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Stefanie Schuh, Tax intern, Schenck SC

How I Obtained my Internship

I am currently working at Schenck SC in Appleton as an intern for the tax season, and I used pretty much every resource in the book to obtain it. My first encounter with a representative at Schenck was at the Career Fair on the Fox as a sophomore. I’ve been taking every opportunity to network ever since, including Accounting Club, CPA Night, Networking Night, and UWO alumni.

Helpful Coursework

It’s amazing how much of my course work has been useful these past few months. Obviously, Federal Income Taxation has been the most helpful. No matter what issues Schenck clients throw at me, I had more than likely been exposed to it on my tax homework. Quantitative Business Analysis has also been a useful class. I don’t use Microsoft Excel incredibly often, but when I do, it’s a very complicated spreadsheet that makes me very thankful that I learned all of the tricks in QBA. It was also a good idea not to forget accounting basics from introductory courses. Many of the tax returns require digging through clients’ bookkeeping, and you need to know how the journal entries work to pull the correct numbers.

Impact on my Career Path

I’ve known that I wanted to go into accounting since I was a sophomore in high school. Throughout my first years of college, I tried narrowing my career path, but couldn’t make a solid choice between public or private accounting. I loved my corporate tax internship as a junior/senior, but I still wanted to try out public accounting to get an idea of what I wanted to do with my life before graduation. I’ve been at Schenck since January, and I know that this is where I’d like to be going forward.

My Advice to Future Interns

My experiences have allowed me to come up with a list of things I wish I knew going in to a new job. I would encourage all students to know these going into an internship:

  • Check every calculation twice. Everyone gets review points, but the ones you can avoid involve checking your work. It takes an extra couple of seconds to type it in to the calculator. It’s amazing how many small mistakes can be avoided.
  • Everything takes longer than you think. Don’t sit on a piece of work until the deadline is near. Get questions answered with time to spare in case there are more complications.
  • Get to know your coworkers and how they like to be contacted. More often than not, a busy person likes to be contacted face to face rather than an email. Some, however, prefer the email or a phone call. Find out who you’ll be needing to contact the most and ask them what they prefer. It increases efficiency in communication.
  • Ask questions/show what you did. When everyone is very busy, it’s difficult to bother them with questions. From my experience, it seems they would rather be addressed about the issue before sending it through for the reviewer to discover the mistake. At the very least, leave a note to explain why something was done.