Val Davidson '20 used her schooling to help secure and perform in her internship

Val Davidson '20, Noelle Reese '20Valerie Davidson ’20 | BBA Accounting, Finance

Mount Mercy students, including Val Davidson '20 and Noelle Reese '20 gave @mtmercy Snapchat followers an inside look at their internships. We saw their busy schedules, sat through meetings, met co-workers, and learned why internships are essential. We wanted to know more, so we asked students about the application process, work atmosphere, favorite experiences, and advice for future interns.

MMU: Where was your internship, and what was it like?

VD: I interned at Bohr, Dahm, Greif & Associates in Cedar Rapids. It’s a tax and audit firm that handles both individual and large business clients. I assisted in 401(k) audits, created memos, worked on tax returns, and helped with billing clients.

MMU: How did you learn about the internship, and what was the application process like?

VD: I applied for the internship through the Iowa College Recruiting Network (ICoRN) Accounting Interview Day, which is hosted at Wartburg College each fall. Prior to the interview day, I submitted my resume to multiple employers that had internships for the following summer. I then received an email of which employers wanted to interview me. I had an initial interview with BDG, and then they called me for a follow-up interview at their office two weeks later. A week after the second interview I received an email with the job offer.

MMU: Why did you choose this internship? How will it benefit your future career?

VD: I’ve always been interested in accounting, specifically public tax accounting. This internship helped me realize that tax accounting is something I enjoy and could see myself doing for a lifetime. This internship experience alone will benefit my career as many full-time jobs are looking for recent graduates with experience.

MMU: How would you describe the work atmosphere in five words?

VD: Friendly, calm, tight-knit family.

MMU: What was your favorite experience? The most surprising?

VD: My favorite experience was going to an on-site 401(k) audit. I enjoyed being part of the many steps it takes to complete an audit. I was able to see how we communicate with our client and how to pull necessary information for the audit.

The most surprising experience was billing for the clients. Because it’s a local business, I assumed I would deal with mostly individual client information. However, BDG also has large companies as clients, which were exciting to work with.

MMU: What did you learn from this internship that you didn’t know before? What skills did you develop?

VD: The most valuable thing I learned was how to adapt to different computer programs. I used QuickBooks and UltraTax for the first time this summer and had to learn quickly. I discovered it’s okay to ask questions because it’s better to interrupt someone to ask a question than mess up and have to start over, especially with important items like tax returns.

MMU: What advice would you give to future interns?

VD: Although it may seem scary, it can never hurt to apply even if you don’t match every qualification or if the internship doesn’t fit your wants to a “T.” I was nervous while applying and thought that no one would want an interview with me, but once I got the interview my confidence increased. Also, internships are meant to help you get your foot in the door because, more likely than not, many employers are willing to give job offers to previous interns over outside candidates.

View Val's inside look at her internship.

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