Blog Archive

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

McGladrey 2010 Summer Intern Capstone Conference- Day 2

Day 1 was long and fun, day 2 was sure to be even longer and even more fun. Morgane Dion, an intern from our Phoenix, AZ office and a student at Arizona State University, shares with us her experience at day 2 of McGladrey's Summer Intern Capstone Conference.

After a well needed hearty breakfast, myself and the rest of the interns gathered in the Amphitheatre where we were treated by Ben and an energetic guest speaker, Jacque Anderson. She started her presentation explaining that 70% of your career is built from experience, 20% is from people that surround you, and the remaining 10% is from self-development. Experience is a combination of great work, risk, and team. Capstone seemed to be organized in a way that brought all three components together. She did a great job of explaining each of these and giving examples. Good work simply blossoms from your education, while great work is not only meaningful to your company, but also to yourself. She shared with us her “exit card” or chance card and how it has pushed her to think and take risk whether in your personal relationship or your professional position. She played “Name that tune” with us, the song was her favorite “Like a Rolling Stone”, which was used to revive the energy in the room and illustrate someone taking a risk at Columbia Records. The most inspirational story she told us was about her coworker and friend Charlene, who always took the risk of taking the job that no one else wanted to take and ended her the position of CEO of GE as one of the most successful women in business. Her presentation was very entertaining with many anecdotes. She did very well at keeping everyone awake that early in the morning.

After Jacque Anderson handed us our own copy of her “exit card” and a coupon from her old employer Pillsbury, we broke out into our teams. Teams met up to work on their presentation, live or video. There are three different topics for the presentation. One is Seventeen Again, which involves going back and advising high school students into being the best possible candidate to enter into the public accounting industry. The second topic is how older generations view our generation. The last topic is giving tips to be the perfect intern. We met with our engagement leaders to ask question and tell them about what and how we were doing. Promptly at 11:45, the interns had lunch with the McGladrey Leadership Team. All the interns were divided onto 12 tables and each table included a member of the leadership team. The interns were given question topic to ask each of the leaders to spur conversations, but at our table, like at most, did not need them. After lunch we all gathered back together to have a Q&A session with McGladrey’s two leaders: David Scudder, the managing partner, and C.E. Andrews, the COO & President of McGladrey.

The two marched in to the Virginia Tech fight song— and that was when I knew this was going to be a session full of laughter and life lessons. Kimpa Moss, one of the Leadership Team members, directed the session with a few question and then gave the interns the floor. One of the lessons was “All of you get your CPA,” as it is one of the requirements of the profession. When CE Andrews said this I was glad I had at least read part of my first Becker book. David Scudder commented on something that I know a lot of interns and first years are nervous about: not knowing what we are doing and hoping we can get by with our small pose of knowledge until we actually learn it. He gave us confidence and assurance that it was expected of us to ask questions and to let others know that we needed help. During the session, one of the interns asked: what was the greatest piece of advice anyone has ever given you? Both answered with a response that reflects what McGladrey is all about. David Scudder told us to give our full attention to what we are doing at that moment, whether it is at home with your family or at work, this emphasizes the work-life balance that this firm pushes. CE Andrews let us know that we need to accept the unknown & pay attention to the details, and if you can’t balance the work-life equilibrium, get a dog, for it will always be happy to see you. This session really let the interns gain insight on how the two leaders of this firm feel about their professions, firm, and most importantly employees. After the Q&A session, we teamed up again for our project and put the final touch on our presentations before turning them in.

After dinner, all six Seventeen Again group performed their 5 minute presentations of how to stand out from the rest. Half of the presentations were live and the others were in video format. All of them were really funny and entertaining. It was fun to see how people interpret the same project differently. I personally look forward to seeing the rest of the interns performing tomorrow morning. The rest of the evening was a surprise planned by the faculty members it was VEGAS NIGHT. This included many of the famous Las Vegas games such as Blackjack, Poker, Roulette and Craps. I, along with many other interns, really enjoyed it because I learned a few of the tables without having to take to take too much risk. All in all it was a very busy, fun filled, and energy driven day!

Thanks to Morgane for sharing, be sure to check back tomorrow as another of our interns share their experience of the third and final day here at Capstone. To see some of the pictures from day 2, click on the photo album below!

McGladrey 2010 Summer Intern Capstone Conference- Day 2

McGladrey 2010 Summer Intern Capstone Conference- Day 1

It's Capstone time again! Time for Interns from across McGladrey and RSM Richter to descend upon The Q Center in St. Charles, IL for the annual Summer Intern Capstone Conference. This year, we have 94 interns representing 2 countries (US & Canada) and 54 universities. To help provide the prospective of the interns at this event this week, 3 of our interns will be sharing with you their experience at this event.

First up is Ryan Donaghy from our New York office and a student at Binghamton University. Read more below as Ryan shares with us her journey to the conference and some of what she saw the first day:

After traveling for 6 or 7 hours (more for some!) from New York, myself and the 7 co-interns I traveled with landed at the O’Hare International Airport. Those of us that checked our bags picked them up while waiting to make the hour trip to the Q Center in St. Charles, I.L. On the way, we discussed how much we wished we were staying in Chicago and how fun that would be. But 6 hours later, I changed my mind. Cramped in the Q Center Clubhouse, I met interns from so many other offices. I know for a fact that had we been in Chicago, the NY interns would have made plans to go out together, not caring what anyone else did. And it’s not that we’re antisocial or rude… it’s just that there are 23 of us total (more than any other McGladrey office), and we’re STILL getting to know each other, even going into our 4th week.

But back to the actual conference… throughout the internship, the McGladrey employees I work with have asked me, “Are you excited about Capstone??” I said yes, believing that was the appropriate answer, even though I was pretty unsure of what there was to be excited about. But at the end of the first day, I have not stopped laughing… and now I know what they were all talking about.

National Recruiting Director, Ben Gotkin, who the NY interns met during our 2-day orientation, gave a warm and encouraging welcome and a brief introduction to what would be happening over the next 2 days. He informed us that there were 94 interns total, coming from 2 countries (Canada and the U.S.), 28 McGladrey offices, and 54 colleges. Following Ben was John Blumberg, an inspirational and captivating speaker, who also has a great sense of humor. John presented the Kolbe index, an instinct-based test designed to help teams work more cohesively.

Before we started our internship, we were asked to take an online test consisting of 36 questions and 72 answers. You may be asking, “how can you have 72 answers to a 36 question test?” Well, there are 2 answers to every question—one choice for the most like you and one for the least like you. The test was hard at times, but as we learned today, that’s all part of the Kolbe master plan. You can’t measure instincts without making people think on their toes.

The best part of the day was watching John’s “Glop Shop.” This exercise involved 3 interns, picked solely based on their Kolbe scores. The participants were given a Ziploc bag filled with random items, such as Legos and silly putty. After John gave us their scores and explained what we should look for (i.e. Michael picking up shiny objects or Laura or Aaron utilizing the pad of paper and pen), we watched our fellow interns try and portray the McGladrey tagline of “The Power of Being Understood.” As expected, they didn’t come up with anything monumental, but they acted pretty much as John had predicted.

While explaining the Kolbe index, John clarified that one of the main points of the exercise was to able to “respect the people that are different than you.” Although I can only speak for myself, this statement really helped me to understand why Kolbe can help with the effectiveness of teams. Diversity is essential to the success of organizations. Without it, there would be no innovation. A lack of innovation leads to stagnation and this can ultimately cause a company’s failure.

Thanks again to Ryan for sharing. Please also check out a few of the pictures from the first day below. We'll have many more pictures from Day 2 tomorrow, so be sure to check back again for another update from Capstone!

McGladrey 2010 Summer Intern Capstone Conference- Day 1

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Great Speakers, Content, Food and Ball Game = A Great Start!

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to sit in on our New Intern Orientation in New York. This week I had the same opportunity at our office in Vienna, VA. Our new orientation program, while now generally standard across the country, still offers some unique features geared towards the needs of the local offices. This group of interns, a slightly smaller group than our New York group, will be working over the next 8 weeks in our offices in Maryland and Virginia, and represent universities such as the University of Maryland, Virginia Tech, Mount St. Mary's, Loyola University, Towson University, Salisbury University and Penn State.

Monday got off to a great start with the Eastern Region Assurance Line of Business Leader, Bill Gorman, who led the interns through an energetic introduction to the firm. Immediately following Bill's presentation, he was joined by local Tax and Consulting leaders for an enlightening Q&A session. After lunch, an introduction to our people programs by local Campus Recruiter Jen Poklemba (who had great knock-knock jokes) and an entertaining introduction to our brand our Client Promise by Business Development Director Ron Bertoia (who had great duck jokes), the Interns got their laptops and learned more about technology and compliance issues in the firm.

Monday evening closed with a dinner at one of my favorite local restaurants, Coastal Flats, located in Tysons Corner Center which is next door to the Vienna office (the Rock Shrimp and Blue Crab Fritters were fantastic!)

Tuesday morning started off with surprise for everyone. RSM McGladrey, Inc. President and COO, C.E. Andrews, who happens to work out of the Vienna office, came over and spent about 45 minutes speaking with the interns and taking their questions. The fact that C.E. took time out of his busy schedule for this (as well as with last year's and next week's Capstone Conference) makes his appreciation of and commitment to our internship program very clear. The interns took notice and truly appreciated the experience. The day continued with learning about our scheduling and time keeping procedures, and wrapped up with assurance and tax technical training. But the day wasn't over yet.

The interns and close to 20 other McGladrey staff, including several Partners met up at Nationals Park to take in the Nationals vs. Royals game. We started off with a hot dog/hamburger buffet in the picnic area, and migrated over to our seats at game time. The first few innings were fun, including a Josh 'The Hammer' Willingham home run that landed in our section, and cheers and chants from a traveling U-17 Rugby Club from England. The fun could of been spoiled by a passing torrential downpour, but this group reassembled and finished the evening playing Baggo at The Bullpen, a fun little place across the street from the ballpark.

Overall the two days were highly informative and fun. Not all of our interns get to hear from the President of the company on the 2nd day and get treated to a Major League Baseball game, but these interns certainly appreciated the experience and a ready now for a busy and enriching summer.

Next up for all of our interns is the Summer Intern Capstone Conference, which we will be covering for you next week with daily updates and pictures. In the meantime, check out the gallery below for some pictures from this week's intern orientation.

DC-Baltimore Summer Intern Orientation

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Philly Interns Raise Money For Alex's Lemonade Stand

Did you know that 36 children in the United States are diagnosed with cancer every day? The interns in our Blue Bell, PA office, just outside of Philadelphia know this, and they are doing something to help raise money for the fight against childhood cancer.

In addition to their work responsibilities, the Blue Bell interns are hosting an Alex's Lemonade Stand to support this worthy cause. You don't need to visit Blue Bell however to quench your thirst and donate to the cause. Anyone can donate by texting 'Lemonade E66193' to 85944 or by visiting

McGladrey interns across the country are participating in a number of different community service activities this summer. Help out our Blue Bell interns and a great cause today by making your donation. Check back often this summer as we'll have more stories of the ways our interns are supporting their communities.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Hello NY Interns!

I had the pleasure this week of visiting our New York office to observe and participate in the Orientation Program for the 23 new Summer Interns at that office. Over the course of this month, almost 100 Summer Interns will start at McGladrey offices across the country, and in three weeks, they will all gather together at our annual Capstone Intern Conference.

The New York office Interns are a diverse bunch, coming from schools across the country, including Notre Dame, Univ. of Colorado, Univ. of Maryland, Loyola (MD) College, Syracuse, Binghamton Univ., Baruch College, Virginia Tech, Fordham Univ. and several others. They spent most of their first day learning about the organization and getting exposed to the information, tools, resources and people that will help make their Internship experience a successful one. The highlights (IMO) were two panels, one that included our Line-of-Business leaders, and one that include several of our first-year associates, most of whom were prior McGladrey Interns themselves.

During a Q & A session, Line-of-Business leaders shared their wisdom of what it took for them to succeed and excel in the public accounting industry, as well as their views on what makes McGladrey a unique place to work within the industry. The first-year associate panel did much of the same, but from a very different perspective. Everyone on the panel had just finished their first busy season, so they were able to share their recent, relevant experiences. It was also clear that the first-year's were a tight group, with relationships and friendships that were build during their time as interns. The interns I spoke to after the panels found them to be highly valuable as they relived some of the fears that they had coming into the day. The day ended with a wine-and-cheese reception in the lobby which also included several other Partners, Directors and Managers.

The second day was more focused on tools and resources, on a tour of the office and being introduced to their 'Buddies'. The day concluded with a volunteer event, where our interns helped sort clothes an outfits for Career Gear, a non-profit organization providing career counseling, interview appropriate clothing and follow-up job support to men actively seeking employment. The interns navigated the NYC Subway system from Mid-Town to Downtown in full McGladrey gear to help out a great organization, and had alot of fun at the same time. The pictures below should provide some sense of what these two fun and interesting days were like for our new New York office interns.

In a couple weeks, I'll be spending time with our new interns in Maryland and Virginia, and then a week later, we'll be providing daily updates from our annual Summer Intern Conference, so stay tuned for more internship-related posts throughout the summer!

New York Summer Intern Orientation

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A New Day At McGladrey

Today marks an exciting new day in the history of our company. It's a defining moment for RSM McGladrey and McGladrey & Pullen, who from here forth will combine the full scale, talent and power of our firms under the brand McGladrey.

Since Ira McGladrey founded his firm in 1926, the McGladrey name has stood for a steadfast focus on client service. The clarity of our new brand simply highlights what our clients have valued for nearly a century. Over the past decade, McGladrey has become the fifth largest provider of assurance, tax and consulting services in the country. This growth, combined with the fact that we are consistently ranked as one of the top places to work in the industry, indicates that our client-focused approach to everything we do is valued - by clients and by our employees.

Starting yesterday with an internal preview, and continuing today with the public unveiling of our new brand, McGladrey offices across the country are celebrating the new brand and the new 'One McGladrey' approach. You will have an opportunity to experience this for yourself this afternoon via a live broadcast of the unveiling ceremony at our Minneapolis, MN location.

The unveiling will feature several distinguished guests including PGA Tour professional and Team McGladrey member Chris DiMarco, McGladrey executives, Special Olympics Minnesota representatives, our employees, and a 144 square-foot, potentially record-breaking, golf-themed cake! The VIPs will be chipping on to the putting green shaped cake to raise money for the Special Olympics Minnesota.

To view the construction of the cake and the unveiling ceremony live today (June 3, 2010) and to share in the celebration of our new brand, click the link below:

McGladrey Brand Launch Event

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Reflections on a Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day has always meant alot to me, especially with my being a native Washingtonian and always being surrounded by the federal government, major military bases, soldiers both current and past, monuments to past wars and cemeteries to those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom.

It reminds me of the grandfather who I never knew, who fought in Europe in WWII, passed several years before I was born and currently lies in Arlington Cemetery. It reminds me of friends and colleagues who served and fought in Vietnam, Panama and Iraq. Rolling Thunder (which rolls into town every Memorial Day weekend) makes it literally loud and clear that we must always remember, respect and honor those who have fallen in the defense of our nation.

Memorial Day has a secondary meaning of course too. It marks the start of summer, pools opening, cookouts, parades, family and fun. This Memorial Day weekend also marked another victory for Team McGladrey member Zach Johnson, who won The Colonial by three strokes on Sunday. As always, we at McGladrey are proud of Zach's accomplishments as he continues to shine as one of the stars of the PGA Tour.

But most of all, we at McGladrey are proud of the those who serve and sacrifice for our country. Everything that we celebrate on Memorial Day weekend wouldn't be possible if it wasn't for the bravery and true heroics of our men and women in uniform. I know that I probably didn't say it enough this weekend, but on behalf of McGladrey, all I want to say Thank You.