Friday, July 29, 2016

Challenges In My Internship

By Paul Dean, Junior, Accounting Major

During the course of my internship, I have faced many good challenges. As I am progressing through my experiences and work projects, I have found that I have been given more responsibility. Every week I have been assigned to do the planning work for a retirement plan audit. I have a certain amount of time that I have to get each plan done by. At the beginning of my internship I had people at CBIZ helping me and teaching me how to do the planning work. At this point in my internship, I have been able to master almost all of the planning by myself.

Each plan comes with its challenges though. Locating where certain documents are has been one of my biggest challenges. However, I like being challenged throughout my internship because of the satisfaction I get from solving problems on my own. When I do reach out for help from my supervisors, I have found it challenging to constantly try and learn new ways of doing the planning. This is necessary though in order to master the planning of the audits.

Another challenge that I have faced is finding time to ask other professionals questions that could be helpful to my career. Learning from other professionals is equally important as doing quality work for the accounting firm. I believe that these challenges that I have been facing will help me down the road in any academic or professional setting.    

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Try Everything

By Michael Dodds, Senior, Accounting Major

Since joining the accounting program two and a half years ago, I have been repeatedly asked, “tax or audit?”  To be honest, I was not sure until last semester, when I took both Corporate Tax and Audit at the same time.  That experience really helped me narrow it down to audit and I was very excited to finally be able to answer that question.  That was before I worked as an Assurance Intern for RubinBrown, though.
Working at RubinBrown this summer has given me the chance to learn that choosing audit is only half the battle of making a career choice.  I had no idea that you could specialize in an industry group as an auditor.  For example, this summer I have helped audit several 401(k) benefit plans, a financial institution, a low income housing developer and a not-for-profit. I get to finish my summer working on a casino, and those are less than half of the industries that you could choose to specialize in as an auditor.

Working as an Assurance Intern this summer has given me such a great opportunity to find the things that I enjoy.  Now that I am aware of what is available after you answer the “tax or audit” question, the next couple of years will give me the opportunity to try a little more of everything before I specialize in my interests.  For anyone who may not have started their internship yet, I want to encourage you to try a little bit of everything before you make a decision.  I can tell you from firsthand experience that your passions may lie in an industry that you would have never considered before.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

A Day in the Life of an Intern at the Department of Homeland Security

By Miranda Curry, Senior, Mathematics Major

Almost nine months ago I started my internship at the Department of Homeland Security in the Program Management Office. Ever since then my life has completely changed. If you had asked me what I wanted to do with my math degree a year ago, I couldn’t give a straight answer. All I knew was that I needed an internship to get my degree and thanks to Career Services, I received an email with a link to apply. After an intense 3+ month background check and interview process, I was given a start date. My days here start early and end late (if you get here before 6 am, you are usually lucky enough to get a parking spot underground).

 When I first started I was thrilled about the idea of working in a cave, but nine months later I am really missing the sun. Twelve-hour days don’t allow for a lot of time outside. Working in the Program Management Office, I have a wide range of duties. Recently, I helped prepare and balance the $50 million budget for the entire facility here for the upcoming fiscal year. Additionally, I have helped work on projects from file size analysis to creating shelving and storage plans for another cave location. The work never becomes boring because it’s different every day. Additionally, working in such a high performing office means you create significant impact to the organization. The projects that I have worked on have given me such a feeling of purpose because I know my work will make a positive difference in other’s efficiency.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Summer 2016 Interns - From Kansas City to St. Louis

Hallie Cooley - Junior – Double Major in Applied Mathematics & Economics
My actuarial internship in the insurance industry is allowing me to see the various models and reports used to predict data about our clients. Here I am evaluating a couple of analyses in order to express their meaning to clients in simplified terms. 
Decho Valev – Senior – Corporate Finance & Accounting Major
With H&R Block and the Expat Tax Services Team, I have been able to help US citizens living abroad in Australia, Europe and Canada get tax preparation service. It has been a great learning experience.

Janine Koleta – Junior – International Business Major
My internship allows me not only to intern for the Human Resource department, but also to shadow and interview employees from other departments. I am always challenged to do new things on a daily basis and get out of my comfort zone. I really like my coworkers and the team environment is great.
Joseph Lipoff – Junior – Applied Mathematics Major, Physics Minor
I am a data engineering intern at the Digital Ally Open, which is a tournament office on the Tour. I have set up Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Etix, Google Analytics, and website analytics with the google task manager. I am excited to see what is next for me.
Brendan Bostwick – Senior – Accounting Major
Interning at a local law firm has given me the opportunity to work behind the scenes of the court trials. Here is me looking through  documents and getting them in order for the attorneys to use.
Kyle Barnes – Junior – Accounting Major
My internship in the federal tax department has allowed me to apply what I have learned in my accounting classes to a real world situation. Here I am analyzing last year's financial statements to help with the 2015 Federal Tax Return for the company.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Jake Weible, Marketing Major in the Google Community Leaders Program

My internship with the Google  Community Leaders Program allows me to partner with Literacy KC, bringing a Digital Literacy program to their firm. The Digital Literacy courses allow students to supplement their English and Mathematics courses with computer classes. These classes help to close the digital divide in Kansas City and its surrounding districts. - Jake Weible, Senior, Marketing Major

Monday, May 9, 2016

Senior, Co-op Student Tyrone Blackmon - Reflection

One thing that I had to be more comfortable with this semester is approaching my advisors in a confident manner. Not to say that I wasn't confident before, but after having to approach them on a consistent basis on more pressing topics, this taught me that I must be able to communicate my thoughts confidently and properly in order to get the results and reactions I would like. One thing to take away: even if you feel nervous about approaching a Senior on a touchy subject, do it anyway and sooner rather than later. It can only help you grow as a person, make you better and more comfortable with yourself.  - Tyrone Blackmon, Senior, Accounting Major

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Your Email Storage is Full

By Miranda Curry, Senior, Mathematics Major
I find it surprising how much time people spend on their emails every day at work. When my mentor comes up to me and asks me, “What did you do yesterday” and I reply saying I checked my email, it sounds like a very unproductive day. However, checking email really can be a very tasking project to do every day.

As of this morning, my email storage space was 95% full after just 6 months of work. The next 8 hours were spent going through just one of my folders to try to clear up some space, and now I’m about down to 80% storage used. It just seems crazy to me how much time we waste reading pointless or irrelevant emails, to the point where my job has monthly webinars about how to manage your email more efficiently and how to properly send emails. I also find it interesting how some people don’t pay attention to their emails and either delete them automatically without reading them or just let them pile up until there’s 18,000 unread emails in your inbox.

I saw a post the other day that said when email was first invented, there was a happy greeting associated with receiving an email (You’ve got mail!). Now, email is treated more as a chore, something that people avoid or dread checking simply because of the massive amount of time it takes. As an intern, I love checking my email and going through every link and article sent to me because I am still new to everything and it gives me a sense of importance. However, I can see how this will eventually wear down over time. I’m glad that email platforms like Outlook are coming out with new features to help email organization and to help important emails show through mountains of clutter.