An internship is an important opportunity for growth and learning. It is a perfect chance to see what it is like to work in the field that you are studying, and it provides you with the possibility to grow as a person and integrate yourself in a bigger community. Because this opportunity is so important to us as students and as future professionals, I would like to discuss how we can make most of it.
Cohen & Company is an amazing firm. One reason I know this is because I was extended an invitation to join the company for its Christmas party. Interning at a different company where I was ignored, not acknowledged and not invited to parties or social events showed me what I don't want for myself and how a company should not treat an employee, even if they are just there temporarily.
I took this opportunity to go to the Baltimore office’s Christmas party, and it was the best decision ever. I met the team I would be working with and made friends with them. I would like to thank them for being so welcoming to new employees.
Attending the firm’s social events will help you ease your way into the internship — so, if you're invited to lunch, a Cohen Cares volunteering event or a celebration, go to it. This is how you make the most of your experience, and it is the best way to network.
Another piece of advice I have for future interns is to ask questions and ask for help. At the beginning, we are all confused. We have different tax forms to work with, and we have different tasks, assignments and deadlines. What I've learned so far is if something is challenging or if you're confused, do not hesitate to reach out for help.
I have found myself losing time because I was confused about a task that I could have asked about right away and been more productive. The firm assigns us a learning buddy and a team manager for a reason, and I appreciate them so much. They have been truly guiding me and they're very patient with me, knowing that they were in my shoes not long ago. It is refreshing to see a company that actually is what it says it is. No matter who you ask a question to, they will always be there to help.
My next piece of advice to help you have a great internship experience is get to know your fellow interns. They are definitely struggling with the same things you are, so don’t be shy — reach out to them and, who knows, maybe go to lunch or dinner. There isn't anything more comforting than knowing that someone is in your corner ready to offer you some support. Lean on each other for what you think are silly questions and learn together.
I also found it very useful at the beginning of my internship to research all the applications and software I was presented with in the first week. Go over them, open them up and just look into what each of them does.
Last but not least, communicate! If there is one thing you can do to have the best experience, it’s communicate. Let your team know what you are working on, reach out to ask for help and ask for work if you’re not busy. Working as a team to meet deadlines is so important — this is why they say, “teamwork makes the dream work.”
I want to end this blog by suggesting a small exercise: stand in a Superman pose. It is proven to make you feel more confident and comfortable, so do it if you feel like you need a little self-esteem boost or positivity.
Corina Chughtai, University of Baltimore
Cohen & Company is not rendering legal, accounting or other professional advice. Information contained in this post is considered accurate as of the date of publishing. Any action taken based on information in this blog should be taken only after a detailed review of the specific facts, circumstances and current law.