Blog Archive

Monday, July 29, 2013

Making the Most of Your Internship

Written by Greg Cohen
Consulting Intern
Miami, FL

Eight weeks into my internship, I can say I have learned more through my time with McGladrey than I have in my last three years in college. When you walk into your internship, be open to everything and anything you are exposed to, meet as many people as possible and excel at every task you are given. By following those simple guidelines, you will get the most out of any internship you get.

Working at a public accounting firm is a very eclectic experience. It doesn’t matter if you are a tax, audit or consulting intern, you will leave everyday learning far more than solely about your line of business. We serve clients and to do so, we have to learn and understand their business to provide them with the highest quality deliverable. Especially in consulting, where you breakdown a client’s internal processes, you end up understanding much more than testing internal controls, but about the nature of that business and what they do. The spillover to everyday life is incredible. I have spent a large portion of my internship working with financial institutions, and I did not know a fraction of what I have learned in regards to what goes on behind the scenes. Opportunities are always there for you to take, even as an intern, and you should take advantage of them whenever you can. Don’t be afraid to get your feet wet with an industry or line of business that you are not familiar with; it can only help you in the long run.

Here’s a quick fact about McGladrey: we have more than 6,700 people in 75 cities nationwide. With a reach as far as McGladrey, you are bound to cross paths and work with someone from another office or state. Luckily, on my most recent engagement I had the opportunity to work with over 15 people from 5 different offices and even someone from an international RSM partner firm. Despite the fact that you are hard at work, you build strong friendships with the people you work with. Between Cuban coffee breaks and acquiring an appreciation for “truck music,” I have had a great time meeting such intelligent and diverse individuals. Don’t be hesitant to befriend the people you work with or engage in a conversation with them; you never know what will come from it. That leads me to my next point— put yourself out there! As an intern, everyone wants to meet and learn about you, and you should want to do the same. If there’s a networking event or company social, make sure to attend it. This entire experience isn’t just about proving that you’re a hard worker, but it is your chance to find out if McGladrey is a good fit for you. Get yourself out there and make sure that people know your name. Remember if you choose to go full-time, you will be spending a lot of time with the people you work with. Get to know them and let them get to know you.

You aren’t expected to know all about tax, audit or consulting when you start your internship. That’s why you are here; but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try your hardest to excel at everything you do. At the end of the day, you want to get as much exposure to your future career as possible and determine if it is for you. The best way to do that is give it your all. Most importantly, always strive to get as much feedback as possible from your supervisors. If you know what you need to improve, you can work on it right away. If you’re on an engagement that extends over two weeks, set up periodic feedback meetings with your in charge manager or supervisor. It shows initiative and that you’re open to constructive criticism. Showing that you are interested and engaged is a good indicator of your performance when it comes down to it. Remember, there’s more to your internship than just showing up to work on-time everyday—take advantage of each aspect and make the most your internship!
Florida Gator associates, interns and externs

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