Intern Blog

Balance

Aug 05, 2021

Ironically, although an accountant’s job really is to make sure that financials are balanced on a day to day basis, there is a stereotype that it can be hard to find balance in the accounting line of work.

At the dawn of my first day at Cohen a few short months ago, the Leadership discussion with CEO Randy Myeroff stuck with me.  Although Randy offered a plethora of advice to soothe our first day jitters, the topic of balance that he brought up has stuck with me throughout my internship.  Randy advised us in a balanced learning approach – to believe in ourselves and our capabilities yet also never hesitate to ask questions to staff, seniors, etc. because that provides a wonderful opportunity to learn. 

He was right. 

And I also started to realize just how much this concept is a two-way street and is something embedded within Cohen culture.  At Cohen, interns are entrusted with challenging work and at the same time staff is very responsive and willing to help you to work through challenges whenever something has come up.  This approach to learning is quite helpful and I’ve been so grateful to have the help when I’ve needed it. We all know about the learning curve to working in public accounting and I can’t imagine what it would be like to try and work through without the support of others.

Additionally, there’s been balance in the variety of work given to me this summer.  I came into my internship wanting to be exposed to a range of work and Cohen has delivered on that expectation. I’ve worked through annual tax returns, income provisions, compliance testing, you name it. And at the same time, I’ve been given enough of the same type of work to build my skillset and become comfortable.  And just as you get comfortable with one thing, there’s another opportunity to learn.  Part of accounting is definitely becoming comfortable with the uncomfortable, because I have found that the work is always changing and so many situations can occur with certain returns, but throughout the summer I have been able to strike a balance with this.

My advice to future interns: the concept of balance is your friend. Your ability to work through challenges is important, but also as much is your ability to ask for help and then apply that advice to future situations so that you grow in your abilities.

Accountants stereotyped as lacking balance: doing the same type of work all the time, sitting in an office all day and having no time for life during busy season – but at Cohen, I’m so glad that I have found balance this summer.

Graham Louthan
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign