Written by: Sarah Hambley
Let this be not only an internship tip, but also a life lesson…
I am hands down one of the most impatient people on the earth – ask any of my friends or family members. Therefore, being asked to complete tax compliance work for a client while navigating new software and complex systems all on my first “real” day of work was overwhelming to say the least. I didn’t know every step to the process, but at the same time I didn’t want to ask the associates in my department a question every two minutes. I became frustrated when I looked at a prior year’s workpapers and still wasn’t able to solve a problem.
Two days later, I was completing my third set of workpapers and reviewing a 1065 – a tax return for a partnership. I was sitting in a meeting with a senior manager as he described a project I would be working on for the remainder of my internship that involves complex transactions for a financial services client. My first week was ending with a summer celebration for the tax department where I met even more members of my KPMG family and their friends.
The moral of the story here is that it is natural to feel frustrated and lost the first week or month of your internship. Don’t jump to conclusions after a few days on the job. What you do on your first day is not what you’ll be doing the rest of your career or even internship. Be patient. Those moments will come along where you remember why you chose the company you’re working for and why you’re spending four years studying an area of business. And when they do, you’ll appreciate those first few days or weeks of frustration and learning, because those are the building blocks to a successful career.