Blog Archive

Friday, April 26, 2013

Joe Adams Speaks At Northern Illinois University

By Sara Webber Laczo
Corporate Communications Senior Director
Schaumburg, IL

Success in Accounting – Today, Tomorrow, and Beyond. That was the topic of a speech McGladrey Managing Partner and CEO Joe Adams delivered to more than 120 students and staff at Northern Illinois University (NIU) on April 17th, 2013. His advice? Understand the business environment in which your firm and clients operate, never stop learning, don’t be afraid of change, seek global opportunities and be a leader. 

“The skill sets sought by the accounting industry are changing,” Joe advised. “With expanding expectations of the accountant’s role, characteristics such as an entrepreneurial spirit, curiosity, creativity and the ability to think strategically will become increasingly important for tomorrow’s accountants.”
Joe Adams presenting at NIU
NIU is an important school to McGladrey. Joining Joe on campus were several McGladrey’s NIU interns, members of our recruiting team and alumni who work at McGladrey. This includes partners Guy Gross and Rob Stoettner who have provided stewardship to the profession and NIU for the last six years by creating and teaching real-world case studies in the classroom.

Joe closed with some wise words from Dr. Seuss – “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.” Great words to live by at any stage in your career.
Joe with NIU students, including McGladrey interns

Many universities provide ways to get a great start to your accounting career. Participate in events like this one, sign up for student organizations, go to meet the firm events, interview on campus and seek internships that will give you great experience.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Intern Appreciation

By Anne Hoang
Talent Acquisition Specialist
Chicago, IL

During winter busy seasons, many professionals would agree that they could not survive without their interns. From Day 1, we see the meaningful impact our interns make to our firm, and as a ‘Thank You’ to them, the Chicago interns stepped away from the busy office to celebrate their accomplishments. The Chicago Intern Appreciation Event this past March was held at Little Goat, a famous local eatery owned by Stephanie Izard, winner of Top Chef Season 4. 

Chicago Interns at Little Goat
Highlights of the night included:

· Enjoying the second-floor private party room to ourselves

· Having Stephanie Izard as our personal chef
· Eating an unlimited supply of food including Shrimp Sliders, Seared Tuna, and Homemade Hummus
· Celebrating a successful busy season! 

I was fortunate to catch some of the interns before their internship ended to ask about their experiences the past few months.

Q: What was your most memorable experience during your internship? 
“Overall, working with large clients and having independent responsibility.” –John H. 
“The after 8 pm “relaxed” work environment. Nerf guns in the office, dinners, March Madness.” -Sanup D.
“The camaraderie. There wasn’t only one moment but a collection of moments. It isn’t work all the time.” – Briana H. 

Q: What was the best piece of advice given to you during your internship? 
“Take everything one step at a time. Find a good balance between asking questions and trying to find solutions on your own.” –Allie Z. 
“Think of mistakes as rungs of a ladder. Just make sure you make new mistakes, not old ones, as you go up in your career.” –Raul R.
“It’s easy to focus on the things you do wrong, but take time to focus on the things you do right. No one will be sold on you unless you are sold on yourself.” –Yan L. 

Q: What is the best piece of advice you would give to an incoming intern/full time associate? 
“Socialize. Make connections with others. They are your support.” –Raul R.
“Humility is key. Be sure to show it.” –Alex M. 
“Work hard. Be on the lookout for opportunities and ask if others need help. It will help you differentiate yourself.” –Briana H. 

Q: What is your favorite restaurant in Chicago? 
“Hub 51.” –Allie Z.
“Taco Fresco.” –Yan L.
“Piece Pizza.” –Raul R. 

Happy eating and more importantly… happy end of busy season!

Chocolate desserts and fried oysters!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Internship Reflection and Advice for Other Students

By Thomas Starr
Assurance Intern
San Diego, CA

As my internship at McGladrey comes to a close, I think back on two and a half months of learning and professional growth. There is a lot to be said about any opportunity that allows you to connect “textbook accounting” learned in school to “real life” application of those concepts. It has been an extremely rewarding experience, and I can’t thank the firm enough for granting me this opportunity. Having gotten a taste of what it is like to be an auditor in the field, I feel more confident in my decision to pursue a career as an assurance professional in the public accounting industry. Each day presented unique challenges, and for me, the amount of learning that takes place in such a short period of time is part of what makes this career fulfilling. As my graduation nears, I am getting more and more anxious to (finally) begin that career.

I imagine many readers are looking for opportunities similar to the one I was fortunate enough to be granted, so I want to share some tips that helped me during my internship search. Based on my experiences, I recommend the following (besides getting good grades):

1) GET INVOLVED on campus

If your school has an accounting society and you haven’t joined yet, do it as soon as you can. Whether it is an honorary accounting society such as Beta Alpha Psi or it is a society open to all accounting majors, membership in such an organization will provide many benefits. Take full advantage of what is offered, and attend as many firm presentations and events as you can. It is likely that McGladrey will be on your campus—ask your school’s accounting organization! I suggest that you introduce yourself to the professionals who attend the meetings and events and ask lots of questions. These may be the connections that help you get your foot in the door for an interview!


One of the major networking events is Meet the Firms (basically a career fair for just accounting majors). Many universities will have this or something similar. If your school has it, GO! Talk to the professionals there, and DON’T FORGET TO CHECK OUT THE MCGLADREY TABLE! Dress professionally and follow up with the people you meet afterwards.


McGladrey offers a summer leadership program called the Pathways Program, designed for students interested in learning more about public accounting and a career at McGladrey. I went to Pathways in San Diego last year. It was a 3-day program in the summer and consisted of leadership building activities, a community service event, presentations by McGladrey professionals, a tour of a client site, and an interview on the third day. If you are considering a career at McGladrey, I highly encourage participation in this program because by the end you will have a good idea of whether a career at McGladrey is a good fit for you. Additionally, having an interview in the summer means you interview before the traditional fall recruiting season, so you can set yourself apart very early on. Contact your local campus recruiter for more information!

I hope these tips are helpful as you consider a career at McGladrey. Good luck!

Keep Calm and Eat Cupcakes

By Selin Terzi
Tax Intern
Stamford, CT

Came in to find this on my desk
one morning, “Thank you for all of your
hard work during this peak season.
Here are some treats to get you through”
 I’ve thought of a million different ways to say this, but I cannot believe I’m already at the end of my internship at McGladrey. I’ve learned more than I ever thought I would during my time here. I learned not only about tax rules and compliance but also things like who the best rapper is—apparently Jay-Z is at the top of the list. All Jokes aside, my internship at McGladrey has left me with not just tax experience but perhaps even more importantly, life lessons that I will carry with me. Every single person from associate to partner has made me feel comfortable and helped me with the various questions I’ve had along the way. I’ve worked on several different types of returns including individuals, partnerships, S corporations, C corporations and trusts. I’ve been trusted to speak with clients and given the freedom to approach projects the way I thought best. But, let’s not stray too far from what brought me to McGladrey in the first place - food! Yet again, McGladrey has proven its passion for food. At a recent intern event held at a cupcake venue in NYC, the CT and NY interns gathered and baked cupcakes together. We made a variety of cupcake types including banana, vanilla and chocolate with several different frosting flavors like cream cheese, vanilla and chocolate. The banana cupcakes were by far the best, considering that’s what my table made! I never realized how much work went into baking cupcakes and the systemic nature of the steps that must be followed to bake them. The cupcakes came out delicious and my family loved me for bringing a box home! 

As I was working with the other interns, it hit me that this is exactly what McGladrey values: teamwork. It amazed me how well everyone worked together. The venue was not very large, yet everyone swiftly worked their way around and took turns frosting cupcakes. It seemed like we knew each other forever, while in reality most of us never met before! I think that perfectly reflects the culture of McGladrey. Although we’re not baking cupcakes in the office, everyone works together to achieve the best results possible. And throughout the process you gain a tremendous amount of knowledge in addition to obtaining lifelong friends. 

Probably the best picture ever...
Icing their cupcakes with passion
Now this wouldn’t be a good old Selin post if I didn’t end it with a quote. “Don’t cry that it’s over, smile because it happened” – Dr. Seuss. Although I am sad that my internship is now ending, I cannot help but smile when I reflect on all that I’ve learned and all the new people I have welcomed into my life. So readers don’t be upset that this is my final post - I’m sure you will hear from me soon! Most importantly, thank you for all of your support throughout my internship!
The final product

A Bit of Advice

By Dorothy Schwartzkopf
Assurance Intern
Minneapolis, MN

This month I had my first taste of being on the road. I spent two weeks traveling to work at client sites in northern Minnesota. Traveling was definitely an experience. For the first job we stayed a nice hotel about 30 miles from the client, as the client was in a very small town. I really enjoyed getting to know my co-workers during this week. We spent each day and evening together: Ultimate bonding time. I was also given the opportunity to work with a few people from other McGladrey offices and I clocked more hours than ever before. Each evening we went to a different restaurant in town and as much as I love eating out, I found I have a limit. I was more than ready for a home cooked meal by the end of the week. I was surprised at how quickly the week went by and how much I didn’t notice being away from home. I know traveling isn’t for everyone but at this point in my life it’s something I enjoy.

As my internship draws to a close I can look back and truly appreciate my accomplishments. I feel this internship gave me a broad picture of what public accounting has to offer. Because I was in the financial institution industry my clients were primarily banks but I also was able to work on a few manufacturing jobs. Each client was a little different and most I really liked, but there were a few jobs where I was happy to move on to the next. In addition to client work, I learned a great deal about the realities of working a full time. This was my first “full time” job and it was definitely an adjustment waking up early, not getting days off and managing my schedule. This semester I am taking two online classes through Minnesota State University, Mankato so much of my free time went to coursework. I also started training for a half marathon which I will run in May. During busy season, it can be hard to find time to get everything done so you have to be extremely organized and willing to make small sacrifices in your personal life in order to get everything accomplished. In my experience, it’s definitely worth the sacrifice to gain the experience an internship in public accounting has to offer.

I hope you have enjoyed reading my blog as much as I have enjoyed writing it. To end, I wanted to leave anyone interested in an internship some advice:

1. Get involved in the Pathways summer program. The Minneapolis program consists of three days over the summer; you will learn a tremendous amount about public accounting and McGladrey as well as meet a handful of people within the firm.

2. Choose a firm where you truly feel you fit in with the people. In the long run, having good relationships and enjoying the people you work with each day matters most. The people you work with make the job worth doing. To give you perspective, last summer I was actively involved in four summer programs with various CPA firms. I knew I was interested in starting my career in public accounting but I had no idea which firm I wanted to join. The people at McGladrey made my choice for me. I felt very welcomed right away. I was easily able to be myself and have fun.

3. Don’t be afraid to ask questions! I know everyone says this, but in this role it’s true. Asking questions is the only way you will learn. I know it can be intimidating but questions are welcomed. If you aren’t asking questions, your in charges and supervisors will not know what you are struggling to complete!

4. Have a positive attitude. Not every job you work on is going to be fun or easy. You aren’t going to get along with every single person you work with, but maintaining a positive attitude will make everything a lot easier.

5. Attend as many social events outside of work as you can. There is no better way to get to know your co-workers. Trust me; everyone is more fun outside of working hours. Whether it is a happy hour after a stressful week or attending a local sporting event. If your schedule is free: Go!

A Winter Internship Recap

By Melissa Young
Assurance Intern
Raleigh, NC

It’s hard to believe that three months have passed already. I feel like I just started at McGladrey and finished training only a few weeks ago. Busy season is not yet over for the Raleigh office. I have one more audit scheduled on my calendar. I opened this new engagement’s workpapers and shocked myself by how much I have learned. In January, when I opened my first set of workpapers, I was nervous. It seemed like everything I learned in school flew out of my head the second I opened excel. Also, most in class information was theoretical. I understood the ideas behind tests for certain audit objectives but it was another thing to create and perform those tests. I’ve learned so much in just three months.

To recap my internship: I participated in 2 agreed upon procedures and 5 audits. I’ve audited almost every possible section – cash, investments, operations, salary, equity, accounts payable and accrued expenses, receivables, and debt. I’ve worked in several different industries: non-profits, financial companies, insurance, and healthcare. When you are in the middle of busy season, there’s little time to stop and appreciate just how far you’ve come. I have had a wonderful experience at McGladrey and have learned so much.

I remember back during recruiting season being overwhelmed by all the firms. I had no idea how to begin to figure out where I belonged. One professor told me to relax and meet with as many as possible. “You’ll know your people when you find them,” was his advice. When I met with some of the McG people, it clicked for me. Now many months later, I still feel this way. I’ll be honest, when you travel with a group, you spend a lot of time together. It’s incredibly important that you like the people you work with and don’t mind sharing three meals a day with them. I am incredibly grateful to work with such a great group of people.

Now it’s time for me to pass on my one piece of wisdom to the next class of interns. I made a big mistake in January. I thought that I could complete my internship with McG and also take two online classes and prep for one of the CPA exams. How hard could it be? It’s fine, go ahead and laugh. I drove myself crazy until about halfway through February when I finally dropped one class and rescheduled my exam. The internship is set up to be a full-time job and even taking one class at times is a lot. Trust me, only take, at most, one class while on internship. It’s called busy season for a reason and you will be cheating yourself out of a great learning experience if you over commit yourself. Good luck to all the future interns! And thank you to everyone in the Raleigh office who has made my internship such a fantastic experience!

Home Stretch

By Daniel Verastegui
Tax Intern
Schaumburg, IL

These are my final two weeks of my internship and we are still very busy. It is going to be somewhat of a bittersweet last two weeks, but it is going to be great knowing that I came out of busy season alive. I have been speaking to the other interns and we all agree that it is somewhat sad that our internships are coming to an end. Coming to work every morning and staying late at night finishing up different returns is a lot more rewarding than staying up late studying for a final. I feel that I actually do things here at McGladrey that help people. While you can count on people to help you out on returns at work, at school you can't count on someone to help you out on a test.

I would say what I liked the most at McGladrey were the different challenges that I encountered. Everyday there was something new, the challenges are not impossible but it keeps the job interesting and forces you to learn and be a better accountant. I also really liked the people I worked with. Everyone was really down to earth and willing to help out. Everyone thinks that accountants are boring but in reality, everyone here at McGladrey was pretty outgoing and interesting. There are many different backgrounds and personalities here at McGladrey. Take some time to talk to your co-workers and get to know them; you might make some good friends.

There are some pretty cool things we have in our office during busy season. The Fun Committee! Good group of people that keep things interesting in the office with different challenges and prizes. The Snack Room! Yes, we have a snack room with plenty of junk food so plan on gaining a few pounds. We also have a March 15th bowling party.

For anyone who is planning on being an intern at McGladrey I have some helpful tips and advice. First and foremost, you have to be understanding when you receive constructive criticism on the work you turn in. People take the time to write down errors on a return and go over them with you, the least you can do is listen and learn from your errors and be thankful that they took the time to go over a return with you. Also, if anyone gives you advice that will help you out with your career and in life in general, accept it, they are probably right. Be thankful for feedback because if anyone gives you feedback without you asking for it they are just looking out for you. Always stay positive at work and learn from your mistakes. Focus on the task at hand and don’t jump around from job to job because that will cause errors on your returns. Be patient on a return and take your time, trying to finish a return quickly just leads to more errors. Self-review your work and catch small errors. Communicate with people and ask for feedback and advice. Always be prepared and ready to answer questions when meeting with a reviewer. Most importantly, take the internship as a learning experience because that is what is, it's a taste of the real world in the accounting field and be happy if you get an opportunity to intern at McGladrey.

I want to thank everyone in the Schaumburg office for making me feel welcomed. I also want to thank everyone who I worked with and took the time to go over open items with me.