Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The McGladrey Intern Experience

By Joshua Benson
Assurance Intern
Phoenix, AZ

Joshua Benson

Four days prior to my official start date, I attended the McGladrey holiday party in Phoenix. The event helped me get rid of some of my new-intern jitters as I caught up with my navigator, met other interns and new hires, and was introduced to the different people I would be working with. It was an excellent way to be welcomed into the Phoenix office as I got to see accountants “dance,” watch employees take ridiculous pictures in the photo booth, eat lots of amazing food, and genuinely experience the unique culture of the Phoenix office. The party helped me feel like I was already a part of the team, and after purchasing a few more pieces for my professional wardrobe, mapping out my daily commute to work, and coming to terms with ironing my cloths every week, I began to feel more at ease about my preparation leading up to my start date.

Training was one of the best experiences I have ever had as a young adult starting my professional career. After doing my new hire orientation in Phoenix, I immediately left the office to catch my flight to LA for assurance training. Since my father has been traveling for work for nearly 35 years, I was able to ask him a lot of questions and then do the exact opposite of what he suggested. He told me to pack as little as possible, to wait and iron my cloths when I got to the hotel, to take snacks to keep my energy up, and to get plenty of rest the night before and during the trip. Since I clearly knew more than my father, I over packed my carry-on suitcase, stayed up late the night before flying so that I could iron my cloths, and I didn’t take any snacks to munch on. When I finally landed in LA at 9:00, I was irritable, I still had to travel to the hotel, eat dinner, gather my thoughts, and of course, I had to iron all of my cloths once again. Unless you want a headache, I highly recommend following my dad’s advice when flying for business.  

The assurance training spanned two days and covered various topics. After getting to know each other, our group began learning more about McGladrey’s rich history, its present areas of focus, and where the firm is trying to go in the future. We then jumped right into training, covering how to prepare for an audit, error evaluation thresholds, how to use McGladrey’s audit software, what supporting documents were needed and how to use them, and then we worked through some examples on how to audit cash. The training is not designed to make someone an expert in two days, but rather to get people familiar with the process. It will take time and on-the-job training to feel more comfortable with performing audits on the various sections of the financial statements. As with anything new, the keys to being successful are being prepared to work hard, comfortable with asking questions, and willing to be teachable.  

Since I’ve been back from training, I have been involved with different audit engagements, helping with auditing cash, A/R, and A/P. I’ve had the privilege to meet and talk with CFOs, Controllers, and many other professionals in the offices of our clients. When I’m in the Phoenix office, I mail out account confirmations, help coworkers perform miscellaneous tasks, prepare for my upcoming engagements, and access the learning tutorials in my spare time. Words cannot express how exciting it is to be exposed to so much information so fast. In the past four weeks, I have been able to take the technical knowledge and theory I learned in the classroom and really put it in context; it’s all starting to make sense now! 

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