Shooting for the Stars: Meet KSM Team Member Abby Abel
Like many of her KSM colleagues, Abby Abel harbors a lifelong love for basketball. At the age of 9, she set a personal goal to one day play for Purdue University and set out to make it happen. By the time Abby was 16, her game was good enough to earn her a preferred walk-on position on the team, and by her second semester of college, she was making her mark as a full athletic scholarship player. She continued working to improve her skills and was eventually named a team captain by her senior year. Abby felt like she was truly “living her dream every single day.”
“It was a great experience to be able to earn that every step of the way,” Abby says, but her career goals extended beyond the court. Growing up, she had seen firsthand how rewarding the accounting profession can be. “When my dad was in accounting, his clients were like his family,” she says. “The firm was like another form of his family, and I just loved the connection that he had.”
Abby joined KSM as an intern, and she thoroughly enjoyed both the work and the coaching she received. Abby recalls, “Everyone from top to bottom was very much like, ‘Let me teach you, come with me, I’ll show you the way.’”
That positive experience led Abby to set a new goal for herself: “Once I was done with my basketball career, not only did I want to go into public accounting, but I wanted to choose KSM as my public accounting firm.” But there was another factor to consider. In addition to a great career, Abby wanted to have more opportunities to be involved in the community.
Knowing that KSM cared just as much about the community as well as the people that work in their firm was really big for me.
Abby’s interest in community involvement stretched back to high school, when she began a lasting involvement with Special Olympics’ Play Unified movement, which brings together people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same playing field. “When I got to college, I brought [my passion for community involvement] to Purdue and the Big 10,” Abby says. “As an accountant, I was like ‘I have to bring it to the next stage of my life.’”
Abby wanted to work for a public accounting firm that shares her passion for giving back, so KSM’s volunteer initiatives and emphasis on community involvement were compelling. “I knew they did a lot – they did a volunteer day, they did stuff with INSPIRE [KSM’s diversity, equity, and inclusion initiative] when we were remote [during the pandemic] to make sure we were still involved with the things that were going on globally, and then even just in our local communities,” she says. “Knowing that the firm cared just as much about the community as well as the people that work in their firm was really big for me.”
She appreciates the supportive community inside the firm, too. “One of the really good things that I love about KSM is how everyone takes care of each other,” Abby explains. “I think it’s very rare to find a culture and a company where the people love what they do, and love who they do it with.”
“After work, they still want to get together. I play basketball with a bunch of my co-workers every Tuesday night, and it’s kind of like the highlight of the workday,” she says, and for Abby, that’s the ideal combination. “What I loved at Purdue was just playing the game that I loved – basketball – with my teammates, and being able to bring that to KSM with my co-workers is absolutely amazing.”
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