Internship Experience – Shelby Churney

My Once in a Lifetime Kind of Summer
Shelby, 2016 Morrison, Clark & Company CPAs Intern

 

In September of 2015 I was browsing through my University’s summer internship opportunities, optimistic like many of my fellow classmates to find an internship for the upcoming summer. At the time I knew I wanted an internship in accounting but was unsure of which industry was right for me. Fortunately, I landed an internship at Morrison, Clark & Company CPAs (one of Arizona’s top construction accounting firms). At first I didn’t understand much of the nuances of construction accounting that I would learn as I discovered this specialized area of accounting. I knew generally of the different industries of accounting, but not so much the many different fields within each of those industries. Like many, before my internship began I questioned the responsibilities I would be given throughout the summer. Common thoughts that ran through my mind were “would I just be making copies?” or “would the work I was doing be beneficial to the firm?” Unsure of what to expect, I walked into the office my first day excited and eager to learn.

Fast forward ten weeks to the end of the internship.

Like many other students I wanted an internship where people knew my name and a place where I wouldn’t be afraid to walk into someone’s office to ask a question. I was concerned about being a small fish in a big pond with the fear of getting lost in the crowd of employees, which is logically bound to happen when you are one of 100[1]+ interns working for a 40,0001-person company. As my internship comes to an end, I can without a doubt state that serving as one of four interns at a 20-person company has afforded me unique opportunities that could only be possible with the level of firm-wide interaction at Morrison, Clark & Company.

The one-of-a-kind experience I received working at a smaller firm this summer is hard to sum into just one article because the experience offered here at Morrison, Clark & Company isn’t one I believe you can duplicate at a larger firm. I was never ordered to make copies or complete menial tasks; I was trusted with taking on legitimate projects that benefited the firm in a meaningful way. I had the opportunity to assist clients in the gathering of tax and financial data to efficiently prepare tax return, tax planning, audit and review engagement documents. I was additionally provided opportunities to work closely with upper level management on client projects as well as firm-wide projects, building relationships that will stretch far beyond the end of this summer. Through these involvements I received a unique, hands-on experience which allowed me to apply what I have learned thus far in my accounting courses to real life situations. I sum up my experience to a real-life, applicable version of an upper-level accounting course.

Throughout my time here at Morrison, Clark & Company I have been able to accomplish many things that I never thought possible as an intern. To me this program stretches far beyond a “typical” summer internship as it has allowed me to mature as a young professional as well as a student. My internship offered me an inner-workings view of the integral nature of construction accounting and how the “gears of the machine” work together to provide a necessary service for the construction industry.

[1] Numbers based on a nationwide company with offices all over the U.S.