Focus On Experiential Learning

Focus On Experiential Learning

With nearly 1,200 digs in the first two years of her volleyball career at Albion College, Monica Shuk, '19, has earned her place as one of the top defensive players in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association.

At the midpoint of her collegiate career, however, the libero from Milford, Mich., who is concentrating in Albion's Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management is just as focused on developing her professional skills in accounting. She responded to questions about her summer internship with Jacobs Technology, where she is the project account lead/associate for aerospace projects and selective automotive projects.

In her second year with the company, her role has expanded into an impressive list of responsibilities.

"In this role, I am responsible for budget estimates and then manage the budget throughout the project (concept to final delivery)," Shuk said. "I am also in charge of procurement needs for these projects, and securing the proper senior management with approval and alignment. I analyze, examine, and interpret account records, compile financial information, and reconciled reports and financial data.  My span of control on projects has me managing assets from $750,000 up to $20 million.

"I am also on an inventory control process improvement project that could be used corporate wide by ensuring all material is accounted for and knowing the exact location for all of our materials without having to do a hand counted inventory," she added.

"I worked the summer of 2016 with Jacobs Engineering and I was concerned I would have the same level of responsibility," she concluded. "I was glad to see they were happy with my work and invited me back for another year and gave me bigger tasks."

Some of the additional responsibility, Shuk said, has introduced her to skills outside the realm of accounting and that makes each day at the office different.

"(I was part of a) diverse project team where everyone was there for a different purpose," Shuk began. "It challenged me to work around obstacles that an engineer did not have access to while also complying with the forms that were required on the financial side. While stepping out of the comfort zone I was able to learn other coworker's mindsets and learn how to work efficiently and effectively to ensure a foolproof process.

"I've learned that you will be given more credibility, reliability, and trust if you are able to adapt to the tasks you are given," she added. "When I was able to adapt, I was able to overcome challenges we had by thinking in different ways and outside my comfort zone. It's also important to be a leader. This doesn't mean that you're bossing everyone around, it's more to the aspect of how are you going to help and make others better and process all the ideas into a solution that is far better as a whole than an individual.

"The whole internship is unusual really, in a fun and challenging way," she concluded. "Where else would you get a glimpse into the automotive client's perspectives one day, and the next you are exposed into the mindsets of aerospace and NASA?"

Shuk is also developing her time management skills with two classes on top of her internship.

She expects to continue developing her accounting skills next summer after recently accepting an offer from the Accounting Firm of Ernst & Young.

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