The summer is over. I was not ready for the storm of upper level accounting classes, but when I was preparing for my Financial 2 course, I realized how much I had learned both last year and in my internship. This transition is showing me that stepping away from something and then coming back to it, has given me a better grasp on what I know. In addition, seeing some practical application of basic accounting principles has helped me connect the dots and have a broader perspective on how accounting is and can be used, but the main things I have taken away from this experience have less to do with what I am learning and more to do with how I will continue to learn moving forward.
Here are the main things I took away from my internship:
- Constantly look for ways to innovate and improve the work you do.
- Keep asking questions and learning from the people ahead of you. They have so much wisdom to impart!
- Communication and collaboration are the keys to a successful project. People are the greatest asset.
Taking a break from college and getting a taste of working a full-time job has given me a fresh perspective. Overall I am sad to have left my internship, but I am excited to continue to grow in the little I currently know about accounting.
I had a unique opportunity this summer to work for the US government rather than a private company. As a student I did not know the types of jobs that were available in the public sector because public accounting firms and other corporations recruit so heavily at OSU.
I want more students to know about the opportunities to intern for various government agencies for three reasons:
1. It diversifies your experience and knowledge.
Government accounting looks different from normal accounting because you use proprietary and budgetary accounts. Learning this different system of accounting strengthens your overall knowledge of accounting because it forces you to question and affirm what know.
- You may discover something you are passionate about.
Government and non-profit accounting has entirely different goals than private sector, which is heavily profit driven. Government agencies also span a variety of interests and locations. Whether it’s the DoD, State Department or the FBI even, there’s a lot to explore and learn.
- There can be nobility in public service.
One the biggest takeaways I had from my internship is pride in servicing the US military and seeing my coworkers take pride in the work they do because of this. The vision for your work has deep roots in the founding of the United States, and you may find satisfaction in contributing.
Overall, if you are interested in the public sector, I would recommend doing research to find an aspect of the government you are interested in. There are so many options out there.
I did not want to commute and drive for 40 min in rush hour traffic from Akron to Cleveland. Not to mention, I did not want to pay 8 dollars a day to park in a garage and pay for gas.
But I wanted to save money and live at home for the summer. Not to mention, I love my family and friends and wanted to be with them every second I could this summer.
That’s when I found an express bus that goes directly from Akron to downtown Cleveland, making about five stops in the downtown area. DFAS reimburses you for your bus expense which is 40 dollars for a ten ride pass.
It was great. At first all I did was sleep, listen to music and periodically read on the bus, but then you start to see the same people on the bus and at the bus stop. Eventually, people introduce themselves to you as they see you are a new “regular” bus rider.
I never expected to meet people this way, but I began to learn more about these people. Kia has four kids. Liz is a runner. Shirley just started working for DFAS a couple months ago. I liked meeting people from all backgrounds and all ages. It was like having a group of neighbors.
If I had just drove, I would have spent more money, not been able to read or sleep, and not met anyone. I would recommend to anyone to look into public transportation, especially express buses to downtown Cleveland, Columbus and beyond. It can save you money, stress and help you get outside of your comfort zone by meeting people.
I am working my first internship; finally, I am beginning my career in accounting. I am working on the 29th floor with an ID badge and my life is going in an upward direction. I am twenty years old, and the whole experience is all so exciting and novel. I put on my dress pants and heels and board an express bus from Akron to Downtown Cleveland. It is 6:30 am, but I cannot close my eyes for a second. I spend the entire first bus ride glued to the window, making sure that I would not miss my stop. Once I was Downtown looked at the buildings, the statues and the people. The people walking to work.
Suddenly it hits me. Those words your parents, teachers and other adults always said to you in high school: You have your whole life ahead of you.
Working downtown may be new for me, but others, they have done it for five, ten, maybe even 30 years. I realized how locked into high school I was. How when I thought about my future, all I thought about was college. But then what? I still don’t know.
I don’t share this to overwhelm you, but relax you. My advice is to get a couple career mentors that are in different phases of life. Learn from the people around you. Take a deep breath and be present where you are.