Jamie Kosberg, MAcc '15
As a national diversity, equity, and inclusion manager at accounting firm KPMG, Jamie Kosberg, MAcc '15, has found a role that combines their knowledge of accounting with their passion for people. Jamie is responsible for helping to make KPMG a more inclusive workplace; they and their team lead the firm's national diversity strategy, with a focus on ensuring all employees and partners have equitable opportunities to succeed, thrive, and grow at the firm. Outside of work, Jamie is involved in mentorship programs and volunteer positions that target underrepresented youth. Jamie shared:
My goal every day is to make at least one person feel more included at the firm, whether that's directly or indirectly.
In addition to their role as a DEI manager, Jamie is the co-lead of KPMG's Chicago Pride chapter. Jamie said that their involvement with KPMG Pride inspired them to pivot from their role as a real estate valuation accountant to their current role in HR. "From day one, I was involved as a member [of Pride], and I have made many amazing connections through it. Making a difference as part of the Pride group and being part of other employee resource groups at KPMG makes me feel that I am getting something more out of my life."
Beginning at Michigan Ross
Jamie's path to KPMG began as an undergraduate BBA student at Michigan Ross. Though Jamie wasn't initially certain which area of business they wanted to pursue, by the time they graduated, they had set their sights on a career in accounting. A master's in accounting would prepare them for the CPA exam and help them secure a job in the field. For Jamie, the eight-month Michigan Ross Master of Accounting program felt like a perfect fit. "I loved Michigan and didn’t want to leave…I was familiar with Ross and the campus, and I knew other classmates that were joining the MAcc program as well."
When describing their experience in the MAcc program, Jamie emphasized the skills they gained, in addition to the technical coursework required to prepare for the CPA.
The collaboration and group aspect of learning how to work with different types of people and different working styles, and honing project management skills, scheduling skills, leadership skills — that was all a part of what I gained here," Jamie said. "I'm grateful because I know that my peers who weren't in business school don't always have access to these tools.
Jamie also said the Out for Business student group was an extracurricular experience that made an impact on their time as both an undergraduate and graduate student at Michigan Ross. Out for Business seeks to build a strong, diverse community of LGBTQ+ individuals in the workplace and in society. The group organizes events on campus, including annual programming for Coming Out Week in October.
Out for Business was the group I felt the most safe with at Ross. Just knowing the group existed at Ross was magical to me. It was great being able to see professionals, especially MBAs who already had work experience, be successful while being their authentic selves.
In the fall, Master of Accounting students can participate in on-campus recruiting. A variety of companies, including the accounting industry's "Big Four," typically send recruiters to Michigan Ross to meet with and interview students for post-graduation positions. Jamie was among those who took advantage of this opportunity.
After meeting with a number of companies, Jamie said they knew that KPMG was the right fit. According to Jamie, it all came down to personalization. "They remembered me and went out of their way to get me the resources I asked for — as a queer person in business, I knew I wanted to go to a company where I would be accepted." Jamie received an offer from KPMG and, after graduating in the spring and passing the CPA exam, was hired as a tax accountant at the firm's Chicago office. Jamie served in a number of accounting roles before making the switch to their current DEI function.
A Full-Circle Moment
Jamie said one of the most rewarding moments in their career so far has been the recent opportunity to serve as an admissions director and sponsor mentor at a conference hosted by Out for Undergrad, which helps high-achieving LGBTQ+ undergraduates reach their full potential. . Jamie had attended an Out for Undergrad conference as a student at Michigan Ross back in 2012, and returned nearly a decade later in a conference leadership role. Jamie said of the experience: "I was very proud to represent KPMG [there] and it was so meaningful — it was a huge highlight of the year for me."
In addition to the outreach work that Jamie conducts through KPMG, Jamie also volunteers their personal time to mentor low-income, first generation college students of color.
I want to help underrepresented students find jobs. I help them with resumes, and I help them with things that Ross taught me." Jamie added, "It's easy for me to set aside a half hour or an hour every other week, and it makes a world of difference to these kids. It's the best feeling.
As Jamie looks ahead, they're excited about what their career has in store for them. "I like that I've opened doors for myself that I didn't have before in this role, and I like that I'm making a difference in a different way in the accounting world."