Intern Update: Jeff Hightower

Accounting and Finance Intern, Jeff Hightower, has spent his summer at Prairie State getting hands-on experience in auditing, analyzing, reporting, and recording financial data.

Jeff has been helping with multiple projects in the finance and accounting department. He has assisted in property tax recording, internal control and auditing, reporting accuracy, and analyzing many different projects.

One of the largest projects Jeff managed this summer dealt with the company’s 401(k) program. He has completed an analysis on prepaid insurance history, a report on the proper reporting of all programs used company wide, and a calculation and analysis of historical tons per underground man-hour statistics, along with many other projects.

Jeff has enjoyed gaining hands-on experience in the accounting field, to which he would not be exposed in a classroom. He has also appreciated working on the internal control and auditing projects, along with different financial analysis projects.

About his experience at Prairie State, Jeff said, I have learned a great amount during my time at Prairie State, mainly about how different financial functions are performed. One of the things I will remember most is how well the department was run. We had weekly departmental meetings, along with smaller group meetings, ensuring that everyone was up to date on current issues. The leadership throughout the department was phenomenal.”

Jeff’s thoughts on the accounting field has not changed, but this experience has given him a new appreciation for it. He has grown to understand that a lot of work goes into ensuring the company runs smoothly from a financial standpoint.

Jeff’s future plans have not changed. In fact, this internship has solidified his plans, making him more passionate about pursuing a career in auditing. In the fall, Jeff will return to graduate school; he will begin sitting for the CPA exam next summer.