Question and Answer
What have you gained from your experiences outside of the classroom?
Dianna Olechiw - Amway
The knowledge I gained through my internship helped me grow by providing me with valuable, real-world experience. My professors gave examples of how things work in the real world, but I learned even more through my work as an office intern doing accounts payable. I learned about hard decisions that accountants have to make daily.
At my summer internship working in IT, I learned what they don’t always teach in the classroom, such as how the corporate world works and how to behave professionally. I made several large presentations and developed my speaking skills tremendously. Having the opportunity to make the connections from the classroom to the real world will help me a lot when I’m seeking my first full-time job after college. It’s not just about what you learn in class— sometimes you have to do a little learning on your own outside the classroom.
Rachel Klumpp – Canadian Railway Company
I’ve learned a lot about working with people. Throughout our lives and careers, we will interact with diverse groups of people and we have to learn to communicate effectively using different approaches. Some people are very calm and understanding and want to share their knowledge, while others have been hardened by life circumstances. When interacting with those people, our instinct is just to stay on their good side, which can be difficult. Communicating with people isn’t always easy and it can be intimidating, but when we understand that we each have our own biases, we learn so much from others.
Abbey Halonen – Rukkila, Negro and Associates
Working in a local CPA firm as a tax intern, I have learned a great deal about one of many accounting paths, as well as what it’s like to work in a public accounting firm. Working on 1040 tax returns exposed me to a variety of unique situations, like owning rental homes and Schedule C business returns, and taught me how to work with clients to gather all the necessary information to complete each return.
Learning the details of 1040 returns was interesting and will be helpful in my accounting career, but I’ve learned the most from working in a small business setting versus working in a large industry company, as I did in the past. For client billing, I was required to record time spent for each client instead of just a total number of hours worked each day. Also, with fewer than 15 employees in the accounting firm, I was able to work on a variety of tasks and experienced firsthand the teamwork required to complete a tax season. Thousands of returns are led between January and mid- April, which requires all employees to work closely together to ensure accuracy on each return.
My experience with 1040 tax returns, working in a public firm, and witnessing the power of a cohesive team are all aspects of my internship that will be beneficial as I move forward in my accounting career.
Thomas Strome – Northern Hardwoods
I am learning the importance of understanding all sides of a business. Through my major in marketing, I am learning a lot about business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketing, and I have used some key concepts from my courses–Accounting, Finance, MIS, Management–in my internship work. I’m really glad that my major requires me to take those intro classes so I can learn the importance of each in a business. It inspires me to work a little harder when I know how beneficial they will be to my career.
Michigan Technological University is a public research university founded in 1885 in Houghton, Michigan, and is home to more than 7,000 students from 55 countries around the world. Consistently ranked among the best universities in the country for return on investment, Michigan’s flagship technological university offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, computing, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, social sciences, and the arts. The rural campus is situated just miles from Lake Superior in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, offering year-round opportunities for outdoor adventure.