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. 

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