Blog Archive

Monday, December 7, 2009

The Value of an Internship

*** Today's post comes to us from another Rachel, Rachel Frederick, a recent graduate from Towson University, who completed two Internships with the McGladrey before starting with the firm last month. Read on as Rachel shares with us how her Internships prepared her for success as she begins her career with McGladrey.***

It has been one month. One month since I started my career and started going to work every day. I knew that it would be scary and different and exciting all at the same time. Honestly, I am so thankful that I had the opportunity to intern at McGladrey before becoming full-time because I feel like I would be in a completely different position than I am in now.

It has been interesting for me because I sit right across from another tax associate who did not intern at McGladrey before starting full-time. Our experiences have been completely different and I feel like I am on a completely different level. If I were in his shoes, I would be terrified. He has to meet everyone, learn how to use the software, learn the office procedures, and learn everything else in less than two months before tax season. It is intimidating. I am going to do everything that I can to help him because I feel like his transition to full-time is so much harder than mine.

Being an intern previously has helped and prepared me in the following ways.
  1. Experience - I have had the opportunity to work two tax seasons before becoming full-time. Tax season is scary enough but I know now that I will be prepared. I know how to do a tax return and other basic tasks without having to ask for help. I now recognize the incredible benefit of being an intern first because I did not have to worry about billable hour goals before. When you are an intern, you can take as long as you want and ask as many questions as you want because that is your job as an intern. Once you become full-time, the expectations and the pressure is a lot higher. I am glad that I had the internship opportunity because I was able to learn at my own pace and I am much more knowledgeable.
  2. Confidence - Being an intern has helped me to be more confident as a full-time associate. While working as an intern, I completed many different returns and learned so much. I know my value and what I am capable of accomplishing. When I walked into the office on the first day, I was not walking in blindly. I already had experience under my belt and the main difference is that I go to work every day during the week instead of every other day. I felt prepared becoming a full-time associate because of my amazing experience as an intern.
  3. Network - Being an intern has also expanded my network in my department, in my office, in my company, and in my community. I know who to ask when I am lost or confused. I know who to go to when I need work. By being an intern first, the transition to full time was so much easier because I already know all the policies and procedures and who to go to for what before I even walked in the front door.

I cannot stress enough the incredible value of being an intern while in school. Not only did I learn the ropes of McGladrey but I also learned about the real work that I would be doing as an associate. Because of my internship experience, I am not only a better staff associate but also a better professional.

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