#NDSUintern Advice

Philip Kwitek
Major: Accounting
Graduation Date: December 2017
Company: Eide Bailly LLP
Position: Audit Intern
Location: Fargo, North Dakota

Why did you choose to work for Eide Bailly?

Of the different internship opportunities that were available to me, this one allowed me to work on the widest scope of work. Obtaining a broad view of the field has been my goal for a while now simply because there are so many different career routes an Accounting degree allows you to go down!

How did you find your internship?

I discovered this internship opportunity after attending NDSU’s annual Meet the Firms! At this event I was able to network with a variety of different companies and accounting firms which provided extremely valuable face-to-face time with recruiters. After the event I was then contacted to sit for five interviews, each with different firms before eventually deciding to do this one!

How many internships did you apply to before you were hired?

I applied for five different internships and received offers from each, but decided to do this one because the work I would be doing was most-aligned with my interests!

Did you register for credits through the Career Center’s Internship Program? If so, why was it beneficial for you to register?

I certainly did! The Bachelor’s of Science in Accounting here at NDSU actually requires a minimum of three internship credits as part of our curriculum and so getting this internship kept me on track to graduate all while obtaining invaluable experience at the same time!

Do you have any advice for students who haven’t had an internship yet or are in the process of applying to internships?

My advice would be to definitely get out there and apply for as many internships as you can that align with your interests! Classroom learning provides a vital foundation of knowledge, but working in the field is where you really get to see how this knowledge is applied and all of the different avenues you can go down with your degree!

What is an average day like for you on the job?

It’s actually pretty difficult to describe an “average” day as each day I’m working on a variety of different projects! Each week I’ve had the opportunity to perform audits on different clients; everything from banks, to dealerships, to power companies, to healthcare facilities! For each of these “engagements” as we call them, I’m working on a team of usually about three other employees from a variety of different experience levels from associate, to manager, to partner. One of the major perks of the job is that when we travel out of town to the client site we get to stay in some nice hotels and eat at some really cool restaurants, all of which is paid for by the firm!

What is the most challenging part of your job? How do you overcome these obstacles?

I’d say the hardest part of this job has been the steep learning curve. In this internship, we are given the same work that a first-year full-time associate would be performing, and thus are expected to pick up things quickly and produce high-quality work. In order to overcome this steep learning curve, I have found it very helpful to keep a planner for time management purposes as well as break out of my comfort-zone and ask questions when I need assistance. The entire staff at the firm are all very open and understand that everyone learns at different paces, therefore it is highly encouraged to simply ask if you encounter any road blocks!

How has your internship shaped your ideas for your career? Has it changed your career path?

This entire internship has been very eye-opening seeing all of the different moving parts that are involved in a public accounting firm! There are so many different specializations that you can focus on as you progress in your career and so it has been great getting to talk with different employees within the firm to learn more about what they do! After working with members of each department, I’m definitely looking to explore further into the fields of business consulting as well as financial planning!

Would you recommend having an internship?

I’d give a resounding YES to this question. An internship is a lot like test-driving a car, you get to see if the particular field is what really fits your interests without having to commit to it permanently.

Did your internship help you get a job after graduation? If so, how?

I won’t be graduating until the end of this year, but I can definitely say that having all of this experience on my resume has turned some heads with recruiters who I plan to keep in close-touch with as I further approach graduation!

For more information on the Career Center’s Internship Program and the benefits of registering for credits, see https://career.ndsu.edu/internship-program/.

By Emma Stupke
Emma Stupke Graduate Assistant