To say that Kevin Klanac, 27, is prepared for the workforce is an understatement. The North Ridgeville man recently completed an intense accounting internship with Comsat Architects, a small technology firm in Rocky River, and has been hired on to fill the roles of accountant and business manager. The position has pushed his limits and strengthened his commitment to a career in accounting.
Klanac carries a 4.0 at Lorain County Community College, where is working toward a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Hiram College through LCCC’s University Partnership.
“I can’t overstate the value that my internship has provided. I have learned how to translate many ideas that I’ve seen in the classroom into actual policies and procedures for a company,” Klanac explained. “I’ve seen that nothing in a real business environment is as clean or straightforward as it seems in a textbook.”
The internship allowed Klanac to develop a skill set he didn’t realize he was interested in: business management.
“I’ve learned that I like working on the management side of accounting, where I can not only see each individual piece and part but also influence them and use them to provide advice and guidance on how to help the company,” he said.
A standout both in the classroom and in the community, Klanac was named to the First Team All-Ohio Academic Team by the American Association of Community Colleges and Phi Theta Kappa. The top-tier ranking includes a $1,500 scholarship toward the completion of his bachelor’s degree.
The latest honor joins a myriad of accomplishments for Klanac, who graduated from the prestigious Lake Ridge Academy in 2006. He earned a full scholarship to The Ohio State University, where he graduated Magna Cum Laude from OSU’s Honors College with a bachelor of science in psychology in 2010. He briefly attended law school at the OSU’s Moritz College of Law before looking for work in psychology.
“Unfortunately I was unable to find employment using my degree so after several years working in the manufacturing industry as a laborer, I made the decision to return to school to pursue a different area of study,” Klanac said.
He walked into the Bass Library and Resource Center on the LCCC campus in December 2014 with the intention of gathering information before the next semester began.
“It was several weeks before the spring 2015 term, and I was hoping to get information to take home and review before making a decision. Instead, I left the college that day with a full schedule for the spring term,” Klanac recalled.
With many higher education options available to him, Klanac is confident that he made the right choice with LCCC and the University Partnership.
“I chose to attend Lorain County Community College because it is close to my home, inexpensive, and easy to enroll and get started. The ease of the enrollment process helped me to overcome my anxiety and simply move forward,” he said.
Once he was on campus, he got to work in the classroom and on campus. He was determined to step out of his shell and get involved – something he never felt he did during his time at The Ohio State University.
“As an introvert, committing to put myself out there was terrifying and can still be overwhelming, but I’m doing it,” he said.
Klanac was appointed to the LCCC Student Senate and served as the Outreach Coordinator for the 2015 fall term. He also began as a Connect 2 Complete Peer Advocate, helping his fellow students find the help and services they may need to be successful.
“There are few things that I value more than education and I am pleased and proud that I have the opportunity to help other students succeed in their educational efforts, in whatever way I can,” he said about his position as a Peer Advocate.
In the classroom, Kevin has proven himself to be a thoughtful and thorough leader.
“The fun thing about having Kevin in class is that he is quiet, but listens intensely occasionally challenging what I say, but in the most respectful way,” said Associate Professor Claudia Lubaski. “I find it a privilege to have such a gifted student in my class. He seems to bring the best out of other students because he sets the bar high and everyone looks up to that as a great challenge from a peer who cares about their success as well as his own.”
Klanac plans to take the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam once he has the required experience and also earn a master’s degree in accountancy or business administration. He originally planned to pursue an internship and possibly a career at a public accounting firm. However, he has enjoyed the freedom and variety of experience provided by his internship and current position at Comsat Architects, and he now plans to stay and help the company continue to grow.
“I know Kevin will excel in his career. I don’t have to wish him luck, because he will get there with his own abilities,” Lubaski said.