Let’s all be real for a quick second. As third and fourth-year MPAs, we hear all kinds of rumors and gossip about internship experiences. We never know who is exaggerating and who is telling the cold, hard truth. Well I cannot speak for everyone in what I am about to say, but I am going to go through some things I heard before my internship and tell you whether my experience has proven to live up to these stories or not.
1. You are going to have 80 hour work weeks consistently and pretty much not have a life outside of the office.
FALSE. There 25 other tax interns in the office I am in (PwC Dallas) and I have yet to hear of someone putting in more than 60 hours. And this is our busy season. As an intern, you may or may not be hitting overtime, but even if you are, keep in mind that you are compensated for that ($$$). Yes, you may have a weekend where they will ask you to stay, but this is not usually every weekend.
2. You are competing with other interns and therefore the other interns will not help you since you are the competition.
FALSE. You are going to become really close with your intern group. In fact, I recommend considering this as a factor when making your decision on where to sign for your internship. I originally tried to go to a smaller office in Denver because I thought I wanted to be in an environment where I was the only intern. NO. That would have absolutely sucked. I have become extremely close to the interns here. We bond over our random work assignments that none of us have a clue on sometimes and we also help each other ALL THE TIME. In fact, I would say they are the first people I go to if I need to know how to do something. I am not exaggerating when I say that I am friends with each of the 20 interns in my office. I know all of there names, groups they are in, and where they sit.
3. You will be taken out to lunch and dinners a lot.
TRUE. So very very amazingly true. There is no limit to the amount of food that is available during your internship. The other day, we had Pokey O’s brought into the office which is this great place that makes homemade ice cream sandwiches. It was AWESOME.
4. You are not going to have a desk.
FALSE. You will have a desk. You may have a conference room if not a desk but guess what? Conference rooms are even better because they have the best view. So come on people, why keep spreading the rumor about not having a desk?! Do you think they are gonna put their interns on the floor or in a corner?? Because nobody puts baby in a corner.
5. You will be meeting tons of people, clients and coworkers.
FALSE. Actually, this one is perhaps the most surprising. You would think that you would be interacting with lots of people everyday to complete your work but actually most of the work is independent work. Someone will show you how to do the task you are given and then you are left to finish it on your own. I kind of wish there was a day where they literally took you around to meet everyone. I have taken it upon myself to meet different people in the office. In fact, word of advice here, when I need help on assignments, instead of going to the same person every time, I jump around to different people just to have an excuse to meet them.
6. There are happy hours every week.
TRUE. (kind of). There is not always a paid happy hour every week but I can promise you that the intern group will plan to go out every Friday and Saturday. Because, hey, we are all in it together, right? RIGHT! So make it a point on your internship to be the one who creates happy hours for the group or to organize a lunch. Trust me, everyone will love you for it.