Towards the end of my freshman year of college, I found myself in a dilemma. While exams drew closer and final essays loomed overhead, the talk of summer plans began to infest the dorms (almost like the mold in the ceiling tiles overhead). Most of the discussion centered around everyone’s thrill to be free from student housing, or the excitement of having three months of free-time without intervening thoughts of finding derivatives and integrals of polynomials. While I certainly was happy to head back to my hometown of Richmond, Virginia, I had almost no idea of what I was going to do for the summer.
Granted, that’s an extremely trivial problem – I, admittedly, should’ve been more focused on my approaching exams– but it was a problem that kept nagging at me, like an itch I couldn’t scratch. Starting college, I had this idea that within the first year I would have achieved my own state of self-aware enlightenment; that my destined pathway through life would open up before me and show me exactly what I was supposed to do. And yet, with a quarter of my college experience behind me and the date to declare my major ever encroaching, I still felt clueless. Of course, I had a practiced answer for all my parent’s friends and colleagues, who were so inquisitive about my future plans (“I’m planning to be a film and math double major”), but that always felt half-baked; were those things I actually could see myself pursuing, or was it just more convenient to have a concise answer at the ready, than explain that I have no idea what I’m doing with my life? And now, I only had three months to figure out what a better part of a year should’ve taught me.
I was a little bit panicked, to say the least. It was in this ensuing panic that I discovered GAAP Dynamics.
At first, I was hesitant to apply for the position– I come from a long line of accountants, meaning I had already trained myself to tune-out at the mere mention of accounting guidance– so the thought of working at an accounting training provider was not one I normally entertained. But, with trust in the company’s mission statement of providing enthusiastic accounting training (and a not-so-subtle nudge from my parents to get a job), I interviewed for the position and found myself as the latest intern at the company.
So, now, about two months later, how have my thoughts changed?
While it might be cliched- or slightly bordering on GAAP D propaganda: take your pick– I’ve really come to enjoy my time here with GAAP Dynamics. Although I entered the company at a time where members of the DMLS team were shuffling like a deck of cards in a poker tournament, being able to join with new staff who were just as new to the company as I was, made me feel strangely welcomed here at GAAP Dynamics. We had the opportunity to get to know each other as we were introduced to the company and its procedures, as well as bond over our survival of two-hour long Storyline training sessions. Whether it be listening to Rian’s experience as a world traveler or discussing William & Mary and JMU’s intense “rivalry” with Clark, every day offered something new to talk about with my coworkers. As someone who historically spent just about every Friday night of high-school at home with his parents, having the opportunity to socialize and get to know the people around me is something I sorely needed.
Outside of teaching me to become (somewhat) more socially apt, my internship also gave me an incredible amount of on-the-job experience in the world of production through the remake of the GAAP D careers video. As a self-proclaimed filmmaker (self-proclaimed being a very significant distinction), I haven’t had many opportunities to prepare, film, and edit many productions with a solid deadline. As a habitual procrastinator, to keep me on track towards finishing something I felt passionate about. Being given the opportunity to manage the production of a short video for a company (despite a limited resume and portfolio) is something I’m extremely grateful for, and something that I think is only possible because of the support of the leadership here at GAAP Dynamics.
The benefit of working at a small company is that you have a staff that is extremely supportive of you and your ambitions. I never felt like a “cog in the wheel” here at GAAP Dynamics; I always felt like part of a team and felt that what I was doing was significant. When I felt like I could do more here, I could reach out to the CEO, who was willing to take a chance on me and give me new responsibilities. Not many other companies can offer that experience.
To any future interns or anyone who might be on the fence about working here, the advice I would offer is:
- Try to let go of your expectations. Accounting may be a bit of a stuffy topic, but the work here tries its hardest to be anything but.
- Don’t be afraid to ask about what you don’t know. Everyone is on their own journeys when it comes to learning new skills, and being able to admit you don’t know something is the most important thing you can do on that journey.
- Don’t be afraid to take chances. The same old, same old might be comforting, but you’ll have so much more room to grow if you’re willing to trust yourself and try something new.
- Try and have fun! Life is too short to be miserable in what you do; trying to find the joy in even the smallest things can be the most rewarding of experiences.
Sure, my advice might be as sappy as a Hallmark card, but I think that a little bit of sappiness is warranted here. I don’t think I’m exaggerating when I say that working here at GAAP D has been an extremely eye-opening experience. I can’t express enough how much I’ve learned here, nor can I express how grateful I am to have developed the connections I’ve made here.
I joined GAAP Dynamics with no clue as to the path my life should take, panicked about the future and the decisions that come with it. Now, on the verge of leaving GAAP Dynamics, I find myself still unsure about the path my life will take, but with a stronger sense of direction and a little bit more self-awareness. I won’t lie and say that it answered all of my questions or that I know exactly what my plans for the rest of college are; if a year isn’t enough time to determine something like that, two months certainly won’t suffice either. But I will say that my time here has certainly taught me skills that will last a lifetime in the workplace and beyond, and I can’t recommend it enough.
About GAAP Dynamics
We’re a DIFFERENT type of accounting training firm. We don’t think of training as a “tick the box” exercise, but rather an opportunity to empower your people to help them make the right decisions at the right time. Whether it’s U.S. GAAP training, IFRS training, or audit training, we’ve helped thousands of professionals since 2001. Our clients include some of the largest accounting firms and companies in the world. As lifelong learners, we believe training is important. As CPAs, we believe great training is vital to doing your job well and maintaining the public trust. We want to help you understand complex accounting matters and we believe you deserve the best training in the world, regardless of whether you work for a large, multinational company or a small, regional accounting firm. We passionately create high-quality training that we would want to take. This means it is accurate, relevant, engaging, visually appealing, and fun. That’s our brand promise. Want to learn more about how GAAP Dynamics can help you? Let’s talk!
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