Tag Archives: internship

The Pur$uit of Happine$$: Part 3

Hi everyone,

Like Melissa, I just wanted to cap my experience spending a semester interning. Melissa talked about how she utilized the things she learned from her academic studies for her internship, so I thought I would talk about some of the softer and more intangible skills that I took to public accounting from my time at UT.

Being patient: I assumed that when I would start my internship, I’d be put in the same room to interview some high ranking officers. Surprisingly, that doesn’t happen in your first week. I know as business and McCombs students, we want to be given the opportunity to prove ourselves and be challenged. However that takes time. Being given grunt work is how you learn about the industry you work in and allows you exposure to the professionals that you hope to become.

There’s no “I” in “Team”: I can’t even tell you the number of times I made dinner, Route 44’s, and Walmart runs. As an intern, your number one prerogative is to keep your team happy. Auditing/Performing Tax Services/Assessing Risk comes second. Help out where you can and do what you can to help the team. And keeping them content makes them more inclined to let you do real work.

Being professional: I don’t care how wacky the client or senior management is, professionalism is a requirement in the working world. We have to play extra, extra, extra nice. When I interned, there was definitely a relaxed atmosphere. People were cracking jokes, talking about current events, analyzing Sean’s actions from The Bachelor. It definitely made 8 hours a day in the audit room fly by faster, but as an intern, it’s important to distinguish when you’re overstepping your boundaries. Save all that raunchy humor for the intern events!

Accountants are people too: I’m sure it’s been drilled into your heads if you’ve done MPA spring recruiting, but accountants are people too, and they don’t want to talk about work all day. The same principal applies to when they’re working. Yes they work hard, but everyone needs a couple breaks throughout the day. When you aren’t calling XYZ bank to confirm 123 account, ask how their daughter’s play went or if they enjoyed their trip to the beach over the weekend.

Internships are an incredible opportunity to learn these little lessons that have a major impact on the success of your career. I’m grateful for the experience but so glad to be back at McCombs!

The Pur$uit of Happine$$: Part 2

Right now I’m in my 4th week of my internship. Things have been a little different from my expectations, but that’s why being able to roll with the punches is a good thing. FAs an intern, auditing has been a lot about reviewing, editing, and generally supporting the full-time staff and firm in ad-hoc tasks. So far, I have assisted in basic accounting for 5 different clients in 4 different industries. Right now, I’m helping HR with some of their recruiting efforts. Both of these experiences are relatively unique for an assurance intern and not what I thought the traditional auditing role would be like, but I really like the people that I’m working with, which makes everything a lot smoother and enjoyable.

As an intern, you may be subject to some pranks that the senior staff will pull on you. I have outlined some of the more common ones, to help you know what to expect:

1)      “Go ask the client where their list of unrecorded liabilities are.”

2)      “I’m going to need you to grab me some tick marks from the supply closet.”

3)      If you’re ever staffed on an engagement where you’re told that you need to find the size (in square feet) of a road or building and your Senior tells you since they don’t have an adequate tape measure available  you have to measure your foot with a ruler and measure the area by walking around, be a little suspicious.

Continue reading with Part 3 of The Pur$uit of Happine$$!

Melissa Takes Boston: Part 1

Hello Everyone!

I am 3 weeks into my auditing internship here at a Ernst & Young in Boston, MA. It has been crazy, a bit overwhelming, and already it feels like I have been working forever. I am learning so much everyday and I want to share what I have learned with those of you who are currently in MPA and thinking of participating in this awesome program.

My first internship lesson actually had nothing to do with accounting at all.

It was my first day at the client and my start time was 8:30 AM. The commute was about an hour, so naturally I left at 6 AM. (This might seem crazy but those of you who know me know that it is actually very predictable.) All was going well and I was on track to be not-so-fashionably early for my first day. All of a sudden, the “low tire pressure” alert began sounding in the car. As I pulled off at the next exit, I heard my tire completely blowout. I frantically called the rental car company, and then the towing company, and then a team member on my client to explain what was going on.

As all of this was happening, there were so many thoughts going through my head. The first, of course, being that I was going to late my first day of work because of a flat tire. That’s almost as cliche as forgetting your homework and saying your dog ate it.

In the end, I was late, but I learned a valuable lesson. As cheesy as it is, I learned that these things happen and no one is going to hold it against you. As adolescents we often resort to one of two reactions when these kinds of things happen. We either blame everyone except ourselves or we completely internalize the situation and worry about what everyone will think of us. As new interns we really hope to impress, not only because we want to secure that 5-star performance review that Jamal alluded to in his last post, but also because we are representing the University of Texas as we intern.

As you begin your internship, nerves and anxiety are okay, but my as my dad always tells me, the difference between excitement and nervousness is confidence.  It’s important to remember that no one is expecting you to be perfect, they only expect you to be the best you can be. Don’t be nervous because McCombs more than prepares us for the actual accounting part of the internship.  If something happens on your first day, just remember that things happen, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

Click here to read Part 2 of Melissa Takes Boston!

The Pur$uit of Happine$$: Part 1

Hi everyone! Long time no read! Right now I’m interning at PricewaterhouseCoopers in their assurance practice in Dallas. I thought now would be a good time to talk a little bit about my experience so far and give some perspective on the ominous MPA internship. I’ll try to make a blog every week, so hopefully some of my many fans might benefit.

Moving to Dallas has been quite the shock for me despite the fact that I have done my fair share of travelling. I’ve been all over the U.S., traveled through the Middle East, and even lived in Bangkok for two years. But moving to Dallas, just a couple of hours from Austin, has been really something. Not only has there been a psychological shift, but in the span of a week: I got into some serious paperwork trouble, I got into a car accident, and I went to the gym everyday (for that last one I’m just bragging). Similar to school, I have always been held liable for my actions. Except now it doesn’t involve just going to office hours or studying harder. Instead I am learning how to deal with people that don’t necessarily want to be dealt with. I’ll tell you, dealing with strangers is a lot more time consuming and difficult than dealing with group members for a class project.

Despite a few hiccups, the overall transition has been a relatively peaceful one. I just started working at the client site, and though it’s not quite as exciting as I had hoped accounting would be, I’m getting to see some real world application (albeit a small amount so far) of transactional policies. Meeting the staff and other interns has been enjoyable and I’m definitely learning a lot about the corporate life and the best ways to present yourself to co-workers and clients.

There are a lot of intangible qualities that I think people don’t really think about when they’re working for the first time. Things come up that can really set you back, but the nice thing about the “real world” is that grades don’t define who you are. Sure there are performance evaluations, but they aren’t quite as looming as seeing a B or C on your UT grade report (I would know). Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to reconcile a bank statement…

Best regards,

Continue reading with Part 2 of The Pur$uit of Happine$$!


A different perspective…

If you read Melissa’s post from a couple of days ago, she spoke about the MPA: Building Connections event about an introduction to recruiting.  I was also at the event but on the other side – helping the 3rd year MPAs practice recruiting by posing as a recruiter and giving networking advice.  It was pretty fun doing this! I got to talk to the students and get to know where they were in the recruiting process and what their interests are in the accounting profession.

The funny thing is that I also learned a lot from this event.  It had been a while (at least 6 months) since I was at a networking/recruiting event and I was a little rusty on my skills.  Listening to what Michelle Polkinghorn and others had to say was a great reminder of the small details that make you stand out from others, as well as great refresher on the conventions and etiquette of business interactions.  Mainly, it was fun talking to the 3rd years and sharing my experiences with them.  I was able to talk about my internship experience, what I liked and what I did not like, and then relate that back to them and to help them take advantage of their opportunities.

If any 3rd years (or anyone else for that matter) have questions about recruiting or networking tips, the people at career services are experts in that area.  In addition, I would be happy to share my  thoughts with anyone about my experiences in networking, both in a recruiting sense as well as in a general sense.  Networking can definitely be tiring, but it is also very fun, so enjoy it and take advantage of meeting new and exciting people!

Please leave comments or questions below.