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 reflect on their internship experience over the last year.
Name: Juliana Cirillo
Graduation Year: 2022
Majors: Finance / Accounting
Hometown: Eastchester, NY
Internship Company/Title: EisnerAmper – Audit Intern
Describe your position and some of your daily tasks?
My position as an audit intern included updating pro forma statements, planning and closing items, completing audit programs and checklists for pension audits, as well as trying out present financial statements with previous quarters/years. I also was assigned to a project within the tax department where I was able to gain insight into their system and assisted in converting 1040 and 1120 tax returns.
How did you land your internship?
I landed my internship by first applying through Handshake and then attending a scheduled meeting with EisnerAmper during the virtual career fair. I informed the representative that I had already submitted an application and proceeded to go through two rounds of interviews before accepting the position.
What did you learn from your internship experience?
One of the most important things I learned is that firms do not expect you to go in with much background information. While it helps in the work you will be doing, the most important part is being a good coworker. Audit requires lots of teamwork, and while the managers I worked under did not expect me to know any prior audit-related information, they all valued an intern that asked questions, wanted to learn about their career experiences and their role in the firm, was honest about tasks they didn’t understand and made genuine connections to build their network.
Has your experience changed your plans or career choice when you leave college?
Entirely. I truly had no idea what type of career I wanted to purpose, but my experience in audit fulfilled the business and interpersonal work I knew I wanted. EisnerAmper encourages its employees to receive their CPA as early on in their career as possible; therefore, after my undergraduate experience, I have decided to go back to school to receive my master’s in accounting and sit for the CPA exam.
How will your internship experience help you after graduation?
I think my internship experience was essential for getting me comfortable and adjusted to the professional workforce. Little things such as sending emails to partners, making sure your project manager is kept in the loop with your schedule and work output, and setting up meetings were all technical skills that while not accounting-related, are applicable and necessary skills for all firms.
How has the Whitman School prepared you for your internship?
As a Whitman student, I had the confidence in my education to apply to competitive internships. I felt well prepared by my professors and experiences to challenge myself and apply to a wide variety of internships.
What did you enjoy most about your experience?
What I enjoyed most about my experience was the people I met along the way. The culture at EisnerAmper allowed me to feel like I was valued within the company and everyone I worked with was always an available resource for questions and advice. I think that it is important to enjoy the work that you do, but seemingly more important to enjoy the people you do it with. Maybe that is just the opinion of an extrovert, but some of the most valuable lessons I learned came from paying attention to how the colleagues spoke and interacted with their coworkers.
Do you have any advice for students who are looking for an internship?
Apply to as many as possible. Coming from someone who felt so lost when it came to what type of future career they wanted, I applied to any and every business-related internship. Not only does apply to more give you a great experience with interviewing and professional communication skills with recruiters, but it also gives you options when you receive multiple offers.
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