Internship Spotlight – Steven Blend, Ernst and Young

Eller PDC Coordinator Student Stories

Steven is double majoring in both Accounting and Management Information Systems and is expecting to graduate in May 2018. This summer he worked as an Assurance Intern for Ernst and Young in Chicago, Illinois. He rented a studio apartment for the summer after Ernst and Young offered him a bonus to be used towards housing.

How did you land this internship?

I started in the recruiting process my freshman year though an event called Meet the Firms. I attended this event as part of the Accounting Student Association, which is the only option to attend as a freshman. After meeting professionals from all four Big Four accounting I kept in touch and attended numerous recruiting events throughout the next couple years. From these I was offered the opportunity to travel to Chicago for a few leadership events. Following those programs I was offered a couple internships and chose EY in Chicago.

If you worked on a big project, please describe it.

My favorite client that I worked on was the Chicago Bears and on the Bears I was involved in my biggest project. All NFL teams have to provide the NFL with their financials and salary cap calculations as of the NFL year end. Since the Bears year end was different I helped with the audit of their conforming figures and also the review of their reporting package sent to the NFL. I had the chance to speak to the VP of finance and others in charge of different divisions. I also learned the most on this project as I had the opportunity to look at all aspects of the company from payroll and contracts to game revenue.

What advice do you have for other students seeking a similar internship?

The best piece of advice that I can give is to get involved early. The accounting student association is a great way to get your foot in the door at all the major accounting firms. You should definitely keep in contact with the recruiter you meet and ask about ways to get involved as early as you can. The events are the best opportunities to see if you’re a good fit for the company. If you land an interview chances are your academics are very strong and they just want to make sure that you would fit in well with the firm’s culture.

How did Eller prepare you for your internship?

Eller has definitely been very helpful in preparation for the internship. The accounting courses I have taken have been helpful in sort but the most helpful trait I have picked up is how to work the best in teams and manage multiple tasks. In the assurance practice at EY you will be on and working with a team in every engagement. One of the most important steps during an engagement is to track the progress of different tasks since we charge clients based on the hours. Having to balance a job and the Eller course load  helped me prepare for the task balancing I experience. Excel is another extremely important and heavily used skill in the accounting industry.  Many classes at Eller work on this skill with the most notable being MIS 111. Lastly, entrepreneurship and BCOM were both very helpful with building communication and critical thinking skills, which are beneficial no matter what field you go into.