Blog Archive

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Winter Tax Internship

By Matt Matula
Tax Intern
Chicago, IL

When life gives you lemons, do you include it in your taxable income? My name is Matt Matula, and I am a tax intern for the manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution department (MWD) at the McGladrey office in Chicago. I recently finished my week long training at the Q Center in Saint Charles, and the only way to describe my training is that it felt unreal. In this blog, I am going to try to paint a picture of my experience during my first couple weeks of training. Specifically, I want to focus on the actual Q center training facility, the people, the training, and the food.

To start off, I think the biggest thing that took me by surprise was the sheer size of the Q center. Compared to an actual college campus the Q center is relatively small, but the main building is more massive than I could have possibly imagined. In fact, during my week-long stay at the Q center, I had only gone outside the main building once. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to go outside (granted it was winter time, so there weren’t many outdoor activities available), but I really didn’t have a need to go outside. The Q center had everything you could possibly want indoors including a hotel, dining hall, class rooms, spa, gym, game room with pool and ping pong, etc. It felt like I was in a bubble secluded from society and there was no reason for me to leave. I know that sounds like a creepy science fiction plot, but I promise it’s not that bad! 

Next, I want to talk about the people I met. During my week in Saint Charles, McGladrey shared the training facility with tax interns/new hires from another large firm. Although we didn’t sit in the same class rooms or go to the same events, you still saw people from other firms during meals, at the gym, and in social areas. I became good friends with several people from Florida, California, Minnesota, Virginia, New York, Pakistan, Czechoslovakia, Albania, and many more places that I cannot think of right now, but you get the idea. At first it was overwhelming to meet so many new people, but I learned really quickly that if you just put yourself out there it becomes a lot easier to make friends. Also, everyone was extremely friendly regardless of where they came from or what company they work for.

Now to talk about the actual training. I am not going to lie I probably learned more during my one week of training than I did my entire senior year in college. Although that might not be saying much since I had a really easy senior year, it was still more work than I remember doing in a very long time. We were in a classroom every day from about 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Although we completed about three individual tax returns and two corporate tax returns, the purpose of the training was to get everyone used to navigating and becoming familiar with all the company software. It would be impossible to retain all the information you learn during the week. The idea is to get comfortable with the various programs, and the actual content will be learned throughout your internship experience, so don’t freak out if you don’t think you will remember everything! Also, the instructors are extremely nice and helpful.

Last, but certainly not least, is the food. You will have the opportunity to eat good food at the Q center, and a lot of it! Every day, three times a day, there are three separate buffets that have different food ranging from sushi, Chinese food, Mexican food, steak, sword fish, salad bars, soft serve ice cream, and everything else in between. You will probably put on five pounds during your stay, but it is oh so satisfying. I will definitely miss that part about the Q center the most, especially since busy season doesn’t leave much room for such luxury.

Now I am back at the Chicago office, and I am eager to start some real work. Everything is quiet and slow right now. You can tell that it is the calm before the busy season storm. I am sure my eagerness will soon turn into panic, but the goal is to keep my resolve, and absorb as much information as I possibly can. Look for my next blog to hear my survival story sometime early April!

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