Kimbrough explores data, community dynamics at Ellerbrock Norris

Matching numbers and data to balance sheets, reconciling files and handling large datasets to assist businesses in analyzing their annual performance may not seem like fun, but to Hastings College senior Claire Kimbrough, it comes naturally.

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Hastings College student Claire Kimbrough has been interning for Ellerbrock Norris.

Kimbrough said she always had a niche for numbers and the organization that came with accounting, which she recognized when she took her first accounting class as a junior in high school.

“I found it satisfying to see the numbers align on the balance sheets. The more I practiced, the more I realized I was good at it and that I could even major in this,” she said.

For Kimbrough, who is from Geneva, Nebraska, numbers would be just the tip of the iceberg in her accounting experience as she discovered her internship. Since September, she’s interned at Ellerbrock Norris, an insurance firm that specializes in various aspects of insurance, but primarily focuses on building trusting partnerships within the community and ensuring people feel secure about their financial standings.

Ellerbrock Norris holds a strong reputation within the community for business partnerships, but inside the office, the relationships and community are just as strong — if not stronger.

“Working for Ellerbrock Norris, I feel seen and appreciated for the work I am doing. To some, accounting doesn’t sound like the dream job, but since working here, I get to surround myself with my coworkers and mentors who help me become a better accountant. It’s a great feeling being seen and it feels even better knowing I never feel afraid to ask for help,” Kimbrough said.

Lively work happy hours, competitive game nights, fun cubicle chats with surrounding coworkers, celebrating birthdays and vibrant team lunches, Kimbrough said she enjoys coming to the office every day.

On a typical day, Kimbrough works on commission statements, which are her favorite, as well as reconciliations and other tasks. Much of the experience she gained from her mentors at Ellerbrock Norris connects closely to her accounting studies at Hastings College.

Kimbrough said she enjoys classes with accounting professor Carmen Van O’Linda, as she explains thoroughly the factors of accounting, while professor Dave Carpenter shows students how to take accounting concepts and apply them to the industry.

“Their in-depth explanation of accounting concepts has given me an even better understanding of how accounting works when I’m helping people with their statements. I’m taking these real-world scenarios I learn in class and applying them to help people within my community, both in and outside of the Ellerbrock Norris office,” she said.

For her senior year, Kimbrough said she plans on staying with Ellerbrock Norris as an intern, and hopes to be offered a full-time job after graduation.

By Cecilia Velarde, a senior marketing and communication studies double major from Loveland, Colorado


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