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A Fresh Perspective: My Internship at EY

By Natalie Guillen—Upon beginning my internship with Ernst and Young, I was both eager and apprehensive. The prestige associated with the firm instilled a sense of pride and excitement in me, but it also meant I had higher expectations. Along with starting at a reputable firm, I was enthusiastic to apply all of the knowledge I had acquired from all of my accounting courses. I was assigned to clients within the oil and gas industry. My expectation beginning my internship was that I would be centered on the energy industry because most the of the Big 4 accounting firms in Houston are focused on clients within those industries.

My Assignment

I was assigned to two different clients during my internship. My first client was a smaller company, and my second client was a larger one. This gave me the great opportunity of experiencing firsthand what it means to work on a smaller team with fewer accounts and to also work on a larger team with more accounts. Both client work involved complexity and had unique challenges due to their size.

As most accounting students know, an audit internship in the summer versus the spring is usually less hectic because the busy season, for most of the energy industry, occurs in the winter/spring time. But fortunately for me, one of my clients was more engaged due to quarter end filing dates, which allowed me to be exposed to more of the company and permitted me to work and get to know my team better.

Working With A Team

It was interesting to find that working on a team in a work setting is not all that different from working on a team in the classroom. With the experience and exposure I have received from my courses and the many team projects I have been involved in at UST, I was able to apply my knowledge of working within a team. Of course, teams will vary depending on your industry, leaders, and team members. I learned that your rapport with your team will take you a long way.

If you have a good work ethic, are dependable, complete tasks in a timely manner, and communicate with your team along the way, you will find that your team is more excited to work with you and to help you when needed. This was one of the most crucial lessons I learned from my internship experience. Along with the fundamentals of auditing, the procedures that must be followed, and the understanding you must bring into your work, I found that the bond with your team is very important because they are who you will turn to for guidance and/or clarity. Furthermore, your team is who you celebrate and share experiences with.

Conclusion

Beginning my last year at St. Thomas, I will bring with me a new perspective that I have obtained from my internship this past summer. I really enjoyed being a part of the EY team and am anticipating great success upon starting with them in the upcoming year as a full-time team member.

Natalie Guillen

UST – BBA/MBA Accounting

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