Astrea Glastetter is an Accounting major who will graduate in May 2020. She interned this summer for Freeport McMoRan as the Accounting Intern in Miami, Arizona.
How did you get this internship? I applied for this internship through Freeport’s career website after speaking with a recruiter at the Eller Expo. My previous engineering experience helped me throughout the process and is what gave me the opportunity to intern as a sophomore.
What was a typical day like? There really was no typical day working for Freeport. My summer was an even split between time spent in the office and time spent in Smelter and Mine operations. My mentor ensured I had a diverse experience, allowing me to work on Sox tests, reconciliations, fixed asset audits, journal entries, SAP and excel practice, and more. I was able to work very independently, with my own office and access to a work vehicle to explore operations. I also worked closely with almost every senior supervisor on site and was able to create a vast network of connections and lasting relationships.
What was your favorite part of the experience? My favorite part of the experience was being able to work independently with my own office and access to a work vehicle to explore operations. I worked closely with almost every senior supervisor on site and was able to create a vast network of connections and lasting relationships. In the mining industry, it is imperative you have a strong connection with operations to account for the vast number of transactions and activities taking place daily. At least 50% of my time was spent out of the office, working with Smelter Ops and relaying information back to the accounting team. For a typically full-time accountant, you can expect to spend at least 25% of your time in operations.
If you worked on a big project, please describe it below: My main project this summer was to analyze Freeport Miami’s drinking water distribution strategy and come up with a more cash friendly alternative. Upon my arrival, Freeport Miami spent $170,000 annually on drinking water, where $160,000 of that went directly into purchasing single-use bottles. Within a few weeks, I was able to create an alternative method that utilized Freeport’s own supply of potable water. With a $50,000 initial capital investment on filtered and cooled bottle filling stations as well as a biennial $20,000 expense on Hydro Flasks for all employees, Freeport could save $140,000 annually with a 10 year NPV of over $1,200,000. I proposed my method to both the general manager and the VP of Miami Ops and received approval before my departure.
What did you find most challenging about your internship? Due to my sophomore status, I did not have enough experience or knowledge in accounting. Almost every task I did required a large amount of research to even get started. Luckily, my mentor and every other accountant in the office, including the controller, were more than helpful and ready to answer the many questions I had.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar internship? The best advice I have is to start looking early. If industry is really where you want to go upon graduation, internships are the best way to get there. Freeport specifically offers another internship if you succeeded in the first, so starting as a sophomore is extremely beneficial. Another integral part: Be personable. Experience and GPA is great, but rocking the interview and illustrating that you are someone that people really want to work with is what lands you the job. Industry accounting is a much smaller world than public and making those good impressions really matter.
How did Eller prepare you for your internship? The business communication classes Eller offers were probably the most helpful classes that prepared me for this internship. A lot of the technical aspects I was able to learn on the job, but communicating through email, writing reports, and creating presentations came a lot easier with my foundation from BCOM.
Did your internship employer provide housing or transportation assistance? My employer provided housing and transportation services.