Student Spotlight: Kaiser Kim
Spring 2021 Master of Accounting (MAcc) graduate Kaiser Kim has had a passion for tech since childhood. Connecting with accounting faculty and teaching undergraduate students have been important experiences for Kim, launching him toward a career in Silicon Valley.
What drew you to the MAcc program?
It was an easy decision to choose the KU MAcc program. KU’s business school has a fantastic alumni network, particularly within the accounting field, along with great faculty.
I knew that by choosing KU’s MAcc program, I would get a quality education that would help me be better prepared for the CPA exam.
What has been your favorite experience in the MAcc program?
I think that my favorite experience in the MAcc program is being a G.T.A. for ACCT 201. I was an undergraduate T.A. for a couple of different classes for a few years, mostly helping with grading related tasks, and I always wanted to reach the next level and be able to teach a lab. Working for Josh Arpin and the rest of the 201 team has been a blast. I absolutely love teaching to the undergraduate students in the course. Everyone in the 201 team is fantastic, which makes work even better.
Where are you headed after graduation?
Later this fall, I will be relocating to the Silicon Valley area to a town called Santa Clara, California. I will be working for a Big Four firm, KPMG, within their audit practice. I was fortunate enough to intern with them as a tax intern in their Kansas City office, but I decided that I wanted to explore other options within the firm. After spending a couple of months speaking with people within the firm, I was given the opportunity to choose between working in the San Francisco or Silicon Valley office.
Given my passion for the tech industry, it was an easy choice to want to work in Silicon Valley and have the opportunity to work with many clients in the tech industry.
What interests you about the tech industry?
I love technology. … It seems very childish to say, but it’s just like magic to me. Growing up, I used to take apart and build computers, watch every Apple product announcement event, and learn about tech whenever I had the chance.
The tech industry is so dynamic. Hundreds of startups are created every year, and it amazes me how quickly technology improves year-to-year. The industry is so competitive, with amazing companies like Microsoft, Apple, and Alphabet competing with each other for the latest and greatest technology. It has been a lifelong goal of mine to work for (or with) a tech company, whether it be as big as Apple or a fast-paced startup.
What experience has had the greatest impact on your KU School of Business career?
Joining one of the professional business fraternities on campus, Alpha Kappa Psi, has had the greatest impact on my b-school career. I was able to meet many people who are now my close friends, along with being able to build out my network beyond KU. I believe that everyone should join some sort of club or organization during their time in the b-school.
What’s the best piece of advice you received at the b-school?
Network whenever you can. While searching for internship opportunities during my sophomore and junior year of undergrad, I quickly learned that I would not get anything if I did not make the effort to meet people. Whether it be b-school faculty, recruiters or your own peers, you never know who could help you out in the future with something.
Has anybody been particularly influential to you during your time at KU?
Like with many other accounting students who has been in the b-school in the past few years, Tim Shaftel has had a lot of influence during my time at KU. I had no idea what accounting was going into his course, since I originally enrolled at KU to pursue medical school but changed my plans after my first semester. I took his ACCT 200 course along with his international accounting course while studying abroad for CIMBA. He is the reason why I chose accounting as a major and career.
Besides Tim, the rest of the accounting and MAcc faculty has been extremely helpful to me during my time at KU. They advised me, answered all of my “dumb” questions, and helped me through every step of the recruiting process for my internship. I definitely would have been lost without the support of the accounting and MAcc faculty.
Congratulations to all of the 2021 b-school graduates! In particular, special congrats to the Accounting 201 MAcc graduates — Clay, Jennifer, Joe and Kirsten.
by Meaghan Boyd