Virtual Learning Doesn’t Have to be Taxing
Feb 10, 2021
At the start of the internship, I didn’t know how the training, work expectations, and culture of the firm would translate over to a virtual setting. I found myself feeling apprehensive that the training would be more difficult and confusing since it was taking place virtually and that connections with coworkers wouldn’t be the same as they normally would be in a traditional office setting. However, after the first week, I was relieved to find out that the training was far more intuitive than I thought it would be. There were plenty of resources available such as training packets and Microsoft Excel tips that made it easier to understand how the different software that the firm uses comes together to complete a tax return. Meetings and training sessions took place through WebEx. There are several features of WebEx that make it easier to keep up with the progress of the instructor, such as screen control and screen share. This assisted me in comprehending the training because my instructor was able to view my work directly and correct it when I got stuck.
After training, I began coming into the office a couple of days a week. The experience has been worthwhile because there are plenty of opportunities to ask staff and seniors questions and collaborate with them in person. However, coming into the office was never expected of me as a requirement of the internship. Rather, it was another option that was available to accommodate different work schedules. So far during my time at Cohen & Company, I have found the whole internship to be accommodating to a wide variety of situations that I have experienced. Whether I needed to work from home, come into the office, or take time off for school, I have found that as long as I communicate my needs promptly to my team, they will do their best to accommodate my schedule.
Although much of the internship has been virtual, this has not prevented me from making connections that have been just as worthwhile as if they had been made in a traditional office setting. The people at Cohen & Company are a strong testament to the fact that the firm actively attains to reach its principle of putting great people first. Whether through the weekly phone calls to touch base on the status of my workweek, or through meeting with my learning buddy for check-ins, Cohen & Company gave me all the resources that I needed to stay ahead and be productive. After completing a tax return, the first reviewer leaves an Excel sheet of review comments regarding the tax return. I found this to be a great tool to prevent future mistakes because it allows you to have a record of areas where you can improve in the future. I have come back to the review comments of completed returns multiple times to make sure that I am learning from the mistakes that I have made in the past. My time at Cohen & Company has shown me that they are effective at giving their employees the tools that they need to be successful, no matter the work-place setting.