The Real Life Experience of an Intern During COVID-19

Sep 30, 2020

By Codi Carpenter, Summer 2020 Intern

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My experience with Weinstein Spira as an intern has been nothing short of amazing, even during COVID-19. Was it different than I expected? Yes. Was it worth my time? Absolutely. In this post, I am sharing what my internship looked like in the summer of 2020.

Securing the Internship

When I realized that accounting was the route that I wanted to take, I knew an internship was a huge priority. (I graduated with my marketing degree from Sam Houston State University and decided to go back for another year to get my accounting degree.) The rotation program at Weinstein Spira initially attracted me, but little did I know that was just one of the many great aspects of this firm. I was so nervous about the interview process, but all my nerves went to rest when I was in the moment. The people here are personable and make you feel welcomed as soon as you walk through the doors (and on video conferences!). 

My best advice for a good impression? Be yourself! Public accounting and working at Weinstein Spira are all about relationships and the impact we make on people. Without being yourself, there is no way to make this happen. 

Not-So-Typical Internship

Starting my internship during this time was scary. I was not sure how things would play out, but I am so grateful that my internship was with Weinstein Spira. I thought that it would be more difficult to get in touch with people, learn and be productive with everyone working remote. However, I was so wrong! I never had a day that I did not speak with or get help from someone. Distance truly does not mean anything with this firm. The people here are as good as it gets. They really care about your success and take being a mentor seriously. 

I was not treated as a stereotypical intern. I was hands on with every client and colleague. I had the opportunity to engage in meetings, discussions and on workpapers. I was truly treated as any other staff member. This was one of my favorite aspects of the internship. 

Gather Your Questions

As the internship went on, I started to develop a work routine. My advice for any incoming interns: work as far as possible on the task you are assigned without asking for  help the first time around. You will run into questions, but instead of asking a question every five minutes, stack your questions up. This helps with efficiency and time management. Once you work through an entire workpaper, then address questions as a whole and finish it up after some help. 

I would also like to add that no question is a dumb question. Colleagues know this could potentially be the first time you are doing tasks, so questions will naturally come up. It is better to ask instead of guess and do the entire task wrong. 

Lastly, before going to your supervisor, look over all your questions that you have written down and try to solve them one more time. Self-review is key and sometimes you can solve your issues before asking. 

Write It Down!

Your notebook is your best friend as an intern and taking notes while talking with your supervisor over video conferencing is beneficial. Some of meetings can last an hour or two depending on the tasks assigned to you. Without writing down your tasks, it is incredibly hard to remember everything. Many times, in these conversations, other staff will mention tips and tricks to help you finish the assignment, too. 

Firm Engagement is Fun

The engagement as a firm is top-notch. I was able to participate in happy hours on both the tax and audit side. Weinstein Spira also has a team that throws entertaining events called the Fun Brigade. They include the whole firm for about 30 minutes to play a fun game such as guessing trivia or bingo.  There was even a game to get to know the interns! 

Getting the opportunity to be an intern at Weinstein Spira was a dream come true. It blew all my expectations out of the water, and I enjoyed every day that I was there. I cannot thank everyone enough for taking time out of their day to either help me or just have a little conversation. Each person contributed to my future success, and I am grateful for the opportunity.             

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Category: Culture