Laura Jans is a tax manager at Abdo in Mankato. She graduated from Mankato State University-Mankato with both her bachelors and masters in accounting. This year, she is also the chair of the Greater Mankato Growth Young Professionals after serving in other leadership roles in the organization. Let’s meet Laura.
When did you start on your career path?
I began my career at Abdo as an intern in 2014, started full time in January 2015, and progressed from staff accountant to senior accountant and now to manager. I also achieved my Certified Public Accountant certification in the summer of 2015 as I knew doing it ASAP in my career would be a great launching pad. From there I focused in on specialty areas in the tax world (estates and trusts and state and local taxes).
Why did you choose this career path?
I took a couple of accounting classes in high school and really enjoyed them. It reminded me of doing a puzzle, pieces had to fit in the right spot.
What personal strengths help you excel in your chosen career?
Problem-solving skills. I jump right into things and am willing to try almost anything.
What is your favorite part of your job?
Being surrounded by bright and caring people all the time.
What inspires/drives you?
Giving my dog the best life possible. I also thrive on challenges and deadlines, so tax season is my ultimate adrenaline rush.
What advice would you give to other young professionals?
Just because you’re young, doesn’t mean you don’t belong in the room. Your voice and opinions have value.
Are there any trainings or events that have had a big impact on your career?
This is where I’m probably going to nerd out, but I went to a state and local taxes conference and was blown away by all the various concepts and taxes that exist. It became a passion area for me, and I now get to specialize in that area.
What books, podcasts or videos have helped you?
Harry Potter. I know it’s not professional, but I think there are a lot of lessons in Harry Potter that can relate to any scenario. It’s a classic “good will prevail.”
What app can’t you live without?
Realtor. I’m not in the market but I love to look.
Looking back on the beginning of your career, what do you know now that you wish you’d known then?
It’s OK to not know everything and to ask questions when you have them. This was a huge hurdle for me because I was used to knowing most things during schooling.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still in public accounting but as a partner at Abdo. I’ll also be 40, so likely having some type of midlife crisis and doing something impulsive – I hope that means I buy a lake place rather than taking up fire breathing or something extreme.
Photo by Jonathan Smith