Blog Archive

Monday, April 30, 2012

A Few Tips from McGladrey Interns

Written by Jen Poklemba
Sr. Campus Recruiter
Baltimore, MD

Busy season internships are wrapping up, and summer internships will be here before we know it! Being an intern can be tough work… especially when you have NO idea what to expect! So take a few tips from some of our current interns on what you can do to help ensure you have a successful internship. Happy reading. 

Take Notes!
Be sure to bring paper and pen and take down as many notes when going over a new engagement with whoever is explaining the work you will be doing. Sometimes there are a ton of little details to remember that you may forget, so take notes to avoid having to ask a question that has already been answered.  Also - keep track of everything you do to get your numbers (add, subtract, etc.) and mark this on the work papers you use prior to submitting it to the senior for review.  It really cuts down on review notes.

Keep an Open Items List
Open a word document and as you begin having questions about what you are doing write them in this document. As you continue through your work you will have a list of items, these will be ready for you when it is time to ask questions to help prevent you from forgetting them. Try to continue through your return until you cannot possibly go further without having a question answered, many times you will find the answer moving forward in your assignment.

Office Communicator
Try to add as many people to your office communicator as possible; this is a great tool to use when running into multiple questions so you can switch up who you ask to avoid constantly bothering just one person. It is also great for when you are in search of more work. The communicator is a quick, convenient way for everyone to communicate without interrupting each other’s work for having to leave their desk.

Ask Questions
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, even if it seems like something that you should recognize from school.  Often times it looks familiar but it’s actually completely new or different from what you learned.  The in-charges are always willing to help and answer questions, but it is also important to ask intelligent questions because you don’t want to bog them down during busy season with unnecessary things.

Be ready for anything
Since the start of my internship, I have been at a new client on a weekly basis. That means that at the start of every week I walk into a new client at a new location with a new team of McGladrey employees which can be an intimidating situation. Each team I have worked with has been different than the others, but being open to the change and getting to know the new people has, by far, been the best part of this internship experience. Some teams are more energetic or helpful than others, but whether I’m getting exact directions or having a manager challenge me to get the answer on my own, I learn more about myself and client work.

Check your emails during the weekend
Because I travel to different clients and have my schedule change on a consistent basis, it is important for me to make sure I check my email to verify the client I will be working on during the upcoming week. This weekend, I checked my email and saw that on Friday, a day I don’t work, a manager switched me from one project to another. Had I not checked my email, I would have ended up at the wrong client and been very late for the correct one. It only takes 5 minutes, and it helps keep me be prepared and up-to-date on the coming work week.

Try to reach out to different departments for work.  I know personally I have been working with one client doing a similar return for a few weeks, but I’ve used my time in the office to walk around outside my flight team and ask different associates if they have any additional work.  From this I got to see a lot of different aspects of the business from asset allocation, LIFO conversions, and even got to do some Individual and trust returns.  The best way to expand your knowledge is to be proactive and reach out to other people and show your interest. 

Friday, April 20, 2012

Team McGladrey Hits the Race Track Supporting AbilityFirst

Written by LoriAnn Boyer
Senior Talent Acquisition Specialist
Los Angeles, CA

Team McGladrey
This past April 7th, team McGladrey, gathered at the Santa Anita Race Track in Santa Anita, CA to join over 1,500 supporters participating in the AbilityFirst 5K Run/Walk. Collectively everyone raised $350,000 to support Ability First’s causes.

As a proud sponsor of this event, McGladrey’s brand was highly visible with our walkers, tee shirts, hats and signage. Additionally, McGladrey professionals went the distance by walking with other sponsors and those with disabilities. Participants from McGladrey included Karen Jong, Sarah Gustafson, LoriAnn Boyer, Marivic San Jose, Janice Fung, Crystal Chen, Alex Chi, Pamela Wen, Luis Rosete, James Snell Claudia Topete, and Stephan Ohan.

AbilityFirst serves special needs children and adults with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other developmental and physical disabilities. Established as the Crippled Children’s Society in 1926 and operating in the greater Los Angeles area, AbilityFirst supports individuals with special needs through after school enrichment programs, job training, community employment, accessible camping, and affordable and accessible housing. AbilityFirst is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and the American Camping Association (ACA). All facilities are licensed by the California Department of Social Services and the Department of Developmental Services.  . 

The walk was spearheaded by our Regional Tax Lead Partner, Karen Jong. “This is a great way for our people to support a good cause and have fun doing it,” said Karen Jong. “This cause helps people with disabilities win by participating—they get experiences that help build confidence and prepare them for the real world.”

This was an amazing experience for all who participated.  We all walked away with a deeper appreciation and understanding of the great work AbilityFirst does on behalf of the families they partner with.  Additionally, it was a wonderful way to bond as McGladrey team members.

If you’d like to be part of a first class firm that participates in such great causes, please be sure to check out our current openings at our career site at

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

What Path Will You Choose?

Written by Daniel Schmidt
Audit Intern
Cedar Rapids, IA

Realistically there is no “one size fits all plan” that will guide a person from their dorm room freshman year to their office after the glory days of college. Every person must make decisions. Some of them are harder than others and some are more beneficial than others. But there are certain check points that a person can follow to set them up for success. If I had to give advice on making career decisions I would offer these three points. The first is to follow the path in which you have a passion for and strive to be the best at it. This may not mean do what you are good at. Growing up I was very good at operating a pitch fork but I knew very well that I would not be doing that for the rest of my life. What I did figure out is that I have a passion for change, challenge, and numbers. This resulted in me finding the best opportunity that I could have possibly sought out – an audit internship with McGladrey. The second is network with anyone and everyone. Getting to know as many people as possible is one of the best ways to set yourself up for success. The third point (which may be the most important of all) is to be yourself and find a way to differentiate yourself from everyone else.

A run-down of how I learned about the Pathways program at McGladrey, which transitioned into an internship, kind of goes like this…after church one day I struck up a conversation with the lady behind me in the winter/spring of 2011. (Networking!) She happened to be a regional Marketing Manager at McGladrey. She mentioned that McGladrey was in the process of looking for candidates for the McGladrey Pathways program and that I should seek out this opportunity. I sent her and the recruiter my résumé right away. After some time, I received a phone call and went through the phone interview process and was immediately accepted into the Pathways Program.

The program was a three day event in June that mostly consisted of interacting with staff, Partners and the other participants.  The first day was spent in the office doing different activities and learning about the Firm.  We did a scavenger hunt through the office, participated in a Partner Panel and got creative during the team building activity.  The second day was spent volunteering for a local not-for-profit organization.  We cleaned classrooms in preparation for their summer school program, swept the parking lot, and cleared out an area that had been overgrown with brush and weeds.  After volunteering for several hours, we were told that the third day would consist of interviews for internship and full time positions. 

My interview process went as well as possible.  I interviewed with the Office Managing Partner and an Audit Director and both were very down to earth.  I don’t remember talking much about actual accounting related topics during the interview.  What I do remember is finding topics that I could relate to with the interviewers and capitalizing on that.  All three of us had farm backgrounds and a knack for hard work.  I have always enjoyed the outdoors, which translated into a story of how one of the interviewers had recently sliced his finger while fishing.  In all reality, the interview was more of a smooth and fun conversation.  If I had to guess on what sold them on me, it may have been just being myself during the interview – I expressed passion in the things I enjoy and demonstrated that I want to work in a place where I can excel as an employee and provide value to the firm.  (All things that deal with my personality – be yourself!)  What ultimately sold me on deciding on McGladrey was an answer the interviewers gave me.  I asked why they chose McGladrey.  Their simple response was they (like me) want to be the best.  So, why not work with the best?  After that response, I knew that if I were to be offered a position, I would accept immediately. 

After the interviews were over, we were treated to a local minor league baseball game. It was scorching hot that day, but thanks to McGladrey, we had the option of sitting in an air conditioned suite. I ended up sitting outside during the majority of the game and talked with the recruiter.  (Differentiate yourself!) 

One of the most important parts of the interview, and waiting to hear back on whether you receive an offer, is communicating back to the firm after the interview in a timely manner. A handwritten thank you is the number one way to respond. I took it beyond that measure. I purchased the largest box possible that could be shipped via USPS and sent my little handwritten thank you card in that baby. Less than three days after the interview I was offered an audit internship position. I accepted, knowing that without a doubt, this was the right firm for me.

On a side note….I was in the recruiter’s office the other day and noticed that box sitting on top of her shelf. (Differentiation at its finest!)

The internship has been everything that I had hoped for and beyond. I have been treated as a level 1 employee and haven’t had to do a single “typical intern task” you always hear about like running to get pizza or coffee for the audit team. I have had zero bad experiences with any of the staff that I have worked with. Everyone is more than willing to help when I have a question. They are even willing to go beyond just answering the question and usually will explain why things are the way they are.

This path that I have chosen has been full of challenges, opportunities, and a 100% hands on experience of what an auditor actually does. The only question I have for you is, what path will you choose?

Friday, April 6, 2012

The McGladrey Experience from an Intern’s Perspective

Written by Kelly Austin
Tax Intern
Seattle, WA

Interning with McGladrey has been an amazing experience. I started out in January with my new suitcase on my way to Chicago like all the other winter interns. I soon found out that Chicago really meant St. Charles, about 1.5 hours outside the city (depending on if there is a snow storm on your way to the airport). The accommodations were the best you would think about receiving in a converted college campus. Restaurant quality food was everywhere. Every night I could not leave the dining hall without my frozen yogurt, strawberries, and almond sundae. I think I still have dreams about it.

I also had some of the best training I have ever received. I was so glad to have Brandy Burns as one of my instructors. She is great at explaining tax to someone who has only taken one tax course! What I loved most about the training was the opportunity to meet all the other tax interns from across the country. It was so cool to meet all the different interns with different backgrounds, all learning tax from a different perspective. I really felt like I could fit into the McGladrey culture.

I returned from my training to meet my “buddy” who really took the time to help me get acclimated to working at McGladrey. She was always there for me whenever I had questions or just needed to talk to someone about how things were going. The people here are phenomenal. I feel so lucky to get to work with fun, smart, and funny professionals every day. I will have so many memories of the associates and directors around me quoting funny lines from movies every day.

I really enjoyed the opportunity I had to get to know the partners. The culture here is such that I can go talk to anyone about anything. They were all very open to talking to me and helping me through my internship. Even the Northwest Tax Lead Partner knew who I was! Working with the people I aspire to be, allowed me to see what it takes to be successful. I will always take that with me throughout my career.

Besides all the great fun I have had with the people at McGladrey, I really enjoy working in tax. Helping clients save money and helping the company succeed is a very rewarding feeling that I wish everyone could experience right out of graduate school.

Interning during busy season is like a rollercoaster. It starts out really slow. I was learning at my pace and looking at the different aspect of tax. Then busy season hit, and it is like going a 100 miles an hour trying to get returns out the door and then it is over; quiet and calm and relaxed. I can’t speak for what tax is like during the other 8 months of the year, but this internship has been a great ride that I would love to ride over and over again. Or really just once, maybe twice a year :-)

Learn more about internships at McGladrey: Click here.