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The Greyhound

The Greyhound

The Greyhound

    Summer Internship Experience: Working for the Big 4

    In Harper Lee’s new novel there is a quote that had me reassessing my career path, “There was nothing whatever that was wrong with Mr. Stone, except that he possessed all the necessary qualifications for a certified public accountant: he did not like people, he was quick with numbers, he had no sense of humor, and he was butt-headed.” About midway through my internship I read this and thought to myself, “Who are the accountants she’s talking about?”


    I had the opportunity to intern at KPMG in New York City this summer, which is one of the Big 4 accounting firms. As a short pitch, KPMG has incredible employees and a culture of mentorship that results in an enjoyable work environment. I made a dozen or so intern friends who I still keep in touch with via text, phone calls, and mostly SnapChat (follow me @rytblake). This intern crew is why I accepted a full-time offer in their Audit practice. Not to mention, KPMG took the entire intern class to Orlando for a week in June for training, where nights ended at Disney World, great restaurants, by the pool or in hotel rooms with groups of interns. Talk about commitment to providing an enjoyable intern experience.


    So back to the earlier work conundrum: butt-headed? No way. I had a blast each week: finding time for karaoke, dinner and meeting up for lunch. The intern crew hung out on the weekends and supported each other with coffee when a late night before work required a pick-me-up.


    And the work became progressively more interesting once I made an effort to try to learn what the bigger picture was. I was able to follow a business process from start to finish and view this from a lens that I wouldn’t see unless I was Vice President of the company we were auditing. This perspective continued to grow when – after proving myself in some easier tasks – I was given more responsibility and was more directly involved in the Audit.


    As a result of this intentionality, I was able to gain perspective on the bigger picture at play in each type of business I worked on – banks, stock transfers, mutual funds, and hedge funds. What other field gets this exposure in 9 weeks? *Crickets*. Accounting is exceptional in this fact, and while its not as heart racing as high-frequency trading, or as glitzy as marketing; redder carpets are rolled out for venture capitalists and bigger boats are purchased by fund managers. Accounting gets the job done: you’re compensated well, have stable employment, and the opportunity for long-term career growth.


    Here’s my advice: if you want to gain tangible skills, learn about business, and are willing to work hard, you will get a lot from an accounting firm. The opportunity for growth is exponential, with regimented steps along the way, and merit driving your promotions. KPMG, in my experience, is exceptional in this quality. Anyone who has questions can reach me at [email protected].

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    Summer Internship Experience: Working for the Big 4