Blog Archive

Monday, April 1, 2013

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!

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