Employing the Bradley network, Kak connects with first job

February 9, 2011

She was qualified, educated, and employers wanted her. But when they saw she needed a work visa, they wouldn’t hire her.

This was the plight of Monica Kak, a Bradley graduate from New Delhi, India. While she had a master’s degree in accounting, had passed the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Exam, and was a member of Beta Alpha Psi, a financial honorary organization, companies hesitated to take her on.

“There was a point when I didn’t think I would be employed, ever,” Kak said.

To employ a foreigner, businesses must first file a petition and pay a fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In a down economy, many employers are not willing to take on that additional expense.

So for Kak, networking was key. That’s where one Bradley professor made all the difference.

Kak had a good working relationship with Dr. George Krull, an auditing teacher at Bradley. Krull put in a good word for her to his friend, who is now Kak’s boss.

“Making that connection with my professor obviously helped a lot,” Kak said.

Currently, Kak works for Bodtke and Stewart Public Accountants, an accounting firm in Peoria made up of certified public accountants (CPAs).

“It’s really good because it’s a small firm so you can get a lot of visibility in the work that you do,” Kak said. “There’s more responsibility, and with that comes a lot of accountability, too. I like that I can actually do more work, and learn quicker than at a bigger firm.”

Kak’s job involves a wide range of activities including accounting, auditing, taxes, consulting, managing pensions, business valuation, and litigation support. She believes the professors at Bradley and their practical approach to teaching prepared her well for the real world.

“When I took a tax class, we actually did tax returns, which is what I’m doing now in my professional life,” Kak said. “Having that experience of having done tax returns has definitely helped.”

Now, with a job, Kak feels like she’s living the dream.

“It’s been a struggle. I personally think it’s taken me a lot to get here. I’ve gotten the education I wanted and it couldn’t get any better than this.”