As I am writing this post, I have just completed my final day as an Accounts Intern for the London Basketball Association as a part of the Global Business Institute: Virtual Internship program. Going into the program, I was unsure of what to expect, as I had not participated in an internship previously, and had not even been to the country I was interning in. I was a mix of nervous and excited, as I was concerned regarding my preparedness and the time differences, but also ready to learn and gain experience. When I started and through the end of the program, I realized that there was no need to be nervous or have doubts about my abilities, as my supervisor understood my experience level and was there to coach me the entire way.
Interning at a non-profit like London Basketball Association allowed me to pick up skills that I would not have been able to obtain if interning for a large corporation. The accounting team was just myself and my supervisor, so I was able to get involved in every aspect of business, from grants and sales receipts to purchase invoices to bank and PayPal reconciliations. What I saw to be among the most important takeaways of the program was that I was able to learn how to navigate an accounting software platform. In the classroom, you learn how different transactions affect different accounts, but being able to input the transactions and see the impacts after generating a variety of statements ties that classroom knowledge all together.
Working in a virtual environment with a company in a time zone five hours away from where I live also presented its challenges. From the program, I learned to adapt to the needs of others to achieve a common goal of getting tasks done. I became more culturally intelligent as I interacted with those within the organization, strengthening my communication skills that I can use within the global workplace post-graduation. The time difference forced me out of my comfort zone as I was working on tasks without my supervisor to ask for help as the workdays did not align completely. But this was actually to my own benefit, as it forced me to engage my problem-solving skills to get things done, growing my knowledge of the field.
In light of this internship experience, I feel that my personal goals have evolved. As I now have workplace experience in accounting and I am not solely relying on my classroom knowledge, I understand the importance of some of the accounting processes that I had questioned previously. The knowledge I have gained and will continue to gain allow me to narrow my goals in on where I will take my young professional career in the future. I would like to thank the individuals at Pitt, CAPA, and the London Basketball Association for the opportunity to participate in this internship program, and for helping me to become a more well-rounded young professional.