As our internship concludes, let me just say that the experiences that I have had through my summer internship are ones that I will hold with me for the rest of my accounting and business career. I would love to give some tips to future interns that could benefit them as they begin internships and jobs.
- Carefully think through the process, and ask questions. When I went out on my first audit, I did not know what to expect. I was assigned to a manufacturing company in Cleveland. I met with my engagement team at the plant, and they began to discuss the sections that I would be working on. I was assigned to cash, accounts payable, and plant, property, and equipment. Never having done an audit before, I knew that I just had to jump in and try my best to complete the testing as best as I could. I carefully read through the procedure, purpose, and conclusion to each task I was given, and logically thought through the steps that I would need to take. If I ever had any questions, I had upper levels on my jobs with me to help me with the initial learning curve. With asking questions, the seniors and managers on the job could explain the “why” to the testing and tasks I was completing. From this, my knowledge grew immensely.
- Ask for as much work as you can. Companies always have work that needs to be completed, regardless of whether it is a large audit or a small project. At the beginning, I was hesitant on continuing to ask employees for work, especially in the tax department. As my internship progressed though, I wanted to get as much experience and exposure as possible to better myself as an accounting professional. One of my first returns was a trust return. I had no idea how to complete this type of return. Though the tax work was challenging, I finally completed the first return. Looking back, I am so glad that I struggled through because now I am very efficient in preparing trust returns. The more exposure you get, the better you will be.
- Network and partake in intern and company events. Cohen & Company offers so many intern and company events to its employees. Taking advantage of these opportunities is of utmost importance. Cohen has such a strong corporate culture, and values each and every employee. Whether it be attending the Akron Client Happy Hour, going to an Indians Game with the interns, or grabbing lunch with co-workers – you can build a solid network, while truly enjoying getting to know the people who you will be spending your work week with. Personally, many of the interns have become not only co-workers, but great friends to me, which makes going to work really enjoyable.
- Work hard, but take the time to enjoy your internship. Work is work, and sometimes, it can be stressful. Remember to take a step back and enjoy what you are doing. Cohen & Company offers an internship unlike any other. Through audit work, tax work, service days, social events, client tours, and more, Cohen strives to create an internship experience that helps to make their interns well rounded. Coming out of the internship, I have gained a wealth of knowledge, met amazing business professionals, and had an experience unlike any other.