New Client, New Me

Hello everyone, I’m back with my fourth blog post about my internship at Ernst & Young (EY)! The internship has been amazing so far! The last two weeks have been very busy for me. It has been the most engaging week I’ve had in the internship. I was assigned to a new client that specializes in manufacturing safety equipment. On this engagement, I worked directly with a senior on the team and had several calls with him during the week for updates and questions. For this specific engagement, the senior I was working with was taking a break from the office so I did not have much in-person interaction with him. Though, I continued to go into the office twice a week to work from there.

For this client, I mostly completed work papers that surround the application control process that the client undertakes to protect its independence. This includes that new form I spoke about in my last blog post. This engagement was a big change from my previous weeks at EY. Whereas before I worked closely with teammates to complete assignments I was now working very independently on assignments and checking back in once I was finished. It was a big difference and much more rewarding to see full-time staff members begin to trust your work.

A problem that the new form seeks to address lies in the challenges that interdisciplinary and inter-team work bring on. EY’s assurance and technology risk departments need to communicate heavily to successfully audit a client. Communication challenges can result as assurance are mainly accountants that focus on the financial matters of a company and technology risk consist of IT experts. For a successful audit, there needs to be constant communication on matters that the other department lacks. The Pittsburgh office has a healthy history of excellent communication in these matters that other offices throughout the world may lack. What I gained from this only reinforced my respect for communication in the workplace. 

One thing that will carry with me in my professional career is when to ask questions and when not to. It can seem like a straightforward dilemma to solve but as an intern, you need to learn to figure some things out on your own. I learned to save my questions in a note-taking app and save them for end-of-day calls to my supervisors. But sometimes problems arose that would stop my work completely and that is when I would message someone over teams my question. Being an intern is a strange position to hold in a company. You have to avoid being a bother and embrace a sponge-like learning mentality. 

Skills that I refined during my internship were communication and teamwork. I have had a lot of experience with these during my time in club leadership and my classes in Pitt Business. But nothing beats a professional working environment’s experiences. I also gained much experience in financial audit information technology processes. What I believe I excelled most was learning how a large company like EY operates and the interesting dynamics that can arise from a corporate hierarchy. Skills such as how to negotiate performance reviews, promotions, and leveraging personal connections were some of the skills that I can use my entire life.

That’s all for now! The next blog post will be my last and about my internship conference in Orlando!

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