Intern Blog

The Cohen Experience

Apr 01, 2022

These are a few things I learned over the course of my internship.

You don’t know until you try. Whenever I face a seemingly overwhelming challenge, I try to remind myself that I won’t know if I can do it until I try. Luckily, Cohen is a place that welcomes trying. In the tax department, this could mean trying to figure out workpapers you have never seen before or even trying to figure out what might work better this year than what was done before. There’s always an opportunity to learn something new and learning is the reason we are here.

Everyone understands that interns are coming in with very little experience if any. My team has always taken the time to give thoughtful explanations any time I had a question. Learning and development is a big part of Cohen’s culture. My team never made me feel like I was a burden whenever I asked a question or asked for help. Everyone is willing to talk through a problem with you to help find an answer. This truly helped me feel more comfortable working with my team and to not feel nervous about asking questions or asking for help.

Something else I learned is how vast the accounting field is and that it is growing all the time. There is far more to working in tax than figuring out which deductions are itemized, and which are above-the-line deductions. I remember learning those concepts for the first time and thinking to myself, “Alright, I understand accounting lingo.” However, that’s just a drop in the bucket. The only 1040 I looked at during my internship was my own. My internship has been spent in the investment industry world, specifically with regulated investment companies. At first, I thought working in just one area was limiting. However, by narrowing my focus, I was able to expand my view. I learned that there are so many different tax services a public accounting firm can offer, even within just one field.

I think the most important thing I learned is about the value of an internship. It’s a great trial period to learn what it is like to work in the field that you are spending years studying for. I was working a full-time job before accepting the internship at Cohen and was nervous about whether I made the right decision. I am so glad I took the leap and tried it and honestly wish I started my internship sooner. I learned so much more than I imagined I would. The internship at Cohen is an opportunity to live a day in the life of a new accountant while receiving amazing support. It’s a chance to dip your toe into the waters and hopefully make the transition to working full-time easier. That experience has been invaluable.

Minh Nguyen
Hunter College