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From the Training Files: Insight from a 2019 Tax Intern

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Svitlana Baranivska, who originally is from Ukraine and earned her bachelor’s degree in Management from Zhytomyr National Agroecological University in Ukraine in 2015, joined Ericksen Krentel CPAs and Consultants’ tax team as an intern in January 2019 while pursing her master’s degree in Accounting and Taxation from the University of New Orleans, which she earned in December 2019.

After a year as an intern, and accepting a full-time staff accountant position with Ericksen Krentel beginning in January, Svitlana reflected on what she learned as an intern – and why students should share her experience. 

What did you learn during your internship?

The biggest thing was being able to apply the knowledge and skills I gained in class. So many of the theories and materials made much more sense when I was able to apply them to the tax softwares we work with.

What was your experience as an intern?

In the beginning, it was slightly stressful, as I had never worked in an office setting, and a lot of the basic office programs were new to me

What is tax season like as an intern?

I really enjoyed tax season because I finally got to complete a real return – and many more – for clients. I actually was sad when it was over, but busy season helped me learn a lot quickly.

How did your internship prepare you to become a full-time staff member?

It helped me to understand my strengths and weaknesses before going full-time. It also exposed me to more applicable use of tax law and a deeper working knowledge of the softwares, especially Excel. I took an Accounting Lab class the same semester I took my very first accounting classes, and I highly recommend doing that class after you take Intermediate Accounting 1, so you can actually understand the information and how Excel and Quickbooks help you use it and simplify it.

Why do you recommend seeking an internship?

It’s a great way to see if this is what you want to do, and the internship allows you to try it out before making a full-time commitment.

How did you evaluate which firm to choose?

I looked for a firm where I felt the most comfortable and could ask questions. I looked at my internship as a long-term opportunity, so I thought, “Is this a place I would want to potentially stay after my internship is over?” A good professional development program (check out our PACE Program) was also key, as were the usual benefits and flexible scheduling while I was in school.

Any advice for students seeking an internship with a public accounting firm?

Find an internship as soon as possible, and get past the idea that internships are unpaid. You will get paid! Also, don’t be afraid to ask any questions, if you think they’re stupid (they’re not). How else are you going to learn? Oh, and take a lot of notes.

Are you ready to be part of a team experiencing exciting changes and growth? Click here to learn more about our internship program

About Ericksen Krentel

Ericksen Krentel CPAs and Consultants, founded in New Orleans, Louisiana in 1960 with offices in New Orleans and Mandeville, believes that serving as the clients’ most trusted adviser is grounded in going beyond the numbers.

That includes helping clients achieve their business and personal financial goals by providing innovative and exceptional services in the following areas: audit and assurance services, tax compliance and planning, outsourced CFO services and business valuations for a variety of industries; employee benefit plan audits; fraud and forensic accounting; business planning; IT consulting; loss calculations; and estate planning.

Learn more at www.ericksenkrentel.com.

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