Emily Jones denied the educators’ blood running through her veins for years before she realized living out of suitcases wasn’t the reality she wanted.
Jones, a Franklin College alumna now serving as associate professor of accounting, came to this realization after she began working as an international tax consultant for one of Indianapolis’ big four accounting firms, Deloitte. While there, Jones trained her colleagues and began to have some of her first experiences teaching.
“We were a very tech-savvy group, so I ended up doing a lot of technology trainings for new staff members,” Jones said. “I really enjoyed kind of putting those together and teaching staff members, tips and tricks in Excel and things like that. So I started to think in the back of my mind like maybe this teaching thing isn't so bad, maybe that's something that I actually am interested in.”
She said most of the women in her family are in education, but she’d always rejected the idea herself, thinking she would take a different path. Of course, that was until one of her former accounting professors at Franklin College decided to retire.
Almost eight years ago, Jones applied for the position and has been an accounting professor at Franklin since.
She said she enjoys the interactions with students in the classroom and after they graduate because of the relationships she is able to foster with them.
“I like hearing about their life accomplishments and marriages and babies and all of the fun things that life holds,” Jones said. “So, that’s probably the thing that I enjoy the most is just working with the students and making those lifelong connections with the students.”
Senior Grace Esterline, Spanish and accounting majors, said she can tell Jones truly cares about her students because she “does the homework we do, so she knows what she’s assigning us and how to best teach the material because she wants us to leave her class every day having learned and understood everything.”
Junior Abby Scheumann echoed that Jones goes out of her way to help students.
“She wants to see everyone succeed in not only her class but also all your studies,” Scheumann said. “If you talk to her outside of class, she will help you on a personal level and explain things for you to learn better.”
Scheumann said Jones makes an effort to learn information about each student—like their hobbies and interests—so she can relate the topics in class back to students’ lives.
Esterline said she thinks it’s great seeing a female from Franklin being successful.
“She is amazing; she is so dedicated to everything she does,” Esterline said. “She goes above and beyond in so many ways. I’m convinced she has superpowers.”
As a student at Franklin College, Jones played basketball and was involved in Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, accounting club, business club, Best Buddies and Zeta Tau Alpha.
“It's a culture; it's so interesting because as a student, it was like just what we did right, it's what you do,” she said about being involved in lots of activities.
Jones calls herself a lifelong learner and said she is “always doing something to learn something new” and trying to “foster that same spirit of lifelong learning with students.”
Seven years ago she started doing tax consulting on the side. Now, Jones has about 40 clients, including a few nonprofits.
Her husband, Jason, is an independent contractor so she helps him do some renovations while working on getting her real estate license.
“I call him the house flipper but he hates that term, so I helped him a few summers ago; we did an old farmhouse renovation in Johnson County,” Jones said. “We’re both really interested in real estate. I have started taking a real estate license class that I will hopefully finish this summer.”
She said while she’s an outdoor person she has really developed an interest in learning more about nature through gardening within the past few weeks. She has always loved hiking and kayaking.
“I used to have a lot of personal interests that I enjoy pursuing which also adds to that like I’m always busy characteristic, but I feel like if it’s something that I enjoy doing, I should make time for it,” Jones said.
Jones said spring semester is her busiest time of year with teaching classes and tax season but she said one way she gets through it is knowing there’s a deadline insight and then she can refresh and regroup before classes start again in the fall.
She said finding the balance and knowing your boundaries are key to staying happy and successful when you have a lot on your plate.
Jones made it her goal for 2020, and again this year, to reach a daily step goal of 10,000 steps and said so far she has hit that goal because she makes time for it.
“I think it's just about finding the things that are important to you and then making time making sure you set aside time for those things that are important,” Jones said.
Another way Jones said juggles everything is by using a reward system.
“I’m a reward system person so I will set little goals, you know, if I get this done, then I can read a chapter of a book, or I can do something fun that I want to do,” she said. “So that’s how I manage everything- just setting little targets- and making sure that I also set aside time to step away from work and refresh.”
Jones said one lesson she wants to make sure students know is that while being involved is great, they should make sure to find a balance so they don’t become overwhelmed. She finds that she still overcommits from time to time.
“As a faculty member, I try to tell students ‘You shouldn't do that, like you're doing too much. Take a step back, pick what's important to you, and do those things, but let all of the other things go,’” Jones said.