Successful Summer Internship. Now What?

by Emily McMillen, MBA, Accounting 2012

Ahh, Fall! The air is crisp and cool, school has just started getting into full swing, and your backpack is just starting to smell of textbooks and freshly sharpened pencils. For those of you who took this summer off for a summer internship like I did you should feel revitalized and ready to take on the new semester, right? WRONG!

I spent this summer at an incredible internship with Grant Thornton in their Audit practice and learned so many valuable things. Like most other interns this summer I received an offer to start with them once I graduate this year. I should be excited and ready to finish my degree, study and pass my CPA exam next summer, and be ready for my first day of work. My dilemma is this…I have the job, where is my motivation to not just finish my degree but finish my degree on strong note?

I can easily coast my way through, pass all of my classes with B’s, and get that diploma in May. As tempting as this is, the more I think about it it isn’t a great idea. So in order to generate my motivation to finish with the best GPA I can I have created a short list of reasons to keep up the hard work.

1. Offers can be rescinded –  The job market is competitive right now, and chances are your company will probably be asking for your final transcript before you start. It will not look good to them if you obviously did not put much effort into your last few semesters.

2. The company may have gone under – In an even more stressful scenario, the company you were anticipating working for in 6 months may have gone under and you have to go through the whole recruitment process again. My worst nightmare! “Too big to fail” is a total myth so you need to be prepared for anything.

3. You may not like the full-time job – Internships are a fantastic look into what it is like to work at a potential full-time employer. You are constantly being wooed with lunches here, happy hours there, and everyone is out to help you as much as possible. Once you start there full-time you will find that there is a different dynamic. You won’t be as “spoiled” and you will have much more responsibility and accountability than you did while you were an intern. You may find that you really do not enjoy the job. If that is the case, you may want to look for work elsewhere and need to have a solid resume to help you.

4. Personal satisfaction – Maybe it is the overachiever in me that includes this in the list, but I derive a sense of pride by working hard and maintaining good grades. As much as I wish I could slack off, it is not in my nature. You can’t argue that it doesn’t feel good to get an A on a really tough exam or a group project. Maintaining your work ethic for the rest of this year will carry over to your future job opportunity.

So there we have it. Despite my I-have-a-job-itis, I fully intend on powering through my last year and creating the strongest resume I can just in case anything unexpected happens. I am more than excited about my opportunity to start with Grant Thornton next year and wish that I could put this semester in fast forward. Unfortunately the remote for my TV doesn’t work on my life (believe me, I tried). So I may as well enjoy the ride.

I hope you all had a successful summer as well. Welcome back!

One Response to “Successful Summer Internship. Now What?”
  1. Daniel Seda says:

    So proud of you, Emiliy! Grant Thorton is an incredible company! I should know…I’m the son of an incredible CPA and Accounting professor! Unfortuantely, the accounting gene often skips a generation I did however grade a few CPA exams on my father’s knees as a child while he wrote some exam questions in the 80’s. Let me know if I can help out in any way. He is very knowledgable and is truly is a teacher at heart. Other than that, fabulous piece! What great information for business students looking for real-world advice from a professional. Continue to pursue your academic goals and don’t forget your artistic passions. 🙂 Leadership also looks quite lovely on resumes too you know? Talk soon. Hearts, Daniel 🙂 ❤

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