Kaycee Little plans to use her accounting skills to stop fraud and empower students following in her footsteps.
The euphoria of a snow day is something that never really goes away. Everyone loves a day off sometimes, but there can also be too much of a good thing. That’s what senior Kaycee Little realized at the start of the pandemic. An extra week of spring break sounded great in 2020. Missing half of the semester? Not so much.
“Being back home was fun for a while, then I just really missed the ‘college life,’ and my independence,” Little said. “I realized how serious this was becoming, and it made me take every day and use it.”
By the time Little graduates in May, a majority of her college experience will have occurred during the pandemic. Upon returning to campus for the fall 2020 semester, she became all too familiar with hybrid classes, Zoom meetings and the host of other protocols put in place to mitigate the spread of the virus.
“It felt really strange at first to wear a mask and have two empty desks next to you in class,” she said. “Even just a typical weekend was not the same. It became normal to get COVID tested almost once a month, once you found out someone next to you just tested positive.”
As an overly involved, outgoing student, the adjustment was difficult at times. Things as simple as going out to eat, bowling with friends or attending a football game were gone for a while. Even as more aspects of college life started to return, it wasn’t quite the same. The events she helped organize as a member of the Student Activities Board required additional planning to comply with new guidelines, and things like Homecoming and graduation were occasionally hard to celebrate.
“It was definitely a struggle at first, especially balancing other organizations and social life, but being reminded of my goals and my family helped me remain grounded,” Little said. “It taught me a lot about myself and made me a more disciplined student.”
Whether it has been motivation from the pandemic or just her natural talents shining through, Little has certainly made the most of her time on campus. An accounting major from St. Louis, she serves as the secretary of the National Association of Black Accountants. Along with her experience in SAB, Little is a peer mentor coordinator for the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and occupies a leadership role in TruSisters, a newly established organization that fosters a community for women of minority backgrounds. Outside of the classroom, she interned with an accounting firm in St. Louis where she was able to take the skills she learned in her courses and apply them in real-world situations.
After graduation, Little plans to either pursue a master’s degree in accounting, or possibly enter the workforce. Ideally, she would enjoy working in the audit department of an accounting firm. As someone who has loved math since middle school, she enjoys following the numbers and making sure everything is on the up-and-up.
“I’m interested in the fraud department and the process of understanding where the money goes and all the documentation behind it to prevent fraud,” she said.
In addition to catching criminals, Little hopes to pass on her knowledge to up-and-coming accounting students. She would like to work for a local university in whatever community she eventually calls home.
“I’m very appreciative of every opportunity that I have had while attending Truman,” she said. “So many of the faculty have blessed me with positive impacts in the classroom, and I would like to continue that by working with students.”
Little’s work with the next generation of students has already started. In the fall, she participated in the TruSelf program, which pairs incoming students from underrepresented backgrounds with mentors to help ease their transition to college.
“I have grown so many ways here at Truman, and it’s sad to know that I will be graduating soon,” she said. “As an upperclassman, my advice to new and incoming students is don’t wait to get involved. Every voice matters, and there is a community that will value your voice. It’s up to you to find that community.”