As my third week comes to a close, it represents the halfway point of my internship. In just a short period of time, I am now fully immersed in the daily hustle and bustle of a consultant at one of the Big Four accounting firms, EY.

Being an Advisory Intern at EY

During my first week of my internship, I learned that my service line is advisory. Advisory collaborates with clients to come up with solutions for the client’s complex industry issues. We also bring new opportunities for growth to the client. Because I am majoring in Information Management and Technology, I’m also aligned to the technology advisory program (TAP).

Like the rest of my intern class, myself and one other intern have been assigned to client engagement within my service line. My engagement involves shadowing and assisting the project management team on a financial crimes project for our client. Currently, my team and I no longer work out of the EY office. Instead, we work out of the client site which is just a few blocks away.

The First Project: Finding and Fixing Problems

One thing that I am particularly proud of was an assignment that myself and a fellow intern completed.

On our third day, our senior manager of our project took us to a conference room. He showed us some documents and explained what he wanted us to do with them. Essentially, our task was to input the basic, high-level information of all sixteen projects into two spreadsheets. One was the portfolio tracker, and the other was the portfolio prioritization log.

When inputting the information into the prioritization log, we noticed that the column that determined whether a project is high (red), medium (yellow) or low level (green) was mixed up. Some projects that were high level were highlighted in green and some projects that were meant to be medium level up was showing up as low level. We realized that the formula needed to be fixed and it became our job to correct it. Through studying the spreadsheet, using our collective knowledge on Excel formulas and trial and error, we figured out the correct formulas.

This was a proud moment for me. I was able to work with the other intern and we figured out the formula on our own. Fixing the formula was not our exact task, but it needed to be done before we were able to move on. I was also proud because correcting the formula not only made our assignment easier to complete, it also helped the rest of the team and impressed the senior manager.

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Taking Skills from the Classroom

Working on this assignment reminded me of how much I liked using Excel in my iSchool classes. The assignment I worked on reminded me of my project management class at iSchool, IST 352 – Information Analysis of Organizational Systems. Working with Excel for the past few weeks has allowed me to use my current Excel skills from the iSchool and pick up new ones.

I really enjoy applying what I’ve learned in class to the projects for a real client. In addition, all of my classes at SU has truly taught me how to work in teams or groups. Every class I’ve taken in my two years at Syracuse University has involved group work of some sort. From these experiences, I learned how to listen to what everyone in the group has to say, share responsibility for the work, and communicate with others using various platforms.

Learning to Learn on the Job

To me, one of the most important lessons that I am taking away is that I will learn through my experiences on the job. I have always heard, “in the real world, they do not expect you to know everything but, they want to see you ask questions and take the initiative to teach yourself.” I believe this is true.

Even though I don’t know anything about managing a financial crimes project, I am making it a point to learn as much as I can from my internship by asking questions, educating myself on the topic and offering to help in any way that I can.