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Andrea Davisson, Tax Intern at Wipfili

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I am currently a full time tax intern with Wipfli CPA’s and Consultants in Green Bay.

Wipfli focuses on four segments of accounting: Audit, Business Advisory Services (BAS), Information Technology, and Tax.  Because the tax season requires so many hours in such a condensed time, most of their interns focus primarily on tax. 

I had some tax preparation experience, through the VITA program, before starting my internship but most of those clients were low income with relatively simple returns.  Wipfli has a wide range of clients from individual, to small business, to corporate accounts.  This variety of clientele allows for a wide range of learning experiences for interns like me.

Obtaining My Internship

From the moment I decided that I wanted to be an accountant, I knew that I wanted an internship in public accounting.  From that day, I researched many different public accounting firms to find the ones I was most interested in applying for an internship with.  I was able to make connections with Wipfli managers and partners while attending many UW Oshkosh College of Business events.

 I first met Wipfli staff at a Career Fair and was able to talk to them about my prior experience with QuickBooks.  This was important to them because many of their small business clients use QuickBooks and that is how the files are received.  I met them again at Networking Night and was able to reconnect with the same people I met at the Career Fair.  I also met with Wipfli staff at CPA night, and conducted an informational interview with the partner in charge of the eastern division at Wipfli. As I developed these relationships, it made it easier to stay connected and soon received an interview for a full-time internship with Wipfli. 

I was well prepared with facts, questions, and the contacts I had made when I walked into the interview.  All of this preparation helped me to be confident during the interview, and later, accept the full time tax internship position in the Green Bay office.

What I learned

One of the main things I have learned is what work will be like as a public accountant.  It has been a great experience and I know I will take every bit of knowledge I have gained and use it in the future.  Every day I encountered new challenges and experiences and learning to handle these professionally really helped me to grow.

I am very happy to have the opportunity that Wipfli has given me.  They invest a lot of time and money to train the interns.  We had a full week of training in Madison, and continuous learning at the office.  Seeking feedback is an important part of the Wipfli culture which makes it very easy to approach others about my performance.  Seeking feedback can be very difficult, and this internship has helped me to embrace feedback instead of fear it. 

I also learned that I truly enjoy public accounting, but I am still very interested in private.  Now that I know what to expect in public accounting, it will help me in future interviews, and to create a work life balance.  I would like to have a private accounting internship so that I have a full comparison of the two main areas of accounting.