Friday, July 11, 2008

Notes from an Internship - Week 1

Hi, my name is Michelle Millar and I am a rising senior studying accounting at the Fisher College of Business of The Ohio State University. My hometown is Cleveland Heights, Ohio. This summer I am an audit intern at Big Four accounting firm KPMG LLP.

Though I had other offers for internships this summer, I was very pleased to be invited by KPMG. Last year I participated in the firm's Future Diversity Leaders (FDL) conference. At the time finance was my major but after participating in FDL, I realized accounting would be a better fit for me. I was impressed with KPMG because I could see that it actively embraces diversity and the professionals I met made me feel like I was part of the team. I also liked that KPMG offered growth opportunities, such as the Global Internship Program (GIP). In fact, I’m writing this post from London where I am participating in KPMG’s GIP. I will be here for half of my summer internship and in the KPMG’s Atlanta office for the other half.

My internship at KPMG officially began in Anaheim, Calif., at the firm's national intern training, which included sessions on communication styles, leadership, working in teams, and the do’s and don’ts of proper professional attire where KPMG professionals served as models and fashion experts in a game show setting. It was hilarious! I also enjoyed the technical audit training we received, which we did virtually so it was like playing a video game. I wish my accounting classes were more like that. On the last day of training, I met 39 other GIP interns who would be traveling to incredible destinations such as Australia, France, China, Brazil, Japan, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Spain, Hungary, South Africa, Romania, and Sweden. I even met a fellow Ohio State student who was going to India. (Go Bucks!)

Before I left for London, I spent a week at a government client site near Atlanta. It was a small engagement team consisting of me, a senior associate, an associate and an IT advisory associate. They were all really cool and I enjoyed working with them. I have to admit, I was happy to see accounting principles I’d learned in school being applied to things in the field. I got to work on cash account reconciliations, confirmation letters and a few other tasks. I also had the opportunity to shadow an associate as he conducted an inventory count at a fertilizer factory. The inventory count was pretty interesting-and a nice change of pace from being in the office. The associate, David, was good at firmly asking the right questions to get the answers he needed. On the day I left for London, I spent the morning shadowing an associate at a lottery client. It was fun to visit the television studio and see the processes in place necessary to ensure a successful drawing.

Destination London

My first day in London and I love it! After a short car service ride from the airport, I arrived in my new home for the next four weeks - a very modern three-bedroom flat with all the necessary appliances that I will share with two other KPMG GIP interns in central London.

I spent the first two days in London at intern training at a conference center in the country. During training I realized that there were a lot of words I didn't recognize. The balance sheet was in a slightly different format and used the word 'stock' for inventory. And it took me a second to figure out that called-up shares were exactly the same as outstanding shares. The last three days of the week I went to the office where I met my mentor, Xiaomiao. We hit it off right away and I was thrilled she was my mentor. I became familiar with the office and got to know the others in my department, Chemicals, Pharmaceuticals & Energy, or CPE.

Next week I will be assigned to a client. I’m hoping for a challenging assignment - we'll see what happens.


Anonymous said...

It seems like you will have a bright future working for KPMG. They seem to offer many opportunities for their employees.

Anonymous said...

I Love your enthusiasm.Please keep it up. Be aware though there will peaks and throughs i.e the not so interesting moments included too. I have been a manager at a rival firm I wont mention the name but it begins with a "D".I have seen people loose their Zeal half way through due to some really tough moments...But all in all Enjoy!