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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Meet an Intern- Rachel Pope

Hello, my name is Rachel Pope, I am a tax intern with McGladrey and student at Appalachian State University. I must first begin by saying that I originally had no interest in being an accountant whatsoever. Basically, when I was a little girl I wanted to be Ariel from the Little Mermaid. When I realized it wasn’t possible for me to breathe longer than 60 seconds under water, I turned my eyes to something else very important. Money. So, at the age of 10, I started my very own lemonade stand, complete with a detailed list of supplies (lemons, sugar, cups, and pitcher) and their cost. Yeah, I will say it, I had a ledger. Eventually, I gave up the lemonade stand and around the age of 15 I started working various jobs throughout high school. From answering the phones at a local pizza place to lifeguarding, I knew my main interest was in how a business worked.

In high school I decided I wanted to have a successful business career. I just wasn’t exactly sure how I was going to attain that goal. At this crossroads, I decided to incorporate my other passion, Chinese. After traveling to China with a small group of classmates during my junior year of high school, I felt like I had found my path: International Business with a concentration in Chinese.

This choice brought me to Appalachian State University and the Walker College of Business. However, during my sophomore year I took my first accounting class and discovered the world of debits and credits. It made sense. Finally, something I truly understood. I decided that day I was going to be an accounting major. So my new focus at Appalachian became a major in Accounting with a minor in Chinese.

Appalachian has an excellent group of professors who have worked with me through the accounting program. From my classes I realized that tax was the department was absolutely for me and I wanted my internship to concentration in tax. At Appalachian, the recruiting process for internships begins in the early fall semester and continues for about 8 weeks. So like most things I had quickly made up my mind and knew after the first orientation meeting that I wanted to do an internship in international tax with a big four firm.

Well, once again things changed. After meeting what seemed like endless accounting firms, I honestly began to question if I had made the right decision with changing my major to accounting. Then, I came to the McGladrey room during the recruiting process. I immediately "clicked" with the group of people I met. We shared similar values, views and goals in both our personal and work lives. After on-campus interviews I visited the McGladrey office in Charlotte. The visit went incredibly well, I genuinely liked each person I met. So, after a day of interviews I once again made up my mind that I wanted McGladrey.

I could not have been happier that I stuck with that decision. I am currently in the 6th week of my internship in the Charlotte Office of the Carolina Economic Unit. I must say that I originally wanted to do an internship because it was what I was "supposed" to do. I simply thought I would be sitting at a desk answering the phones, printing off copies and maybe by the end of it I would do a return. Wow, I have never been proven more wrong in my life. This opportunity has by far exceeded my expectations. I have been introduced to a group of people who truly care about my success and happiness, and I have already learned so much from my co-workers, managers and partners.

I am looking forward to sharing my different experiences in the Charlotte Office over the next few weeks here at Success starts here.

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