Stephania Pfeiffer, BS’17, will forever take what she learned in her internship at Greater Education Opportunities (GEO) Foundation in Indianapolis with her to future careers.
“Every little bit counts. It sounds cliché, but it’s true. As an accounting intern, you can see the little things that we do and the processes that simple accounting develops, to make sure that every dollar is spent the right way,” Pfeiffer says.
The non-profit GEO Foundation is based in Indianapolis. The organization “aims to break the back of poverty through education by placing high-quality charter schools in low-income areas.” Currently, the non-profit serves 1,700 students in three states. Representatives say most of their students graduate with numerous transferable college credits, and some even complete full associate degrees by the time they graduate.
When considering an internship through Kelley Careers, Pfeiffer says she applied to places where she thought she would have the opportunity to learn more about a particular subject. She wanted to learn more about fund accounting and decided GEO Foundation would be the place to do it. Along the way, she learned so much more.
“At GEO, we help the charter schools we serve save money, so they can put more money toward the students in the classrooms,” she said. “Working for a non-profit, you get a unique feeling out of your work.”
Pfeiffer’s advice for current Kelley Indy students: keep an open mind when considering internships.
“The tools we learn through internships are going to be useful whether you work for a company or non-profit organization. Talk to your career advisor and apply where you think you’re going to learn the most,” said Pfeiffer.
“I remind people all the time: ‘Non-profit is only a tax-status.’ It doesn’t mean you aim to break even, or make ‘no profit’ at the end of the year. Non-profits have to operate responsibly, and they have a strong return on their revenues, just as ‘for-profits’ do, so that they can serve their clients and communities successfully. Working in a non-profit is a great way to make a difference in the lives of others and also puts to use business skills you learned at the Kelley School of Business,” explained Teasley.
Pfeiffer has also been working on a project at GEO that is giving her college credit. She’s studying processes within the organization and working to make sure they’re as efficient as possible.
“I’m trying to improve the ‘little things’ that take time. Every little thing counts, even time,” explained Pfeiffer.
“Kelley interns give us an opportunity for our organization to benefit from fresh perspectives and technology skills to enhance our productivity. This also enables us to work with our schools to provide business solutions that offer the best practices for effective administration oversight,” said Kathy Pitts, CPA, executive director of financial operations at GEO Foundation.
Pfeiffer will graduate in 2017 from Kelley Indianapolis with degrees in accounting and finance. She’s secured a job with Katz, Sapper & Miller, a local accounting firm, and can’t wait to get started.
“I will always take what I learned at GEO with me,” she explained. “I’m going to make sure every dollar is well-spent.”