Mary Houangsavanh: U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants

What has she been up to?
Graduating accounting major, Mary Houangsavanh, spent spring semester interning for the Des Moines office of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants.  As part of her internship, Mary was responsible for both accounting and financial management within the organization.  She developed and organized a tracking system for the financials, issued and recorded accounts payable invoices, and assisted with such human resources duties as new hire paperwork, orientation, and training.

How did she find out about her internship?
Mary was introduced to her internship through the Fall Futures Fair hosted by Simpson’s Career Services office.  Career Services hosts a wide array of events each year to help students explore career fields and connect with potential employers.

Why does she think it is important to intern?
Mary feels, “Interning provides hands-on experience in a real-world setting. It is a perfect chance to get your feet in the water and begin building your resume. It also gives you a chance to evaluate what you want to do in life and can open opportunities to develop a more-focused career path.”

What advice does she have for future interns?
Mary recommends, “Stay open-minded and be flexible. Regardless of how it turns out, it will be a great learning experience. If you like it, you’ll have an idea of what career path to take. If you don’t necessarily like it, you will still learn and take away universal skills that can be used elsewhere.”

How did her experience turn out?
About six weeks into her internship, the organization opened and offered her a part-time accounting position.  She accepted the offer and will continue to work with the company while she studies for the CPA exam.  Congratulations, Mary!