Gillen began her graduate assistantship in fall 2022 with the School of Accountancy (SOA) while completing both her undergraduate and graduate coursework. She completes her bachelor’s degree in accounting with a basic Spanish communication certificate this May 2023.
Gillen received the 2023 Outstanding Administrative Graduate Assistant Award from the Graduate Student Senate. She received the award at the 30th Annual Frank Einhellig Interdisciplinary Forum awards ceremony on April 29.
“Kylie poses unrivaled initiative and insight,” SOA Director Dr. Kimberly Church said. “It was her professionalism that allowed one of our beloved faculty members to teach his final courses with dignity while battling an aggressive illness.”
Working for the SOA
As a graduate assistant, Gillen divides her time between managing the front desk and assisting professors with grading, research and more.
“It has been a humbling experience to see the hard work instructors put into our curriculum behind the scenes,” Gillen said.
“I’m grateful to have the opportunity to work alongside professors and instructors who genuinely care about their students.”
Gillen has interned on the audit team with FORVIS (formerly BKD) and a small tax firm in Washington state. This summer, she will intern with KPMG in Kansas City, Missouri.
Gillen said she balances her career development duties, schoolwork and her graduate assistantship by making lists and prioritizing her time.
She believes each of her jobs has taught her something different and prepared her to take on a full-time accounting position. Upon graduation with her MAcc in May 2024, she plans to return to FORVIS.
“As a GA, I’ve learned how to deal with frustrated students and juggle multiple projects with various timelines and moving pieces,” Gillen said. “This job has sharpened my people skills and multitasking abilities, both of which are imperative in my career field.”