My Involvement: Interview with UVIC Karlee Kuemper

I am a growth-oriented fourth year Bachelor of Commerce student at the University of Victoria pursing a CPA designation. During my studies, I spent a semester abroad in Gothenburg, Sweden, where I had the opportunity to study and explore new cultures. I have had the unique experience to complete three very different co-op positions throughout my degree and build a wide range of skills. My diverse experience in project management, customer service, and sales has allowed me to excel in multifaceted and challenging positions, in which I contributed expertise and assumed various leadership roles. I enjoy working both on my own initiative and in teams, where I get the opportunity to work with unique individuals who bring new perspectives to problem solving. As I complete my undergraduate degree and end another chapter, I am eager to see where this next journey throughout the CPA program will take me.

What has been your greatest professional accomplishment so far?

In my most recent work experience, I took on a project coordinator position with the Bachelor of Commerce program at the University of Victoria. I spent the summer organizing a two-day Workplace Skills Conference for incoming third-year business students. The planning and execution of the event included securing sponsors, coordinating speakers, and managing logistics. During the execution of this event, I took on a leadership role where I oversaw a team of staff and volunteers to ensure efficient operations and a great experience for all attendees. I had the opportunity to meet with local professionals from various companies, which has helped me expand my personal and professional network. This experience has been my greatest professional accomplishment as it allowed me to truly explore my leadership capabilities where I could see all my hard work come to fruition.

Can you share an interest outside of your studies that you are passionate about?

I am passionate about exploring the world and visiting different cultures. Last fall I had the opportunity to go on academic exchange in Sweden for five months and fully emerge myself in Swedish culture. Being of Swedish descent, this was an incredible experience for me as I was able to rekindle family ties that have faded over time. Living and attending school abroad enhanced my international business awareness and promoted my personal growth. I was able to overcome obstacles that I have never been faced with before and I am excited to continue to explore the world. Being able to travel is a privilege that we may sometimes take for granted, and I believe that an individual cannot truly appreciate the beauty and uniqueness of the world until experienced first hand.

What are some tips you can share about the Public Practice/ Industry Recruit process?

My experience with Public Practice was different than most as I was recruited by a mid-sized, local Victoria firm. I was first hired to complete a four-month co-op position where I had the opportunity to work with a great team and explore various areas of the field. The firm was very supportive and continuously challenged me throughout the entirety of the work-term. This was an extremely beneficial experience for me, and it is a large part of why I am continuing to pursue a CPA designation with the firm after completing my undergraduate degree. My biggest tips with this process are to attend networking events hosted by post-secondary institutions and to always follow up with an employer. These events give you the opportunity to meet and discuss various career paths within the industry and where a CPA designation can lead you. Following up with an employer is essential as it builds a personal connection and helps separate you from the other candidates (which there will be a lot of).

What are some networking or interview tips you can share to other students?

Networking and interviews can be very daunting. Even after running an event with over 450 people involved, I still get nervous going to events or meeting new people, but these interactions are incredibly valuable in building your personal and professional career. Different doors are always opening, so be open and eager to meet new people because you never know the opportunities that may grow or develop from those relationships. I know I would not be writing this blog right now if I did not push myself to do the same.