Intern Blog

Four Steps to Success

Mar 30, 2020

Category: Towson University

Whether you are one of the many students about to embark on the quest of selecting an internship or already set to begin your first day with Cohen & Company, I think a lot can be said about the dynamic environment we are all now a part of and how you can set yourself up for a great internship experience. After spending the past 13 weeks interning with Cohen & Company as the coronavirus pandemic has spread throughout the world and altered the way school and business function for many of us, I hope I am qualified to speak on this topic and that you learn a thing or two after you finish reading this.

Step 1. Chose the Right Company
I cannot emphasize this enough. You want to find yourself working somewhere where each team member matters and will be heard, respected, supported, and valued. I am thankful that my firm has really gone out of their way to demonstrate this since the very beginning. From my very first day, getting a welcome note from the CEO, to having a dinner with the partners at my local office, to even being a part of an open forum with the Head of Operations, it has been incredible to be welcomed from the beginning and to a part of the family.

Step 2. Find Someone Who “Has Been in Your Shoes”
I think what helped me the most was talking to staff and managers who had been interns themselves. What’s great about this is that these people are always willing to help you out! They’ll tell you what you need to know and you can ask them a ton of questions. But more than just the technical aspects of the job, tell them how you feel. Worried? Nervous? Confused? Chances are they have been there too. What’s good is that they can not only help you internalize your feelings but gave you a ton of tips.

Step 3. They Will Train You, and You Also Learn on the Job
One of my biggest concerns going into my first accounting internship was that I wouldn’t have the skills to do the work without taking all of my accounting courses. I can assure you that it will be okay. No one expects you to be a CPA after 3 years’ worth of college courses. The team will train you on how to get your job done and from there you’ll also learn a ton on the job. Not every client is the same, so be open to new challenges and opportunities to grow. You might just surprise yourself with what you can do.

Step 4. Start Building Connections on Day One
Learn names, make yourself available, listen, communicate with openness and sincerity, and know your audience. These are small things that seem obvious, but they will help you out tremendously in the long run. Focusing on building relationships and trust have made working remotely incredibly seamless.

Have fun & embrace the journey.