"You Need To Be Comfortable Asking Questions"
LCM's Lee Schwartz on How To Succeed at an Internship
LCM student Lee Schwartz, a native of Savannah, Georgia, spent his summer as an intern at EisnerAmper, one of the top twenty largest accounting firms in the country.
He found out about the firm through Touro College’s Career Fair and was invited to a winter externship program.
“There were 50-60 of us,” related Schwartz who spent two-and-a-half years at Yeshivat Netiv Aryeh after graduating from Skokie Yeshiva. “The program is meant to allow us to check out the firm and gives the firm a chance to check us out.”
After following up, Schwartz was given a chance to interview through the company’s automated webinar. After successfully completing the webinar, Schwartz was invited to an in-person interview.
“It’s very competitive,” reflected Schwartz. “A lot of people from impressive schools with a good amount of experience applied for the internship.”
Two days later, Schwartz received a phone call from the firm offering him an internship.
Some of the factors that drew him to LCM also helped him land the internship.
“I think the interviewers were impressed with my answers,” said Schwartz. “I stressed LCM's small class size and how I received a lot of hands-on attention and mentoring from my professors, many of whom worked at the larger firms.”
“I also think they liked that I was comfortable. I had questions to ask them about their own experiences,” continued Schwartz who also mentioned his past internship at a small accounting firm in his hometown.
The EisnerAmper internship was rigorous.
“It was 9-5 every day and sometimes we stayed till 8,” recalled Schwartz. “But it was great. Everyone was friendly and easygoing.”
Schwartz was assigned to the corporate tax department where he worked on the returns of S-corporations, mid-size companies.
“I would create their financial statements,” said Schwartz. “I created excel documents and plugged in the numbers and sent it through the system to create the federal forms.”
Schwartz said his classes in intermediate accounting and computers helped him during his internship.
“I had no idea what a financial statement was or anything to do with the day-to-day part of accounting was before I took intermediate accounting,” Schwartz explained “My class in computers taught us how to use Excel, Word and Powerpoint. I ended up using a lot of Excel.”
While he said he was somewhat unfamiliar with preparing financial statements, Schwartz said that being able to reach out to his coworkers was invaluable and an important thing for other LCM interns to keep in mind.
“You need to be comfortable enough to ask questions,” he advised.