I spent my semester as an Assurance Audit Intern for Ernst & Young in their New York City Office. I was placed within their Real Estate group where I audited the financial statements of 3 different clients.
My view of the business world changed while completing my STEP project. The internship pushed me to my limits and helped me see what public accounting is really like. Being an intern during accounting busy season has provided me a deeper understanding of my future career path. I also saw myself transform throughout my internship as an individual both professionally and personally. I became more extrovert since I worked in a team setting that required a high volume of communication.
Certain events that transformed me was the amount of hours that I was working. Throughout January, I was working around 60 hours a week including some weekends. I found myself to have no time for any activities other than eat, sleep, and work. This pushed me to my limits as it made me fully commit to my internship and my future career. I had to prioritize work over anything else. Working this many hours made me realize that there are certain things you must sacrifice when you “grow up” from undergrad. For example, as an undergrad, you build your weekly schedule around your classes. If there is free time throughout the day, you can make plans with friends, enjoy your free time, go to a sporting event, etc. However, as an auditor for Ernst & Young, there is no set schedule similar to classes. This is not your traditional 9-5. The job is never done until the audit is done which may require 40 hours a week or even over 100 hours a week. As an intern, I had to sacrifice the common privileges of college student.
A certain relationship that helped me transform was my connection with my senior on one of my client engagements. This was my first client and he taught me most of what I know about auditing. He was very personable and treated me as an entry level full time auditor instead of just an intern. In fact, every employee at the company treated me as a full time staff rather than an intern. This made me feel respected and built my confidence in the job because they trusted me with important tasks even though I had no experience going in.
Other relationships that helped transform me was my connection with the intern class. Usually, there are over 100 interns during the summer. However, over the winter, there were only around 10. This allowed our intern class to build a genuine connection. We all helped each other and were there for each other under the stressful work environment.
My STEP project has helped me realize that public accounting is for me. I came into the internship unsure 100% what I would like to do after graduation. Thanks to my STEP project, I have been able to develop my resume, build new personal soft skills, and work towards my professional and future plans.