Name: Spencer Kelly
Class Year: Senior
Major: Corporate Finance & Accounting
Position: Reinsurance Accounting Intern
Company: F&I Resources, Inc.
Can you describe your career path for me? (This may include HS jobs, internships, etc.)
All through high school and during my first year at Bentley, I worked for a small, family-owned Toyota dealer back in Maine. Most of the work I did was not glamorous, but it taught me the value of hard work and the importance of small businesses in our economy and in our communities. My last year working at the dealership, I was introduced to a man named Bob. Bob was the vice president of a consulting firm that specialized in helping car dealers improve sales operations and selling after-market insurance products. After speaking with Bob on several occasions, he asked if I had any interest in a summer internship in his company’s accounting department.
For the past two summers, I have worked at F&I Resources as an accounting intern. My experience with F&I inspired me to pursue my CPA and has shown me to practical applications of everything I have learned in the classroom at Bentley.
How did you become interested in this career?
Before my internship with F&I, I thought I was going to go into wealth management. Frankly, I thought accounting was pretty boring, especially when learning it out of a textbook. After two years of actually working under a CPA and seeing the practical application, I now understand how accounting is a dynamic field and is a trade that can provide steady working hours and a great living.
What aspects of your position do you find most rewarding?
I worked for a small company, and I was the only accounting intern. The company could not afford to give me busy work. For the most part, all the projects I did were actually used by my superiors to help the company provide a greater service for our clients.
What aspects do you find most challenging?
Accounting is not always what you would call “fun.” Accounting demands great attention to detail and often requires long hours of staring at a screen or a piece of paper with tiny numbers you are supposed to make some sense of. All that being said, I could not imagine a better way of making a living.
What advice do you have for someone preparing to enter this career?
I have three pieces of advice. 1) Network. Do not be afraid to go out of your way to shake people’s hands because you never know where the next opportunity could come from. 2) Be kind to those who report to you. Tell them when they are doing a good job, and encourage them when they need to do better. The greater respect you show to them, the harder they will work for you. 3) Get up and stretch every once and while—it’s good for your back and for your mental health.
Are there any Bentley specific courses or resources you would recommend to help someone pursue this career?
Everyone should take CDI 101 and 201 at the very least. These courses do not count toward your GPA, but they provide you with an understanding of where your strengths lie and how to conduct yourself in the business world. All of the information you gain in these classes are directly transferable to your professional life regardless of your field.
Who is one person at Bentley that helped you get where you are today?
Kristine Vidic. I took Kristine’s CDI 201 class my sophomore year where she helped me understand my strengths and why I should choose corporate finance as a major. Everything Kristine taught me I used to get my internship and plan for my life post-graduation. Kristine is the nicest person, and I encourage all underclassmen to make an appointment to talk with her.