Intern Blog

The more you know

Jul 20, 2021

As I write this piece in mid-July, I’ve reached the halfway point in my internship here at Cohen for the summer and I’ve learned quite a bit. Perhaps what I’ve learned the most is that there is a lot that I don’t know. There is the old saying that “ignorance is bliss” and what that tells you is that there’s a very good reason why many people hire accountants. The tax code is a behemoth and learning all the ins and outs of the softwares often feels like a game minesweeper. But someone’s got to do it.

I recently completed my undergraduate degree and will hopefully soon have the 150-credit minimum and a master’s degree to go with it. This is also my first public accounting internship, in part due to the pandemic. So, I expected to have a smooth transition into the field having earned my bachelor’s degree and that was wishful thinking at best. The first week gave a real slap of reality to the face, but that happens to everyone to some degree. Luckily, Cohen has developed a strong support system between employees so that when I come across obstacles, there is someone to guide me through them.

When I think back to when I started as an accounting major, I didn’t know much other than assets = liabilities + equity. I didn’t know how much could truly be involved in accounting. And as I progressed through the courses, I learned much more than the simple accounting equation as more topics came like depreciation, tax, audit, LIFO, FIFO, etc. And as I progressed further in my courses, it occurred to me how much I didn’t know about the field and all the facets of accounting. Now here at Cohen, it still surprises me how much there is in accounting and how much of it I have little information on. But there is a silver lining to all the unknown. It pushes us to learn and grow more than we thought we could. There’s always something new to learn in this field and with everchanging tax codes, we must continue pushing ourselves to stay informed. Another silver lining is that there’s a good chance someone here at the firm knows what I don’t, which allows me to connect with them as coworkers here are more than willing to help each other out. And the realization of all we don’t know is a good indicator that we’re learning more and progressing.

So, even though we can all admit that there’s a ton of things we don’t know, it’s good to realize that we still know a lot. Accounting is a difficult field with a large learning curve. But with a great supportive environment like that here at Cohen, we can learn a lot more and continue to push ourselves to be better than the day before.

Andrew Feldman
Shippensburg University