As students begin to settle into campus for the fall semester, GYF would like to once again thank our terrific team of summer interns. The students came from near and far, all with one mission – to learn more about what it means to work in public accounting. After spending a summer working in various service groups, at client sites and in the office with other service team members, the interns unanimously agreed that the GYF experience was one to remember.
Before they headed back to their respective schools, I had the opportunity to talk with some of them to get their reflections about their experiences. We asked the interns to answer a few of the questions below in hopes that their responses will be useful to future students who are considering an internship at GYF. (visit our Student Opportunities page to learn more)
Q: The COVID-19 pandemic has certainly created a unique learning experience for students in the last year or so. How did the internship stand up to your expectations in this regard?
A: Josh Sorkin, University of Pittsburgh (JS) – One thing that made the internship experience stand out was that we were able to come into the office every day. I know a lot of internships were virtual this summer, and interacting with people in person helped me gain a much better understanding of the work that I was doing as well as learn about how an office functions.
A: Zach Zytnick, University of Miami (ZZ) – What really stood out to me was how helpful everyone at the firm was. GYF has an open-door policy, so you can walk into any of the partners’ or managers’ offices, and they will gladly help you. GYF staff challenged us to do professional-level work but they were always there during every engagement to answer questions we had and help us correct any mistakes we made.
Q: Internships are often the first professional working experience that students encounter. During your time at GYF, did you come across anything unexpected?
A: ZZ – I learned that real-world auditing is very different from what is taught in school. I also appreciated that, as interns, we were exposed a number of auditing topics that my auditing class glossed over.
A: Dave Behun, Duquesne University (DB) – The variety of clientele is the most unique dynamic I experienced as an intern. Throughout the summer internship program, I was exposed to many different clients in many different industries. As a result, every audit was different, which, of course, leads to new challenges in every engagement. By serving many different clients, my overall business knowledge grew substantially considering that I had to quickly learn about the client and apply that information to the audit.
Q: Having now completed your summer internship, what aspects of internship program stood out to you? Would you recommend GYF to future students?
A: Courtney Alexander, Duquesne University (CA): The people and the culture is what stood out the most to me. In such a short time, I truly felt as though I made strong personal and professional connections at GYF. There was never an instance where I felt uncomfortable asking for help or for more guidance on whatever work I was doing that day. More often than not, multiple people would be happy to take time out of their own busy schedules to explain a task in further detail so that I was able to have a deeper understanding on the work that I was doing.
I would recommend this internship to anyone who has an interest in accounting. Throughout the summer I was given the chance to work on a variety of projects that helped me get a deeper understanding as to what a career in public accounting would look like. GYF exposed me to new opportunities and on-the-job learning that have allowed me to sharpen my professional skills.
A: Frankie Fuhrer, University of Miami (FF): For me it was how genuine everyone in the firm is. GYF is a super tightknit group, and they really care about interns’ well-being. Because of that, I’d absolutely recommend the internship. GYF really tailors your internship to meet your personal aspirations and makes your experience very individual to you. You’ll always be challenged, while having fun and making a lot of great connections along the way.
A: JS: It stood out to me that GYF really wanted us to meet as many people as we could throughout the summer. The firm planned multiple events that allowed us to interact with different people in the company in a setting outside the office. The internship really gave me the opportunity to apply what I have learned at school to a real-world environment. I also had the opportunity to meet so many new people and learn from each of them. I would definitely recommend this internship program to anyone looking to gain experience in public accounting.
Q: Is there any advice you would give to future GYF interns?
A: DB: The most important advice that I could give an incoming intern would be to ask questions. More often than not, expectations seem clear; however, taking the initiative to inquire of the Staff or Senior not only allows you to gain a deeper understanding, but also shows a genuine interest in your work.
A: CA: Always allow yourself to be open-minded. This experience is designed for interns to grow professionally and learn about what a career path in public accounting would look like. Stepping out of your comfort zone to be open to new opportunities and work assignments could open many doors and give you the chance to learn something new. Be a “sponge” by taking notes physically and mentally. You get many different experiences during your internship, and it is important that you take it all in so that you can carry it forward with you in the future!
A: FF: Generally, my advice is to come in with an open mind and be receptive to the fact that you won’t understand everything that comes your way, and in doing so, never be afraid to ask questions.