Blog Archive

Friday, April 1, 2011

McGladrey Interns Reflect on Experiences

Written by:
Karin Gilmartin, Campus Recruiting Leader
John Micalizzi, HR Director
Boston, MA

In July 2010 the McGladrey Boston office began a new and exciting period of growth and opportunity. As a result of a strategic acquisition, the Boston office became the 3rd largest office within McGladrey and a dominate firm in New England.  Over 500+ employees came together at our waterfront location on the edge of the Charlestown Navy Yard with spectacular views of the harbor, city skyline Zakim Bridge and the Boston Garden.
Just as the dust is settling from the integration that formed the new McGladrey office in Boston our “inaugural” class of winter interns is winding down and headed back to campus.  The interns began in January at a regional orientation held in Charlotte, NC which was followed by a 3 day Intern Conference in St. Charles, IL.  Now, after 12 weeks in the throes of busy season, and holding full time job offers to come back this fall, we asked three of our assurance interns a few questions about their experiences. 
Meet Dalina Chawalit, Linda Ho, and Julia Graham three students attending Northeastern University’s  Graduate School of Professional Accounting; a unique program offering an MSA/MBA to students primarily with liberal arts undergraduate degrees. 
Why did you choose McGladrey for your internship?
(Linda) McGladrey stood out because of the people that I met.  Everyone was friendly and enjoyed their work and the people they were working with.
(Dalina)I knew from the start I didn't want to go Big 4.  After visiting a couple of the other mid-market firms I knew that McGladrey was the place for me.  The people were great and the office had this personality and culture that I just didn't see at the other firms.
(Julia) I wanted to work for a company that recognized me; a place where I would have a voice and not just be another number. McGladrey seemed to offer that in addition to having the access to the resources of a large firm, so it was an easy choice for me.
What was the best part of your internship at McGladrey?
(L) I really had no idea what to expect. I had formulated an idea based on what others had told me, but the internship helped fill in the blank. I learned a lot during the internship.
(D) Meeting new people, getting to know the clients, and just learning as much as I could!
(J) I think the best part of my internship was that I was treated as a first year. I got to really experience what life in this field would be like. Classes do not really give you an idea of what the work is like, so I was really happy to find that I truly do like what I am working toward.
What surprised you this winter/spring?
(L) It's amazing how quickly the time flew by.  It seems like one second it was January and we were just starting and then we fast forwarded to the end of March.
(D) How willing everyone was to teach the interns and first years and the time that was spent making sure that we really understood everything that was going on!
(J) I was surprised by the responsibilities I was given as an intern. I was expecting to just be given the easy tasks, but I got to work on some complex areas and learn a lot.
What was your most challenging moment?
(L) I think the first engagement was the most challenging.  I was a complete blank slate. The Senior Associate I was working with understood that it was my first engagement and was very willing to answer any questions that I had.
(D) Being given a section that I had never worked on before - it took me a little bit to work through it and understand what was going on, but by the end of it I had learned so much.
(J) The travel was the most challenging for me. I was away from Boston for the majority of my internship and although it was fun and exciting, it was also hard to be away so much.
How did your audit teams blow off steam out in the field?
(L) Our breaks usually revolved around food.   Sometimes we would bring food back, but even that gave us a little bit of time away.  While in Vermont, the team went out for dinner and caught a little bit of the Friday night Burlington night life.
(D) Music, coffee, fruit snack challenges
(J) Everyone definitely tried to balance work with fun. During my travel jobs we went out to good dinners most nights and usually went out for drinks once or twice during the week. While in New Mexico, we went to the shooting range and fired guns for the first time. That sounds kind of scary, auditors with guns, but it was actually really fun.
What industries did you support?
(L) I worked on engagements with companies in the Real Estate, Construction, Healthcare/Software, and Sales industries.
(D) Technology, Software, Entertainment, Non-Profits, Construction
(J) I got to experience a lot of different industries: auto glass repair, software, medical imaging, investments and manufacturing. 
How about travel?  Did you spend much time out of town?
(L) We traveled to North Carolina for a few days for regional orientation and to the Chicago area for a few days for the national intern conference.  I also spent two weeks in Burlington, VT for one of my engagements.
(D) All of my engagements were in MA and RI.  The longest commute was a little over an hour, but it was against traffic so it wasn't so bad.  I really got some good use out of my GPS!
(J) My internship was 12 weeks long and I traveled out of the state for about 9 of them. In addition to our orientation in Charlotte NC, and the intern conference near Chicago, I worked in Ossipee NH, Lebanon NH, Burlington VT, and Albuquerque NM.
Knowing that Food generally accompanies busy season - What was your best meal?
(L) For lunch one day, while in Burlington, we decided to go to the downtown area to try a restaurant that the controller had recommended to us.  It was one of the best meals out of the two weeks that I was there.
(D) The only thing I can think about is that cake that came with lunch on Saturdays.  I don't know where the cakes come from, but it was so delicious and I always had to get a piece!
(J) My favorite meal was in New Mexico at a place called Vernon's Hidden Valley Steakhouse. The restaurant imitated a speakeasy during the prohibition era. You had to call ahead to get a password with your reservation. The place really is hidden and we had to call again for more directions.  It was really entertaining, the workers were all in character. On top of that, the food was delicious. That was not only the best meal that I had during busy season, but it was the most entertaining.
Now that you’re back to school what will you miss the most?
(L) I'll miss the people.  They were definitely an important part of the learning that I did during the internship. Everyone was great at answering any questions that I had and making sure that I understood what I was doing.
(D) Aside from the cake and my ten key, I'm going to miss all of the great people that I've met over the last 3 months.  I can't wait to see them again in the Fall!
(J) I will miss not having homework! :)
If Dalina, Linda, and Julia’s experiences are an indicator of the type of people, opportunities, and culture the firm has to offer then our summer interns who will be here in a few months (hopefully along with the warm weather!) will follow in their footsteps as part of a great firm in a special office!

No comments: