Monday, August 26, 2013

The Global Internship: My First Week as a KPMG Global Intern

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

My first week as a KPMG global intern was challenging but also very rewarding. I had the opportunity to work directly under a partner which, while somewhat intimidating, offered me excellent experience and immediate exposure. The team here in London has been great about giving us work that is challenging and rewarding. It feels great knowing that my work is helping the firm to meet important client deadlines. My managers have been very helpful in explaining the work they need done and have provided us the resources to accomplish the tasks set before us.

After work we still have plenty of time to go out and explore London. It is such a great city with rich culture that offers an abundance of entertaining things to do. It is interesting to see how many Americans have moved here and now live and work in London. It is a great place to gain international experience without dealing with the challenges of speaking another language. Thinking back after this week, I am so grateful that I have had the chance to come to this amazing city and learn so much both at work and while sightseeing. I truly believe that travelling and experiences such as this internship help you grow not only professionally but also as an individual.

Friday, August 9, 2013

The Global Internship: Introduction

Editor's note: This is the first in a series of blog posts from VSCPA student member Shannon Case (below), a graduate student at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). Look for more posts in the coming weeks detailing Shannon's experience as an intern in KPMG's London office.

By Shannon Case

I knew early on in the recruiting process that I wanted to work for KPMG, but what I didn’t know was that in a few months they would be sending me on the trip of a lifetime!  I first met KPMG when I attended a “Meet the Firms” event at Virginia Commonwealth University.  I realized early on that I connected well with the firm and that it would be a great place to work.  After only speaking with Pete Bartok, KPMG’s recruiter, for a few minutes, I felt as if I had known him much longer and by the end of our conversation, I was really excited about the thought of working for KPMG since I knew I’d fit in well there.

After securing a domestic internship in the Richmond office, I received an email regarding KPMG’s Global Internship Program (GIP).  I recalled Pete mentioning this, and I thought it sounded like an incredible experience. I decided to apply for the GIP even though I knew the competition would be tough and honestly didn’t expect to be chosen. After completing the necessary requirements, which included an application and a written essay, I vividly remember screaming out loud when I found out that I was a finalist in the process. The next phase of the process consisted of a phone interview, which was pleasant and went very well.  A few days later, I received a call that I would be heading to London for four weeks as a global intern! I will spend half of my internship in the Richmond, VA office and the other half in London.  I am so looking forward to this amazing opportunity!

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Young Professionals Corner: Frugality Comes Into Fashion

Editor's note: This is the latest in a series of guest posts from young VSCPA members dealing with topics of interest to young professionals. If you'd like to write or have a topic you'd like a future blogger to cover, please email VSCPA Academic & Career Development Coordinator Tracey Zink.

By Clare Levison, CPA
Alliant Techsystems, Inc.

I believe that as CPAs we are uniquely qualified to guide people who need help with their finances.  CPAs are distinguished by rigorous educational requirements, high professional standards, and a commitment to serving the public interest.

I’m very passionate about personal finance.  My recently published book on the subject is entitled Frugal Isn’t Cheap:  Spend Less, Save More, and Live Better.  The following is an excerpt from the book:

When I was growing up, I can remember complaining to my dad about it being cold in the house. Truth be told, it was probably plenty warm for most people, but I’ve always been cold natured. “Go put a sweater on,” he would tell me. Dad’s always been a frugal man.

But today’s society has become obsessed with excess. Frugal people are seen as dull and boring. Big spenders seem flashy and exciting. However, I think the tide is finally beginning to turn on these perceptions. And that’s a good thing. It’s just not fashionable to own 20 pairs of shoes that you’ve only worn once. It’s not cool to have 30 gadgets that you never use. And if you’re spending all your money on designer clothes, you’re not stylish; you’re silly. Now more than ever, frugality is coming into fashion, and it’s hip to be thrifty. It turns out Dad was frugal before frugal was cool.

Reprinted, with permission of the publisher, from FRUGAL ISN'T CHEAP © 2013 Clare K. Levison, CPA. Published by Career Press, Pompton Plains, NJ. 800-227-3371. All rights reserved.

A large number of Americans are re-examining their finances.  They want to learn more about personal finance and how it impacts them and their future.  When each person makes responsible decisions with their money, we all benefit.  As a CPA, what are you doing to promote financial literacy?

Clare K. Levison is a certi­fied public accountant and national financial literacy spokesperson for the Amer­ican Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA). She has appeared on major radio and television net­works across the country and has served as a member of the Vir­ginia Society of Certified Public Accountants (VSCPA) Board of Directors. Levison was named one of the 2010 Top Five CPAs Under 35 by the VSCPA. She has more than a decade of corporate accounting experience and is also an active volunteer, serving as PTA president, Girl Scout leader, and Sun­day school teacher. Levison lives in Blacksburg, Virginia, with her husband and two daughters.