Meet the Intern: Olivia Schilling

Prairie State is excited to welcome Olivia Schilling as the Accounting/Finance Intern this summer!

Olivia attends Mississippi State University (MSU), where she studies finance with a minor in business analytics. She chose this field of study because she has always had a love for math, statistics, and managing her own money. When looking into different careers, she became more interested in the field of finance, knowing that the career possibilities are endless.

At MSU, Olivia is involved in a variety of clubs, including the Mississippi State Women’s Traveling Volleyball Club, Mississippi State Money Maker’s Club, MS Gamma chapter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority, and Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society. She is also part of the lifelong membership club Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society.

Before attending MSU, Olivia actually graduated with an associate degree in science from Southwestern Illinois College prior to graduating high school. She originally wanted to be an orthodontist, until she discovered in her sophomore year of college that she is more of a numbers person. Olivia’s hobbies include hunting, fishing, hanging out with friends, playing volleyball, and completing some crafty projects here and there.

Olivia’s past work experience includes mowing lawns and maintaining landscaping. She is currently an IHSA volleyball official, and she officiates many different grade school-level volleyball games in the area. Last semester, she was a statistics tutor at MSU, and she plans to continue tutoring her next two semesters. Over the past seven years, Olivia has umpired countless pony softball and baseball games. As the field maintenance manager for the Evansville Athletic Association, she also set up the diamonds for these games each summer.

One reason Olivia chose to become an intern at Prairie State is that, being in a rural area, she believes it to be an incredible opportunity to be so close to home. Power plants have always interested her, as her father worked as an electrician at a power plant for 18 years; he took great pride in his work. When she was young, Olivia thought her dad’s job was making clouds, and she’d ask him to make the clouds into certain shapes. As she grew older, he explained more about the projects he worked on; she is now excited to learn more about the power generation industry from her own perspective.

During her summer at Prairie State, Olivia is looking forward to many different opportunities. She says, “Primarily, I want to build connections with the different individuals in my department, the other interns, and other employees throughout the company. I am also extremely excited to develop many different skills that will assist me in my future endeavors. I am very excited to learn more about the operations of a power plant, as my father worked in the industry for several years and continues to speak about the different tasks and projects he oversaw and completed.”

Olivia will return to MSU this fall to begin her senior year. After graduating in spring of 2025, Olivia plans to work towards earning an online Master of Business Administration through Western Governors University, while working at a reputable company to gain more experience. She hopes to complete the master’s program by summer of 2026. Then Olivia plans to continue her financial career goals and work her way up to becoming a Chief Financial Officer one day.