Blog Archive

Friday, February 24, 2012

Staying Busy During the Busy Season

Written by Daniel Brown
Tax Intern
Cedar Rapids, IA
I’m happy to report that I, along with the other interns in the Cedar Rapids office, have survived the first few weeks of work.  With the first major deadline of the busy season less than a month away and quickly approaching, all of the associates and senior management have been hard at work for some time now, and I’m sure they would all say it is only going to get busier.  As for the interns, we have happily dismantled our training wheels and are now churning out partnership, corporate, and individual returns at a moderate pace commensurate of a high-quality (McGladrey-quality) group of interns.  Yes, I hold the Cedar Rapid’s intern bullpen in very high esteem!
The intern bullpen is a new concept in the Cedar Rapids office, and quite frankly, is where the magic happens.  In prior years, interns were interspersed throughout the office, usually paired with an experienced associate, called a navigator, to guide them along the way.  This year, however, all of the interns sit together in a large “bullpen” in the center of the office.  We each are still assigned to a senior associate to help us throughout the internship, the only difference this year is that we aren’t sitting two feet away from them, constantly barraging them with questions.  In the intern bullpen, we are each other’s first line of questioning.  That is not to say that we do not bug our navigators our fair share, because I am sure we definitely do, but only after much due diligence amongst ourselves.  We also have a direct handler, Jeni Gustafson, who is responsible for our office assimilation and has fielded many of our questions on a daily basis.  I could go on about how valuable Jeni has been to us all, and how awesome she is, but I need to do my best to keep this post a reasonable length.
So far the intern bullpen has been an amazing experience.  It has not only facilitated our professional development, but it has also assisted with our social development.  After all, it is a much easier task organizing a much needed happy hour after a long day at work, in person, than trying to accomplish such a task via email. 
The hours have been getting longer – each intern put in over 50 hours last week and worked on Saturday for the first time – but the office has been great about providing various events to help escape taxes, if only for a lunch, dinner, or night.  For example, a few weeks ago the office hosted a holiday party at a local art gallery, which was a tremendous success.  I didn’t win the I-Pad, or any of the other various prizes being raffled away, but I did enjoy my fair share of complimentary appetizers and drinks while mingling with coworkers. And just this past weekend, the office purchased tickets for everyone to attend a Rough Riders hockey game, which proved to be quite entertaining.  
Although the office does not host a social every week (unfortunately!), there are many little things each week to make the busy season more tolerable.  For example, nearly every Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday there is food catered from a different restaurant in the area (yes, the intern 15 is all too real if you are not careful!).  And on Valentine’s Day, everyone was surprised with a bag of chocolates waiting for them when they arrived.  Recently, a new and exciting addition to the intern bullpen has also helped ease the daily grind.  Just the other week the interns purchased a large exercise ball that we rotate sitting on throughout the day.  Sitting on a ball for twelve hours is tougher than it sounds, making a rotation necessary, but I think I’m already starting to shed some of the calories I put on earlier in the internship. The rest of the office has been very receptive of the new addition, although in private they are all probably making remarks about how weird the interns are.
Before I go, I’d like to thank everyone in the Cedar Rapids office (and Iowa City office, as some of us have spent a few days working there too) for being so supportive.  I speak for all of the interns when I say how appreciative we are!

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