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.