Now that my internship has ended, I can look back at what I can take away from this experience. I strengthened both my technical and transferable skills throughout this experience. One transferable skill I learned is communicating with other staff members. This was my first experience working and communicating with business professionals. It was challenging to juggle using Zoom, Microsoft Teams, Whatsapp, and email simultaneously. I also strengthened my time management skills. It was hard to balance working efficiently and accurately when completing projects. The technical skills I learned are how to use programs such as Excel and Nuance PDF. Within Excel, I learned about shortcuts, vlookup, hotkeys, and pivot tables. It was also interesting to understand how the tax system works in Ireland. These skills and concepts can be applied in the classroom and in my future position.
During my internship, I completed several tasks and projects per day. The jobs I was asked to do included saving reports to organized folders as PDFs, transcribing bank statements into Excel documents, and providing analysis for the transactions. I enjoyed completing these tasks. However, I learned more about accounting as I worked on projects with other staff members. My favorite project included color-coding transactions to show they matched with the bank statements. The staff member I worked with set up a macro to generate a color twice and then switch to a new color. I used this macro to match the transactions. In addition, there was a pivot table summary that I could use to see if the total matched was correct. I enjoyed this project because I could check my work.
Before this program, I wanted to gain confidence, experience working with other individuals, and cross-cultural awareness from this program. I have always been hesitant to share my ideas and ask questions. I began to be more confident asking questions and holding conversations with the other staff members throughout my internship. Also, I have gained experience working with other business professionals, which will help me in my future career. I was impressed by how knowledgeable the staff members were at the firm. Additionally, I learned more about another culture to expand my cross-cultural awareness. Having an internship in another country has added a new perspective to my experiences as well as my business degree.
Academically, I intended to develop as a business student and globalize my degree through this study abroad program. I also wanted to add cultural knowledge to the content I am learning at the University of Pittsburgh. The accounting concepts I have learned in class were helpful during my internship. Fortunately, I can also apply what I learned during my internship to what I will learn in the classroom in the remaining two years.
This International Internship Program has enabled me to gain experience in the business field, business etiquette in other countries and expand my network of business professionals. Because the information I gained from this experience would be challenging to learn in the classroom, I am glad I could learn from a real business environment. This will help me be more successful in my post-graduation job and career. I am hoping travel will be an essential aspect of my future career. Although this was a virtual experience, this program afforded me the opportunity to create my network of business professionals and learn business etiquette in other countries. I hope to continue to expand this professional network in my future career.
On my IIP application, I set three goals that I hoped to accomplish by the end of the study abroad program. They were to strengthen my transferable skills, learn about the possible types of companies I may want to work for in the future, and apply business behavior and knowledge from the classes I have taken to real-world experiences. I believed I achieved these goals because of my time spent interning at Devaney & Durkin. I learned how to effectively communicate with other staff members despite miscommunications and cultural differences. In addition, I figured out what I am looking for in my future career. I would like to work for an organized and community-oriented company. Lastly, I wanted to apply class content to real-world experiences. It was extremely helpful to have a strong foundation of accounting knowledge. I achieved this by using my knowledge of debits and credits to transcribing bank statements and creating control accounts. Overall, this internship experience has given me the tools to achieve a more successful career by helping me grow personally, academically, and professionally.