Intern Blog

What To Expect After Training

Apr 02, 2021

I remember getting the call that I was offered an internship at Cohen & Company like it was yesterday. I felt an overwhelming amount of excitement as this would not only be my first internship, but also my first experience with accounting outside of the classroom. As I prepared for my first day, I was eager to learn what daily tasks I would be doing but also had many questions at the same time. Once I completed my first week of training, I remember asking myself, “Now what?” What amount of tax knowledge was I already expected to know? How many questions is too many questions to ask? Is it okay if I don’t know something that seems so obvious? These were just some of the questions I had when I sat down for my second week as an intern. As I am now approaching my last month of my internship, I want to offer advice to any future interns after their first week of training.

1. It is okay to not know everything. An internship is ultimately a learning experience and the learning curve is one that is very steep. One second you will feel stuck and the next you have just prepped an entire return with minimal assistance. My advice is to always ask questions when confused. Knowledge is power and you won’t learn if you do not seek help. Everyone at Cohen is supportive and ultimately wants you to succeed.

2. Organization is fundamental to your success. It can be hard to focus and overwhelming if you look at the long list of tasks you must complete. My advice is to break things up by week. Make lists of what you want to accomplish everyday and never forget to prioritize yourself. Sitting at a computer all day can be exhausting, so don’t forget to get up and take quick breaks so you can be more efficient at getting tasks done.

3. You will make mistakes and that is okay. Nobody is perfect, although it might seem that way when you are the one person in that room with the least amount of knowledge. My advice is that you are not alone. Everyone has been in your shoes and over the course of my internship I have heard experienced people here at Cohen speak of all the mistakes they have made. It is not a matter of how many mistakes you make but how you learn and move forward and grow from those mistakes.

I will leave this with a quote that I have lived by during my time here at Cohen. “Focus on the step in front of you, and not the whole staircase.”