lauren Kunkel ’16, an audit assistant for Deloitte in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

Q. Tell us about your journey after graduating from Augustana — what has the path to your first job been like?

A. In December of my junior year I had the chance to interview with Deloitte, a Big 4 accounting firm, and was offered the job. I wasn’t sure public accounting was the path I wanted to go down but after doing some research and talking to people who had previously worked in that area, I realized what a great opportunity I had to learn about a variety of industries and get my foot in the door.

Q. What’s your average day like?

A. I have yet to do the same thing twice as there are many different parts to an audit. As a team, we work to examine and evaluate the financial statements of an organization to ensure that the records are fair and accurate. For example, as a first-year audit assistant I help to gather information by talking to clients, looking at past records, updating work papers, etc. — basically I do whatever I can to help the team. It changes every day and is different with each client!

Q. Challenges and rewards of your role?

A. There’s a huge learning curve in the first year. The week I was with my very first client I had no clue what I was doing, so I really had to ask a lot of questions and essentially give in to the fact that I was going to be lost for a while. By my second week, I was feeling much more comfortable and ready to take on more.

Q. How did you choose Augustana?

A. I transferred to Augustana after my sophomore year. I didn’t like the feel of a big university and knew of Augie and its great reputation from growing up in Sioux Falls.

Q. Favorite class as an Augie student, and why?

A: “Advanced Corporate Finance” because the class was very challenging and covered topics I was very interested in. Our semester-long project was to value a company using everything we had learned, which I found exciting and the knowledge I gained is something I will hopefully use in the future.

Q. Tell us about your study abroad experiences.

A. I had the chance to study abroad in Norway and Japan/Hawaii my junior and senior years, which I think is a very unique experience you get at Augie. Not many other schools encourage you to travel for a month and take classes outside of your major.