Discover Internships: KPMG Accounting

“I had no idea that the most meaningful part of my internship experience would be the tasks I was assigned and the connections I formed with the people I met.” Check out Emily Kaczynski’s reflection on how her intern as a student turned into a full-time job!

For a business student, an internship is the perfect opportunity to showcase what you have learned in your classes, network, and get real world career experience. Finding an internship can be a daunting task and sometimes the pressure to find the perfect fit is overwhelming. I felt that in order to be successful, I had to find the most prestigious company to work for or a program that offered crazy intern trips or benefits. While my internship with KPMG did offer me all of those things, I had no idea that the most meaningful part of my internship experience would be the tasks I was assigned and the connections I formed with the people I met. Although my experience was met with challenges, each hurdle forced me to become a better version of myself and helped shape me into a young professional who is ready for the workforce.

My professional headshot that was used on my ID badge.

This past winter, I was an audit intern for KPMG Milwaukee. This 12-week experience meant taking a semester off from school and working during the busiest season for accountants. I was performing audit test work for large financial institutions like BMO Harris, Baird, and Delaware Insurance. This work was highly collaborative with teams ranging from 3-15 people all working together to complete the audit. I attended client meetings, team lunches, and had a lot of late work nights that turned into early mornings. Due to the amount of time we spent together, the teams I worked on got really close. My Baird engagement team was the most impactful on my time with KPMG as they took the time to get to know me outside of the job. We would play Sporcle during lunch when we worked from home laughing at how age gaps influenced our ability to identify Disney characters and then quickly hop on a client call while still messaging about the results of the game. Professionally, each of the team members were welcome and open about answering any questions I had about client work, the internship, or the firm in general. I never felt dumb asking questions on accounting concepts I felt I should know or asking for another explanation on one of my tasks. This team helped me shape my professional life and I created mentorships and friendships that will last a lifetime. They made me feel confident in my abilities and reassured me that the work I was doing mattered, something I feel gets lost in the typical internship experience.

My notes from the first day of National Intern Training. Taking good notes was essential to my internship experience!

My biggest piece of advice for anyone about to begin their internship journey is to be open minded. Everyone says it, but a positive mindset will make the difference between a successful intern and someone who is just going through the motions. Secondly, be a sponge and take good notes. Absorb as much information as possible and reflect that information in your notes. I found it helpful to review mine at the end of every day or when I was stumped on a task. Everyday presented something different and more challenging so maintaining an open mind and learning as much as possible set me up for success. 

I am forever grateful to KPMG and the University of Iowa for my internship experience. It was one of the best experiences of my life and I am excited to begin as an audit associate in the Fall of 2023!

Author Bio: Emma Kaczynski is a senior from Milwaukee Wisconsin double majoring in accounting and finance. On campus she is involved in Phi Gamma Nu and is a tutor at the Frank Communications Center. In her free time, she enjoys running, reading, and cooking new recipes.

Edited by: Abbey Jordahl, Honors Admin


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