John Mitzel is graduating in Spring 2017 with a major in accounting. Over the winter break, he had an externship with Windes in Long Beach, CA.
Why did you want to do this externship?I wanted to do this externship because it seemed like a great opportunity to gain exposure to the accounting industry. Over the past few years, I have been able to intern with a wealth management firm and a tax firm and so shadowing employees at a regional accounting firm, like Windes, seemed like a logical next step.
After graduate school, I want to work in the Southern California area so in addition to gaining exposure to different types of firms, I used this externship to network with the professionals in the firm. Throughout the day, I was able to network with seniors in tax, audit, and their estate planning department.
What did you do during this job shadow experience? During the externship, I was able to tour the office of Windes and meet with a number of employees. Over the course of the day, I talked with the head of hiring for the firm, an audit senior, and a tax senior manager. I was able to ask questions regarding the firm and their respective jobs. I then had lunch with four other staff and was able to see how the staff interacts on the job. Overall, it was a great experience and I would recommend it to others.
What did you learn as a result of the externship? I learned through this experience that I want to work in a large accounting that truly values its employees. Windes seemed to really care about the lives of their employees. In public accounting, work weeks can be long and difficult but Windes seemed like the place that makes even the most challenging work enjoyable.
This externship also reaffirmed my belief that I want to work in tax. To most, tax is seen as the boring side of accounting with number crunching behind a desk. With the way that Windes values their employees, I really can see myself enjoying the work and feeling satisfied after a long busy season.