A Journey of Many “Firsts”
Aug 05, 2021
The first-time attending training. The first-time going to the office. The first-time attending a client meeting. The first time going to a Detroit Tigers game! My journey here at Cohen & Company has been marked by many “firsts”. Before the start of the internship, I was both excited and nervous about what to expect in the weeks ahead. Here we are two months later, and I cannot be more grateful for all these experiences.
For anyone that asks, “what is your best advice for incoming interns?”, my best answer would be to say yes to the next “first”. If that means reaching out to someone for the first time, doing a new task for the first time, each first experience pushes you out of your comfort zone and will be rewarding in the long run.
Cohen has made it much easier for me to challenge my comfort zone because everyone here is both welcoming and patient. I had a chance to work on a few employee benefit plans over the past few weeks and each team member was there for me to answer questions, offer feedback, and encourage me to think deeper. From asking where to find tick marks in excel to how COVID-related distributions are taxed differently; my team was there to help me understand everything I was looking for. A few weeks ago, I had no idea what I would be doing. Now, here we are working on distributions, leases, loans, and I owe it all to my team for trusting me and giving me the chance to try something new.
A few weeks prior, we went to one of our non-profit clients to perform fieldwork. This was my first time ever going to a client. We greeted each other, and then our senior got a chance to talk with the client about any questions or potential changes that occurred over the past year. I did my part by listening and writing down notes and such. It took a lot to overcome the jitters of going to a client site for the first time, but this first experience makes me more comfortable and ready to take on the next client interaction.
It can be difficult joining a new team for the first time. Trying to perform while also finding a good fit can be stressful. In my case, my team members would reach out to me whenever they were in the office. This would make it easier to ask and answer questions, but it also gave us a chance to grab lunch, learn more about each other, and talk freely about anything outside of work such as sports, school, pets, and more. My team would offer praise for good work but also remind me of what I can improve on, both of which would motivate me to continue doing better every day.
Again, it is safe to say that being nervous is nothing new. What we do of that is what ultimately defines us. Will we stay comfortable and avoid the next challenge because we are too nervous, or will we embrace that fear and say yes to the next opportunity that awaits? Thank you to everyone that has contributed to a great experience here at Cohen!
Almir Celovic, Michigan State University