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Sarah Frawley

Sarah Frawley




Internship/Job Position:
Core Tax Intern

Internship/Job Company:

What are your day to day job responsibilities like/what does a normal day look like?

I’d usually get in around 8:30 AM, but the associate I worked with wouldn’t usually get in until 9:30 AM, so in the meantime I’d answer emails, look at the calendar to see if there were any meetings, or check in with the other people I worked with. I worked with one associate mostly, but I also worked with other associates and other teams whenever they needed help. When the associate I worked with got in, I’d usually either get a new assignment or I’d be finishing the one from the day before. It was a lot of spreadsheets, a lot of making sure the numbers from last year were prepped in this year’s files. We’d have lunch, then go back to the Excel spreadsheets. I usually finished around 5:30.

A lot of it was project based, I worked on about 4 or 5 different clients. Because I was an intern, I couldn’t do the more advanced stuff, so I had to do a lot of very basic stuff. So I had a lot of little projects here and there. For one client I got a little more involved; they had a different year end than the other clients, so I would work on their tax stuff. Toward the end of my internship, I worked more on the tax side of things, and less on the audit side. There were also bigger projects that were more in depth, but mostly it was a lot of little projects.

How did you get your current position?

The first program PwC has is called “Explore,” and it’s a one day event for freshman and sophomores. Then there’s also a leadership program that all the big accounting firms have for sophomores. I had applied to that and interviewed with people in the Career Development Center. I didn’t get it, but I was still in contact with the recruiter, so when they did interviews for their winter internship  in September, I applied. In the midst of the interview process, before you interview, they have pre-interview nights where they bring in staff, recruiters, or sometimes interviewers, so you get to meet all these people before your interview. Then, if you get an offer, they have office visits so you can go into the office, and they show you around, show you where you could be working and who you could be working with.

The interview process was very extensive, but it was also very structured. So there’s a lot going on, but you know what you’re doing and everyone tells you what’s going to happen. So it’s not like you’re ever going to be like ‘when do I do this?’ The recruiters send you dozens of emails about what you’re going do each day.

What did you find most challenging in your position?

I think just going in, you have no idea what you’re doing. It’s very nerve wracking, sitting there on your very first day thinking ‘what do I do?’ I’d never had an office job before, so a lot of it was figuring out who I talk to, how I get involved, and how I actually start working. I’m not the most outgoing person…so going up to people and being like ‘hey do you need help today?’ or introduceing myself was difficult. I think just getting started was the most challenging, but once I did that everyone was very willing to help.

Did you get to go anywhere fun?

We had a week of training in the beginning, so the tax interns went down to Atlanta, which was fun. And then we had events. Every first Thursday of the month they had a happy hour on one of the floors for everyone, so not just interns, but there were intern events too, like we went to Painting with a Twist one night. The recruiter for Saint Joe’s also did events for us, like we had a breakfast with some Saint Joe’s alum who work with PwC.

What is some advice that you would give to students who are about to do their first internship?

Definitely ask questions, and ask good questions. You’re always going to have to ask stupid questions, which is okay, but try to come up with thoughtful questions too. You should be using different people for the silly questions than you are for the thoughtful questions. So if you have a mentor, use them for the silly questions instead of the people you’re working on a project with.

Be willing to help out at all times. Your co-workers will appreciate that even if they say ‘no.’ So if you ask ‘can I stay late with you?’ or ‘can I help you with this?’ or anything else, even if they turn you down it’s better to have asked then to not have asked at all. Going off of that, a lot of people you interview with and a lot of associates are right out of college, so a lot of times it’s easy to think that it’s almost like college and that you can talk about whatever you’re doing that weekend. But at the same time, just remember that you’re in a business setting so it’s not all fun and games.