Blog Archive

Friday, February 24, 2012

Tales from an Intern

Written by John Reschke
Assurance Intern
Orlando, FL

I had a hard time deciding what to write about for my second blog because I’m an accountant, not a writer. So I reached out to my friends over at UCF and asked them, “What do you want to read about?” Funny enough, everyone asked the same two questions:
·         “What’s surprised you the most about working as an intern in public accounting?”
·         “What can I do to prepare for my own internship?”

Let’s start with the surprises. The first thing that comes to mind is how much of a learning experience this has been so far. The knowledge I‘ve gained here absolutely cannot be replicated in class. When you’re out in the field working as an intern with McGladrey, you’re really involved in the whole auditing process. Just last week, I was helping put financial statements together for a client, and I never thought I would be able to say that as an intern. I was convinced I would just be counting inventory, getting coffee, making copies and doing other simple “intern” tasks.   

As far as preparation goes, if you’re interested in trying to be a savvy intern when you start, I have one word for you, “Excel.” Learn it, live it, love it! I recommend that you learn all the Excel formulas and shortcuts you possibly can. is a great place to start. You’ll be surprised how much time you can save, and speed is the name of the game in public accounting. I’m often blown away by the Excel Zen Masters I work with.  Between you and me, sometimes I’ll watch their hands while they’re working to see if I can learn a new shortcut (I know that’s a little creepy). If you learn the ins and outs of Excel you’ll be way ahead of the game.   

My final intern pro tip is: watch the placement of your personal belongings, especially food and drinks, when you’re working in tight quarters with your co-workers. You’ll often find yourself working 3 or 4 people to a small table. I, um…I mean “someone I know,” recently spilled yogurt, right into the power strip all the computers were connected to, when their coworker pushed their computer a little too far forward on the table they were sharing.

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