Exciting projects at Ernst & Young

Hello finance / accounting fans,

It’s been awhile since my last post; things here have certainly kept me busy. Just a quick update before I get started: I’m still loving my time up here, the work is really interesting, the people / other interns are really nice and helpful, and of course there’s always something to do here in the Big Apple (speaking of which, I found out that the nickname came from a sportswriter in the 1920’s who described a New York City horse race as drawing horses from all over the country to the Big Apple).

Going a little deeper into those topics, the project I have been working for the last couple of weeks has been the experience of a lifetime. I got the chance to work with Ernst & Young’s team currently advising the Federal Reserve Bank of New York on AIG. Well, I guess I am working for you guys also since technically it’s the American taxpayer who took the stake in AIG. This project has been an incredible learning experience. Everyday I am exposed to the latest inner-workings of the finance and accounting world, and I’m trying to pick up as much as I possibly can. Thankfully, my team has been incredibly helpful and really nice to me, from senior all the way up to the partner in charge of the deal. Unfortunately, I cannot go into any more detail on my work since it is highly confidential. In fact, until a couple of weeks ago (when the Fed released a report stating some of the help it has been receiving on AIG), no one was even allowed to mention that Ernst and Young was advising the Fed on AIG.

What I can do is explain the program that I am in a little further. I am a Transactions Support intern in the TS + program. This means that this summer, I have been interning with EY’s Transactions Support team, advising clients on either the purchase or sale of an asset or entire company. If I am lucky enough to receive a full-time offer, I will do a three-year rotation where I spend 75% of my time in audit and 25% of my time in TS. The rotation is designed to prepare candidates to obtain their CPA license as well as train staff to be effective members of the TS practice. In order to work in TS, you need to have the audit skills that allow you to analyze and understand historical earnings in order to use that information to project future revenue streams and expenses for the company.

I love working in the TS practice because it involves both finance and accounting skills and really calls for critical thinking to help advise a client on acquiring a prospective target. I can definitely see myself finding my niche within this practice and will continue to enjoy the rest of the summer.

Finally before I go, I will describe the typical seniority structure at a Big 4 accounting firm. The hierarchy for a team (which works for one client at a time) is: executive partner, partner, senior manager, manager, senior, staff and then intern (bottom of the totem pole here, but I am definitely still trusted with work that is both important to the project and very detail-specific). Just an example of a team I worked on, was made up of: an executive partner, a senior manager, a manager, and two seniors. Every member of my team has been more than willing to help explain anything that I needed. The biggest piece of advice I can give in working with a team is to always take notes when they take the time to explain a longer, or more complicated, process. It has been my experience that they never mind explaining how to do something because they all remember times when they were new at something. However, I make sure to take detailed notes and get it right the first time so as to not disrespect them by taking up their valuable time at work (only interns get paid hourly!).

Well that’s all for now readers, but be sure to look for another post in the near future as I still have a lot more to say about all the exciting things that have been going on this summer.

Day & Night in the Big Apple

Hello readers,

It’s been awhile since you guys have heard from me and a lot has happened since then. I have completed my training and settled into my role as a Transactions Advisory Services intern with EY. I’ve already gotten the chance to work on two different projects where we help advise our clients on whether or not to acquire a target company, and if so at what price. I am learning on the fly and picking up so many things in both the finance and accounting sectors. I don’t want to bore you with the details (also for the first time in my life I can say that it is classified information…sounds pretty cool to say), but mainly I am working with analyzing trends in companies’ financial statements.

My team is a collection of very bright, but very young people, in addition to a partner within the firm and a senior manager. I get to work in a conference room that offers a corner view of both Times Square and the Hudson River from the 25th floor of EY’s building. I share the room with three first or second year staff members of the TAS group and all are really nice and helpful when I come to them with a question. A lot of the work I’ve been doing relates very closely with some of the concepts in my Accounting 523 class (pensions, fair value, and inventory etc…), as well as my Fixed Income Securities class (I even got exposure to some foreign exchange forward contracts…which were complex enough in class, and even more so in working with them). Seeing as there was no way I could retain every intricate detail of the concepts I learned in class, my team has been a huge help in bringing me up to speed with some of my work. Everyone remembers what it was like to start off as either an intern or a first year staff, so they are always more than happy to answer any questions I might have and help me if I come across a particularly difficult problem.

But enough about my work during the day…I’m sure some of you guys would like to know what New York City is like at night. Well usually at least one or two days during the week, a bunch of us interns will stop by a pretty cool local bar for happy hour after work. Our first NYC happy hour was a huge shock to me…a pitcher of beer for $20!!! Now, we must have made a mistake in choosing too expensive of a bar because the rest of our happy hours have been much less than that, but still a whole lot more expensive than in Columbus.

There hasn’t really been a typical night out in the Big Apple, there’s just too much to do; so I guess I’ll just tell you some of the various things I’ve gotten to experience here. First, we’ve been to a couple of rooftop bars with amazing views of the Manhattan skyline at night…rooftop bars are a big hit up here. I’ve also been to Chinatown (amazing food), Little Italy (we got to see a spaghetti eating contest on the Fourth of July and had gelatos), and Harlem (where me and two of my intern friends have found our favorite local neighborhood bar). On the Fourth of July, a few of my friends from Ohio State came up to watch the fireworks on the Hudson River (this year was extra special because it is the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson sailing the river for the first time). The fireworks were amazing, and even more incredible when you realize that there were five other similar fireworks shows occurring simultaneously up and down the river.
In the future, I hope to complete my exploration of all 5 boroughs. I have been to Brooklyn (by accidentally taking the wrong subway, but I’m glad I did because Brooklyn is a pretty cool place, definitely more residential than Manhattan) and Queens (for a barbeque with coworkers and also some Ohio State alumni). This leaves the Bronx and Staten Island on my list of things to see. I would also like to see a Broadway show (if I can find reasonably priced tickets) and also visit Long Island beach. Well there’s definitely plenty of material for the next time I post, so until them so long from the Big Apple.

China Town
China Town
Little Italy
Little Italy

Exciting First Week & A New Internship

Hello again guys,

Well I am back from the beach in Panama City and have been thrown to the wolves here at Ernst & Young in NYC. Well actually that’s not true, everyone in the office has been great so far. On Monday, my first day, I got to meet all of the audit and tax interns from the Connecticut, New Jersey, Long Island, and New York offices for training. We went around the room and got to know a little about everyone. This was a great transition into our internship because everyone (well at least I was) was a little nervous about starting as an intern at such a large firm in a fast-paced city. Everyone has been really nice and friendly so far: the recruiters, the interns, and the staff. It’s pretty cool working with a lot of other young people, especially such a diverse group of people where you can look around the room and see people from five or six different continents in one 360 degree turn.

On Tuesday, we had more orientation training for the EY Northeast area offices. We learned a little more about what was expected of us as interns and also began learning about their computer system. We were issued laptops on which we will perform most of our work this summer, through EY’s various software and programs for auditing. Then, on Wednesday after some more training in the morning, we were taken out to Central Park for an afternoon of team building exercises. We were broken down into about 8 teams and competed in various activities such as kickball, capture the flag, and tug-of-war. My team, the purple team, had a lot of fun together, especially when we dominated in ultimate Frisbee! This was my first time in Central Park; it’s pretty crazy to see miles of tall trees and actual grass right in the middle of the sprawling metropolis that is New York City.

In another bit of exciting news, I’m sure that all of you have had someone stress the importance of networking at one time or another in your search for an internship/job. Well let me jump on the bandwagon and try to hammer home that point some more. Earlier in the week a recruiter from the Ernst & Young Transactions Advisory Service came to see the assurance interns about taking one or two of them into their TAS internship program. For those of you who don’t know, the TAS program generally advises clients on things such as mergers and acquisitions, restructuring, and other various transactions. I was excited for the opportunity to join the TAS program because I had originally wanted to intern there, but they weren’t hiring anymore interns when I interviewed. I went to an informational meeting after work where I got a chance to talk with some of the seniors and recruiters from the TAS group about the program and also about my interests and background. I was surprised to learn that one of the seniors in the TAS group graduated from OSU and was also the vice president of the OSU alumni club for the greater New York area. I talked with the OSU alum for awhile, telling him about myself and how interested I was in the program. The next day, I got a call inviting me to join the TAS internship program here in New York, which I immediately accepted.

Another plus of my networking is that I, along with the other OSU interns working around the city, was invited to a happy hour sponsored by the OSU greater New York alumni club. At this happy hour, I got to meet a lot of OSU grads working in NYC, all with interesting experiences and stories to tell. O yea, we also had free drinks, filet mignon, cheeseburger, and shrimp appetizers…talk about living the good life!

Well that’s about all for my first week for now. It’s been a wonderful experience living in NYC and working for EY so far. The people at EY, as well as all the excellent opportunities, have convinced me that I made an excellent choice in my summer internship, and the summer promises to be a great learning experience as well as a heck of a lot of fun.

A post from Panama about Housing in NYC

Hey guys, I have not quite started my internship for Ernst & Young in New York City yet. In fact, this week I have been trying to get everything in order for my internship while enjoying the sun and the sand on a Panama City Beach, Florida vacation with 24 family members and relatives. To get prepared, I packed most of my suitcase before I left for my beach vacation. I also filled out some paperwork to be turned in on my first day at EY.

Since I haven’t had my first day experience yet (more on that in my next post), I will tell you about how I went about getting my housing in New York City. Other than my office visit to Ernst & Young’s New York City office for my final interview, I had only been to New York one other time. Because of this, I was pretty unfamiliar with the city, but luckily the people at EY were a big help. When I received my offer from EY back in December, I was incredibly excited for the opportunity that I had just been given. However, I was also a little nervous when I realized that I would be out on my own in the Big Apple. The first thing I did was to email my tour guide from my office visit and also some of the other recent full-time hires that I was matched up with on my visit. I asked them what I should do about summer housing since I am from Ohio and don’t have relatives in the area. They told me that many interns choose to live in either dorms or apartments provided by New York University. They said that this would be my cheapest option for living in Manhattan, and that I would also be able to pay for each week I was there rather than renting it out for a full three months when I wouldn’t be there that long.

I checked with the recruiters at EY’s NYC office, and they confirmed that this was a popular choice for summer interns and would fit my needs for the summer. Taking their advice, I went to NYU’s summer housing website (NYU Summer Housing for Applicants). At the website, I saw that I could choose to live in a residence hall or a furnished apartment. I choose to go for a single bedroom furnished apartment because I didn’t want to go back to living in a dorm after two years of living in off-campus housing at Ohio State. With the furnished apartments owned by NYU, I could choose from a variety of locations around the city. The single bedroom apartments are located on Second Street and 26th Street. I chose the 26th Street apartment as my first choice because it was closer (1.1 miles walking distance) to my Times Square office location. Living arrangements with NYU are given out on a first come, first serve basis where you choose 5 locations in order of preference. Everyone I talked to said that NYU housing locations go extremely fast, so I made sure that I filled out my online application as soon as the registration window opened. If I could stress one piece of advice to students thinking about living in New York through NYU, it is to make sure that you apply for housing as soon as the registration window opens. It would have been a lot more expensive and more time consuming to find a place to live in Manhattan for 9 weeks this summer if I had missed out on NYU’s housing.

I am a little nervous about living on my own in New York City this summer, but I do have friends in the area to help make my transition a little easier. My friend Alli is working for Deloitte and living in the same building as I am this summer, and my friend Bofei is working for Madison Square Garden. Since my apartment is only 1.1 miles walking distance from work, I will walk to and from work when time and the weather allow me to. Also, I will be getting a Bus/Subway pass to help get around the city; both when there is inclement weather and also just to be able to travel to all corners of the city and explore everything that the Big Apple has to offer. I hope to see and experience as much of New York as I can during my nine weeks there, and I will definitely make sure to share all my experiences and adventures with you guys as they happen this summer.

Andrew Hopkins @ Ernst & Young

fisher-blog-picHello fellow Fisher students. I’m excited to get started blogging for you guys about my summer internship for Ernst and Young in their assurance department in New York City. Before I do get started, it might be helpful if you guys know a little bit about me and how I got my internship. I am a finance and accounting major. I came into Fisher knowing that I wanted to major in finance. All throughout high school, I loved following the stock market, and I knew I wanted to work with money. I added an accounting major during my sophomore year in order to supplement my business education and because I enjoyed Accounting 211.
I was fortunate to meet a lot of companies this year through my Fisher Futures and Honors Cohort programs and was really interested in what Ernst and Young had to say to me. I spoke with them at the fall career fair about pursuing both finance and accounting opportunities within their company. Once I traveled to New York and met the people in that office, I knew that was the best fit for me, so I accepted their offer to intern as an auditor.

Since I accepted my offer, I have been looking forward to tackling the challenge of working for a Big Four accounting firm in New York City. New York is a great place to launch a career, and I am excited about utilizing the business skills that I have learned in my three years at Fisher. I am a little anxious about the high level of work that will be required in a fast-paced environment such as New York, but I am confident that I have prepared myself well for the upcoming challenges and that Ernst and Young will give me all the training I need to succeed.

Finally, if you guys are wondering why I volunteered to blog this summer, I think it will give me the opportunity to continuously reflect on my internship and analyze how my internship experience is going. This will be invaluable when, at the conclusion of my internship, I will hopefully be able to decide whether or not I would like to work full-time for Ernst and Young in New York City.