• Kelsey (Wauters) Swanson, Audit Senior Manager

    "Regardless of your chosen field, it’s imperative to be able to analyze issues, use judgment, make decisions, and communicate effectively."

Kelsey (Wauters) Swanson '11

First Steps in the Accounting Profession

After graduation, Kelsey sat for and passed the the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam, an important milestone for those in the accounting profession. She also began her career in the audit practice at Deloitte & Touche, a “Big 4” public accounting firm, in Minneapolis.  “My job requires me to be intimately involved in the planning and execution of public and private company financial statement audits in a variety of industries,” she says.  “I’ve worked with clients in a handful of industries, including the utility sector, healthcare, and construction.”

Kelsey has also had exposure to company executives and upper management at several organizations, despite the fact that she’s only a few years out of college. “I’m in frequent communication with our client contacts to coordinate our audits, as well as to communicate any issues that arise,” she says.  “Within Deloitte, I work with our partners and staff to execute our audits in a timely manner, and teach and counsel our younger staff about the client and our approach.”

Knows the Value of Fundamentals, New Skills, and Participation

Kelsey appreciates that she learned the fundamentals of accounting at Luther, but feels the most valuable skill she learned was the art of critical thinking. “Regardless of your chosen field, it’s imperative to be able to analyze issues, use judgment, make decisions, and communicate effectively,” she says. “As an auditor, I wouldn’t be doing my job if I took something at face value, so I’m always critically evaluating and questioning the appropriateness of decisions being made by our clients.”    

She also believes that various class projects and team activities she participated in at Luther, including the track and field team and concert band, taught her the importance of teamwork and how to multitask.

Co-Curricular Makes an Impact

Kelsey traveled with the concert band to Japan in 2010 for an international tour. “I can’t say I would have chosen to go to Japan on my own, but it was an incredible opportunity to experience a culture very different from my own,” she says. “I recall being very nervous as an American to visit Hiroshima, but learned very quickly that it’s a place of peace and remembrance, not of blame or hatred. I’ll never forget that experience.”

Advice for Current Students

“Attend career fairs and visit the Career Center. Since I had no idea what I wanted to do when I came to college, I utilized the Career Center in some capacity during all my years at Luther. I wouldn’t be where I am today if I hadn’t used the service.”

—Kelsey (Wauters) Swanson

Work study, regardless of the actual position, reinforces the importance of time management and sticking to your commitments. Both are skills I use every day.

—Kelsey (Wauters) Swanson