This winter, I had been fortunate to have begun my internship at a public accounting firm with a focus in tax. At first, I had been so worried, anxious about the work I would be doing, and the sheer responsibility of it all. No longer would the consequences of my actions affect factors such as grades, but now there would be an impact on clients, and the people who make the firm what it is today at every step.
I wondered to myself so many times – How to succeed at a tax internship when I have not taken a tax course yet? I had heard before applying that interns are not expected to know much, only to have a positive attitude and a willingness to learn, but still there had been a nagging worry at the back of my mind. But sayings that survive the passage of time do so because they are correct after all! I began the internship in January, furiously taking notes and trying to make sense of everything with the jargon and computer software. My mind had been whirling with all this new information in an unfamiliar setting, and at the beginning, I felt so incredibly overwhelmed.
Now though in the middle of March, the last month of the internship, it almost seems ridiculous to look back at my thoughts and how worried I had been. Yes, I still look at tax returns and wonder what I am doing most of the time, but it is almost fascinating how quickly we can learn and adapt. Throughout these three months, I have already learned so much about accounting that a textbook can not convey through words. Only through practical experience and hands-on teaching can some concepts be truly learned, and this internship has proved that. In these months I have also met incredible people who have helped me by answering all my questions, questions I thought must have been so silly but no questions are silly, and cannot thank them enough.
I wanted to share my experience to encourage everyone to apply for externships and internships whenever there is the opportunity. Our classes are extremely important to set the foundation for knowledge, but afterwards, practical experience can help you so much – Gaining knowledge, forming connections, and growing from a student to an employee in a working environment, dynamic and incredible. I wish everyone the best of luck, and please visit the Career and Internship Services Center for any questions! They are here to help.