Internship with KPMG

This winter I had the privilege of interning at KPMG, a public accounting firm, in the audit practice. The internship began with a week long national intern training. When I returned to Columbus, I began working with a team to complete a client’s audit. Throughout the internship, I rotated between five different clients in three different industries verifying their financial statements with the test work performed by KPMG.

Coming into college, I viewed a career as a job you obtain after graduation that you stay at until retirement. I was interested to learn from my time at KPMG that while some people take their experience and skills gained and apply it to a higher position in the company, many people apply it to a different career. It is relieving to know that I have such a valuable career beginning in public accounting ahead of me, but that my career does not have to begin and end at the same company, doing the same job. I do not know what I envision myself doing ten years from now, but I am thankful that my STEP Signature Project has shown me that I don’t have to know at this moment. I will gain so much more insight into my own interests and passions as I begin my work as an auditor.

One reason I really enjoyed my internship at KPMG is because of all of the opportunities they provided us to build and strengthen relationships through mentorship and other networking events. The internship began with training in Florida where I was able to build bonds with the other interns not only in the Columbus office, but in offices nationwide. It was helpful to know that I always had people in a similar situation as me that I could come to with questions during my internship now and during my career in the future. I found it helpful hearing the other interns’ thoughts on how their internship was going and plans for their futures. I look forward to beginning and developing our careers together and knowing I will always have people I can depend on in the workplace.

I was also provided with a formal mentor, people management leader, and a less formal mentor, transitional coach, upon beginning my internship. Both of these people were crucial to my success as an intern. I had a meeting with my people management leader at the beginning of the internship to form goals and at the end of the internship to evaluate how well I achieved my goals. I also sent them my feedback from each client engagement throughout the internship. This mentor was a main reason for my transformation. I truly appreciated and resonated with their insight on the value of a career in public accounting and thoughts on where it could take me in the future. My transitional coach was a less experienced auditor that helped me get acquainted with the company through less formal meetings. It was helpful to ask them questions, knowing they were in my position just recently. I also enjoyed hearing about what led them to choose public accounting and where they hope to go in the future.

Lastly, KPMG organized a breakfast for the interns with the partners. It was such a pleasure getting to speak with these highly experienced and well-respected professionals. Each one had completely different experiences within the company, whether that be changing from audit to tax, not initially planning on staying with the company that long, or working on the same client their entire career. No matter how different their paths were within the company, they all enjoy what they do, the company they work for, and the people they work with. It was fascinating to think I could be a partner one day too. I am thankful for the opportunity to be led by these people as I begin my career and know that they will help guide and support all of my career choices within and out of the firm.

This transformational change has greatly helped to ease my anxiety about knowing my future career plans while I’m still in college. I am now able to enjoy college more knowing it is more about the journey rather than the final destination. I am extremely grateful this project has provided me with my first professional work experience and I am excited to begin my career at KPMG after graduation knowing I will have the support of the entire “KPMG Family” as my career develops.

STEP Reflection Post

Name: Talia Weiner 

Type of Project: Internship

  1. Please provide a brief description of your STEP Signature Project. Write two or three sentences describing the main activities your STEP Signature Project entailed.

Over the 2018 summer, I was offered an internship as an Account Management Intern at the reputable powerhouse known as Young & Rubicam in New York City. During the ten-week program, I presented new business pitch and advertising campaign to senior management including David Sable, Global CEO, researched and developed advertising campaign strategy for the creation of print, digital, out-of-home, and social media ads, and developed corporate presentation give-a-ways in accordance with given budget. I also worked directly with the Dell Technologies Account team where got the opportunity to analyze competitive advertising data using the Competitrack database for media technology clients and develop and produce weekly PowerPoint summary on competitor strategies and industry involvement.

  1. What about your understanding of yourself, your assumptions, or your view of the world changed/transformed while completing your STEP Signature Project? Write one or two paragraphs to describe the change or transformation that took place.

After shadowing in this department for one day, I was offered a spot to stay and continue on with the rest of the interns in this prestigious internship program. Each of these interns were hand selected out of thousands of applicants from around the country and were also either going into their senior year of college or had already graduated. The thought of this was quite intimidating being that I was only going into my junior year of college and this program never usually hired people my age. After making the obvious decision of accepting the offer and taking the internship for the rest of the summer, my entire mindset shifted from being a camp counselor to a young professional in a real-world business setting.

This unexpected experience allowed me to grow as an individual and exposed me to knowledge and information about the industry before I even learned about it here at Ohio State. This internship was the first time in my entire life, that some of the basic material and concepts that I learned in class came to life and were utilized in an advertising setting. Now almost a year later, so much of the information being taught in the courses I am taking such as consumer behavior, marketing research, and social psychology, is so familiar to me and not my friends. This is because of my internship. The internship taught me how to be a better public speaker, enhanced my time-management skills, and strengthened my communication skills among my group members for our end-of-the-summer project that we presented to the Global CEO of the company.

  1. What events, interactions, relationships, or activities during your STEP Signature Project led to the change/transformation that you discussed in #2, and how did those affect you? Write three or four paragraphs describing the key aspects of your experiences completing your STEP Signature Project that led to this change/transformation.

At the start of the summer, I had no idea how many new people I would meet, as well as, how much of an impact those people would have on my life and my overall internship experience. This internship gave me the opportunity to build my own individualized network of people and other resources as I took on the challenge of this internship program on my own. I was able to connect on both the professional and casual levels with people who I saw as my mentors, as well as, my peers and colleagues. These relationships are still very prevalent in my life and I do keep in touch with my intern group since we meshed and became very close-knit throughout the summer. I kept in contact with my mentor every day during the summer and it was extremely easy to talk and relate to her because she was young and approachable. This relationship was extremely important to me because my mentor exposed me to so many opportunities around the office that transformed my experience and made a huge advertising agency so much smaller.

Another key aspect of this internship that led to my personal transformation was being extremely independent and having to commute to and from New York City five days a week for the entire summer. Doing this made me even more independent than I already am and it also made me feel like a much more responsible young adult. I learned my way around the subway and train systems, learned how to navigate parts of New York City and get from place to place to meet my family and friends after a long day at work. I learned to provide for myself and even though I was always so tired at the end of the day, I always looked forward to getting up the next morning to see what my internship had in-store.

When I look back at my internship and the opportunities that it provided me with, I know that I have so much more experience than so many of my peers. I was also exposed to so much information that I have been able to apply to my course work, my homework assignments, my group projects, and my daily conversations. Being able to relate work from my internship into my life in college proves that I already love my future career and that there are endless opportunities for me in the near future.

  1. Why is this change/transformation significant or valuable for your life? Write one or two paragraphs discussing why this change or development matters and/or relates to your academic, personal, and/or professional goals and future plans.

With so much new exposure, I know I can see myself quickly maturing and having to seriously consider career paths and my lifestyle in general. As I am presented with issues such as paying for food, cost of transportation, and more, I will continue to realize that life events might not always come with as much ease as I wish they always did. But, this experience along with many others I hope to have in the future has and will allow me to expand my horizons and prove to myself that I have the ability to provide for myself and be completely independent while working in the real business world and competitive marketing and advertising industry.


STEP Internship- Foundation Intern with the Columbus Blue Jackets

I had the privilege of working with the Columbus Blue Jackets for their 2018-2019 season as a Foundation Intern. Within my role I got to see many of the facets a professional sports foundation deals with, from community events and programming, to fundraising, to donations, to a multitude of other things. I got to experience the full spectrum of responsibilities such as working during home games, shipping donations to our beneficiaries, and anything else my bosses needed as they did their best to let me learn everything I could.

My understanding of community work and non-profit activity within sports shifted as I went through my internship, deepening my excitement and solidifying my desire to pursue a career in community development within sports. I understood that teams used their resources and platforms to enact positive change in their communities. However, I had no idea of the true depth or breadth of programs and actions that sports foundations and community development foundations created to spur that change. I’ve also grown personally, being more willing to ask questions as well as take initiative and voice my opinions or ideas.

My bosses Darla and Meredith were two of only three full time employees that the organization dedicates to the Foundation, though they often overlap with the community development department. Nearly every day I was treated with insight into another responsibility these two women had that contributed to the Foundation’s amazing work. I was able to help with the multitudes of paperwork involved in fundraising and coordinating volunteers. I assisted with setup and hosting of our massive annual fundraiser, Cannonball (that successfully brought in a record-setting $525,000). I got to witness children being treated at Nationwide Children’s Hospital meeting their favorite CBJ players and was brought to tears. Every day was a new adventure and new aspect of the job.

The fact there wasn’t a “typical day” in my internship excited me. I was worried that there may be a sort of cycle or boring regimen that my job may fall in to if I was to go into the industry. Darla and Meredith ensured me that every day was something new, for better or worse. The fact that they always had new tasks and projects for me to work on every time I can into the office, even though I was only an intern that had never watched a full game of hockey in her life, has been a key contributor to my love for the organization and my role.

Darla also greatly encouraged an environment where I was comfortable asking questions, and also taking initiative. Previously, I usually tried to figure things out on my own even when I wasn’t sure of the task set before me. I felt that asking questions showed weakness, or lack of qualification. However, Darla made sure that I could ask any questions I wanted, whether it pertained directly to my task, or was a general question about the team, sports foundations, or hockey in general. She never made me feel that my intelligence was being questioned, or the question I asked was inappropriate. I have taken this experience outside of my internship as well and into my classrooms. I don’t hesitate to ask questions if I am unsure or don’t understand.

Darla also encouraged me to take initiative. Every home game I worked the merchandise table, and she gave me free reign over setting up the table as I saw fit. However, I’m most excited about the statistical analysis project I am currently wrapping up for the Foundation. After sitting in on a department meeting where the team discussed the foundation’s 50/50 raffle fundraising, I approached Darla and offered to do an analysis that would allow us to predict and maximize this fundraising method. It turns out, she is ecstatic to have an intern with that capability, and when I brought the initial findings of the project to her she commented on how this is work that can be used long after I have moved on from the Columbus Blue Jackets organization. The thought that something I initiated as a single-season intern could have a lasting effect on how they operate really struck me. My first job experience in the sports industry can be a profound one. I’ve taken this boldness and initiative into my role within my business fraternity, voicing my ideas and applying for higher level positions that allow me to help others voice their ideas and opinions as well.

My experience as a Foundation with the Columbus Blue Jackets solidified my desire to pursue a career in community relations within sports. It gave me the starting point from which I can leap into greater things in the industry, as well as the skills and traits I can use to truly make myself successful as a member of a team. I have a much deeper and broader knowledge of non-profit activity in sports, and a network I can build off of to connect myself into the sports industry. I will forever be grateful to Darla, Meredith, and the Blue Jackets organization for this incredible opportunity and experience.