Internship Experience: John McCabe, Assurance Services Intern at EY

In this “Internship Experience” blog post series, we will be featuring the profile and thoughts of our students from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management as they return from summer internships.

Name: John McCabe
Graduation Year: May 2021
Major(s): Professional Accounting / Marketing Management
Hometown: Newton, MA
Intern Company/Title: Ernst & Young (EY) – Assurance Services Intern

Describe your position and some of your daily tasks? 
Most of my daily tasks revolve around the use of Microsoft Excel (Thanks Whitman and SOM 122!). For example, as a firm gets ready to audit the client, they have to prepare the papers on which they will be reporting their findings. Even though the client may report their performance on Dec. 31, we plan very far in advance and some of that involves preparing the reporting forms as early as July; so that when the reporting date does come around, we are already prepared with planning and can focus on more critical decision making and analysis. Another one of my tasks involved the preparation and analysis of client meeting minutes, which were fun because I got to understand the situation our client was in and how best our team could help!

How did you land your internship?
I landed my internship by maintaining constant contact with EY professionals since my first year (in large thanks to Professor Maryann Monforte) and continued networking with EY such that when interviews did come up, I was both comfortable and prepared.

What did you learn from your internship experience?
I learned that regardless of role, experience level or degree that your colleagues are always willing to help you out if you just ask questions. On a much more technical side, I learned a lot about Microsoft Excel that I did not know before. Tools that I will take with me wherever I go.

Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
My internship experience reaffirmed my commitment to wanting to enter a role where I can help others in the best possible way that I can. Accounting is one small subset of a wide variety of professions where you get to help others. This experience has taught me that I really want to enter into a space where I am passionate and able to fully apply myself to my work! 

How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
I think that regardless of where I work after graduation, the skills I have learned and connections that I have made will stay with me. One thing that I think is super important is the breadth of experience that you have so even if my interests and goals change which I am sure they will, my experience at EY will stay with me and I can use the insight and skills learned to make good decisions both personally and professionally. 

How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
Excel for sure! But, outside of technical skills, I think Whitman does a really good job of offering a wide variety of opportunity that gives students every opportunity to network with alums and professionals, as well as prepare for interviews whether that be through networks of peers like DSP, Investment Club or BAP or maybe even the resources in the Career Center, there is truly so many resources for Whitman students to take advantage of!

What did you enjoy most about your experience?
The people! EY has some of the best people that I have met and they all have such interesting life stories and advice. I really have enjoyed getting to know everyone. It has been the least intimidating environment possible and they also did a really good job of accommodating a virtual internship experience. 

Do you have any advice to students who are looking for an internship?
Don’t be afraid to reach out to Syracuse University or Whitman alumni in an industry/company that piques your interest! Syracuse goes with you wherever you go and even though you may be in your first or second year on campus, if you network and maintain constant contact, when the time does come to land that internship you will be well-prepared!

Kimmy Kimball