Working Mom Interview – Amy Hageman
I’m so pleased to introduce you to another one of my working mom friends- Amy. Please welcome her- You may remember her from the 4 is More blog post. I love her witty sense of humor, and perspective.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance and a master’s degree in accounting from Kansas Student University (K-State), Amy worked for several years as a CPA at a Big 4 accounting firm in Kansas City specializing in state and local tax consulting. She then returned to graduate school for her Ph.D. in accounting, graduating in 2009 from the University of Central Florida (UCF). After working as a research fellow at UCF for a year, Amy was thrilled to return to her alma mater, K-State, as an assistant professor of accounting beginning in June 2010. She lives in the idyllic college town of Manhattan, Kansas (aka “The Little Apple”), where she is joined by her husband, Will (an assistant professor in electrical engineering, also at K-State), and her two delightful children, Annika and Daniel.
- Do you stay at home, work at home, or work-outside the home?
I work full-time outside of the home.
- How many kids do you have?
We have two children – Annika is 10 years old (5th grade) and Daniel is 6 years old (1st grade). After years of juggling separate school and daycare schedules, we are thrilled that they are both at our neighborhood elementary school together – and that the school is within walking distance!
- What’s your go-to dinner during the week? Do you care to share a recipe?
Um, purchasing a sandwich from Subway? Or perhaps eating our church dinner on Wednesday nights? Cooking dinner is not my forte. One tool that does help me is cooking large batches of freezer meals together with friends every few months, which gives us something to grab and warm-up on crazy nights. And let’s be honest, aren’t all nights crazy?!
- What are your best tips for staying sane?
Hmmm…medication? Seriously, staying sane is a daily work in progress for me. I promise to let you know when I have it figured out.
- What are your favorite tools for time/household management?
My absolute favorite is a streamlined To-Do List. I use the “Mom Balance Sheet” as a master to-do list of all of my irons in the fire at both work and at home. It is available here:
The other that I use for getting tasks at work or home done is the “Pomodoro Method,” in which you focus very hard for 25 minutes on a task and then take a 5-minute break. I use this website below frequently to stay on task and to track what I have accomplished for the day.
- Do you have pets? If so, what kind?
We have three cats, one old and feeble (and formerly cantankerous) 19-year-old cat, and two “kittens” that are brother and sister and are 2.5 years old. We also have a string of seven recently departed small animals, and have decided that cats are the only creature we can keep alive.
- What are your hobbies?
My favorites are running and reading. I absolutely love road races and have a goal of doing one race a month. This year I had one of the best experiences of my life, walking a full marathon with church friends in Estes Park. I also love to read and am in several book clubs, ranging from serious to light-hearted to my favorite, mother/daughter book group with my daughter and other moms and tween-aged girls.
- What’s on your bucket list?
Travel! Our family loves to travel and we have several “family bucket list” goals. One is to visit all of the National Parks in the continental United States. We have visited 10 parks as a family so far and have more planned in the future. Another is to visit Europe as a family – including returning to Slovenia, the only European country I have spent time in so far.
- If you work, what do you do? How did you decide?
I work as an accounting professor at a state university. I went back to school for my PhD when my daughter was one year old, had another baby, and am now in my fifth year of my dream job. I had taught accounting as a graduate teaching assistant while earning my master’s degree and loved it. I then worked in public accounting for a couple of years, when my husband and I decided to quit our jobs, sell our house, and move with our baby to Florida so that we could be broke and each earn our PhDs. Best thing our family has ever done!
- If you work, what’s the most rewarding part about it?
What’s not to love? I get to work with bright students and teach them to love accounting in general and taxation in particular. I get to conduct research that I love, including understanding tax compliance, how tax professionals make decisions, and public interest aspects of tax policy. I have terrific colleagues. Oh, I thought of one thing that isn’t rewording – grading. Grading is the pits. But almost all of it is pure joy.
- If you could choose any career, what would it be?
Honestly, I am already in my dream job. I feel that part of my purpose in life is to be an accounting professor and I am so fortunate enough to be able to do that. If I won the lottery, I would still plan on working at the same job. I have definitely already won the job lottery, that’s for sure!
- If you could tell your younger self something, what would it be?
When I think of my younger self, I see myself as this strange mixture of insecurity but also over-confidence. I would tell myself that I was just fine the way that I was – and was everyone else, even if they were on a different path.