As a rising junior in college, I walked into my internship at Cohen & Company knowing little about what I would be doing. Yes, I knew the textbook information we had learned in class, but when it came to putting that information into practice, I was clueless. Murmurs of “workpapers” and “spreadsheets” swirled in my head, but I actually had no idea what those two things were. And as I completed my first week of training, I still was unsure about what my day-to-day would look like. As a chronic planner and Type A person, this worried me.
But, as I have walked through my second, third and fourth week of this internship, I have learned to find comfort in two unchanging facts:
- No two days will look the same.
- Every day, I will learn something new.
Now, while these realizations did not allow me to formulate a two-month plan, they did allow me to change my mindset. Public accounting is not an industry that allows professionals to go on autopilot, mindlessly plugging in numbers to spreadsheets — it is an industry that challenges employees to work hard, ask questions and be a constant learner.
The challenging nature of this profession could make a job in accounting extremely frustrating, but that has not been my experience. Cohen & Company truly works to put its people first. Everyone at the firm has been so encouraging. Whenever I have a question (which is often), someone is always willing to help. My time thus far at the Milwaukee office has been a time of great growth, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of my internship brings.
Ella Cridelich, Marquette University