Former student continues learning beyond graduation

Meagan Pietrzak

As one weaves through the maze-like halls on the third floor of the Empire District Electric Company, there is a woman wearing a pale blue sweater and typing away with manicured red fingernails.

She didn’t know about internal auditing in college; she wanted to work in public accounting.

Beverly Hines, a 2003 graduate in accounting, took an internship through Career Services with BKD in January through

April of her senior year.

This allowed her to qualify to receive an internship opportunity through SIFE at the Empire District Electric Company in June of 2003.

There was an opening in the internal auditing department during her internship and she was hired in November of the same year.

“All of the outside activities including SIFE, VITA and EMS really prepared me for a career and gave me hands on work with the community,” she said.

She used Career Services for practice interviews and résumés.

“The career fairs really helped to see what companies were around this area, but what I enjoyed most about Southern was the international travel,” Hines said.

“It’s a good thing that Southern offers.”

She studied in Oxford’s summer program for three weeks and went to Chile once for SIFE and once with Jim Gray, dean of school of business administration.

“Do the internships, get involved on campus, and take advantage of the international travel,” Hines said.

“Those are the things I enjoyed most about college.”

If she had it all to do over again, she said she probably would have taken a few more computer classes, but overall she felt confident in her abilities when she graduated.

Although, internal auditing is not what she had in mind while in school, she is happy with how things ended up.

“I like working and what I do,” she said. “I’m in an area I really enjoy so I don’t mind getting up early in the morning and coming in.”

Her coworkers see her enthusiasm every day.

“Anytime I’ve ever asked anything from her, she is more than willing to help and very knowledgeable,” said Chris Broadwater, tax accountant.

Hines job entails testing internal controls for the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, operational and financial audits and looking for other areas of improvement in the company.

“She is very bright,” said Stacy Potter, senior internal auditor. “You can tell the accounting program really prepared her for auditing.”