Mariah Palmquist, a junior business administration and accounting major from Madison, is gaining vast experience during her time at Black Hills State University. She enjoyed a summer internship at Kibble Equipment in Madison that will be beneficial for her future career in accounting.

From eastern South Dakota to the Black Hills of the west, Mariah Palmquist is making the best use of her education and opportunities in her home state. As a Black Hills State University student originally from Madison, Mariah is active on and off campus in a variety of ways. From chairing the University homecoming festivities, to taking evening bike rides with friends, and working through the summer back home as an intern, Mariah’s enthusiastic approach to university life is inspiring.

Moving across the state to attend school was an easy decision for Mariah, a business administration and accounting major from Madison. For her, Spearfish had much to offer: the beauty of the Black Hills, opportunities for hiking and biking, and her favorite place to eat: Dough Trader Pizza Company.

BHSU was Mariah’s school of choice due to the AACSB accreditation for its accounting program. She was also eager to earn valuable skills through internship opportunities. According to Mariah, her summer internship at Kibble Equipment in Madison was beneficial for her future in accounting.

“The hands-on experience made me grow tremendously both in the accounting aspect and on a professional level,” she said. “I had four different mentors at the company. They were very helpful, patient, and always there to answer my questions.”

Each mentor had different aspects of accounting to teach and Mariah gained valuable insights into what her future in accounting would entail.

“I learned a lot of professional skills, such as reconciling financial statements, helping with payroll, and entering invoices,” said Mariah.

For Mariah, being good with numbers does not mean all of her classes come easily. She says that intermediate accounting has been her most challenging class, but it was made enjoyable and less stressful by Laura Prosser, assistant professor of accounting at BHSU.

“Professor Prosser is so helpful, encouraging, and there for you,” said Mariah.

Mariah grew up on a cattle farm near Madison. After graduating from Madison High School she decided to attend BHSU. Family vacations to the Black Hills as a child are treasured memories for her.

“I loved being out here back then and continue to love it now,” said Mariah.

Leadership skills, time management skills, and hands-on work experience are beneficial for Mariah’s future as a tax professional. She gained these skills by joining various BHSU clubs, organizations and groups, and becoming a Resident Assistant (RA) for Humbert Residence Hall.

She remembers feeling hesitant to become a Resident Assistant.

“Now I look back and see that I’ve grown and learned so much through being an RA,” said Mariah. “The biggest thing I’ve learned here at BHSU is how to be a leader and manage my time – and I will use that for the rest of my life.”

Staying active on campus and in the residence halls is important for Mariah. On top of her duties as an RA, she was the event chairperson for this year’s Swarm Days homecoming week, is active with Campus Ventures, a member of the Jacket Pack, and always up for a hike or biking in the surrounding hills.

Having support while attending college is something Mariah appreciates. She credits her older sister, Shelby, with encouraging her while she’s away from home. At BHSU, she says her biggest supporter is the assistant complex director, Bradley Branson, elementary education major from Riverton, Wyo.

Mariah is such an incredible and amazing student,” said Branson. “She is fully dedicated and has a passion for what she does. I stand in awe with her work ethic and her ambition for her future! I know she is going to do amazing things and wish her the best of luck once she graduates from BHSU."