Passing The Mic To Our Interns: Inside MRPR
Internships offer young professionals an opportunity to see what business is like outside of the classroom. Today's interns expect inclusion and real-world exposure to daily activities. They're there to do more than just take meeting notes and fetch coffee --they're there to learn. That's why we designed our internship program to closely mimic an entry-level accountant position with our firm, including exposure to all aspects of accounting and client services.
We want our interns to leave our program feeling fully prepared for their next step - whether it's joining us permanently or moving on to explore options with other firms.
"We are committed to providing a top-notch educational experience when you join our team. We invest in time, training, and continuous performance feedback to keep our interns continuously learning and striving towards success. We understand and value your need for real-life experience, and we are here to provide it and support you." -Amy Rohlman, HR Director
But don't just take it from us! We sat down with a few of our recent interns to discuss their experience. Here's what they had to say...
MRPR Intern Q&A Session
Describe what you think the ideal internship has to offer:
Rachel Mattson, Interned Summer 2018 and joined full-time Summer 2019
The ideal internship provides exposure to the field of public accounting and a taste of what working at the firm full-time would entail.
First, the internship gives a broad sense of what public accountants do. This means an intern would be exposed to tasks related to tax, audit, bookkeeping/CFO services, payroll tasks, or accounting software selection (to name a few).
As you move through the internship, you would work on projects related to each of these areas and gain a sense of what your career in public accounting could look like. Second, through an intern's exposure to different kinds of tasks, the intern would gain a better understanding of the firm and what a full-time job with the firm would look like.
This means the intern would see how coworkers interact with each other and with clients, how the firm's values and mission influence the work that employees do, and the day-to-day tasks that employees perform. This would help the intern determine what a career in public accounting at that specific firm would look like.
Describe the kind of company you were looking for for your internship:
Sadia Miah, an MRPR intern during Winter 2020
I was looking for a company where I would receive quality training to help me excel in the field of public accounting. Additionally, I was looking for a company where I could use the knowledge that I obtained throughout my college years and apply those skills in real-time and become a stronger accountant.
What were your first impressions of MRPR (both online and in person)?
Evan Carlson, Interned Winter 2019 and joined full-time Fall 2019
My first impression of MRPR was the Staff Accountants and Managers were extremely open to helping me adjust to the office. Whether it was helping me deal with technological issues or with the work I was assigned they were always willing to help. My first impressions of the Principals at MRPR were they genuinely care about their staff members’ needs, desires, health, and career development.
What has surprised you most about MRPR?
Lindsay Mohrmann, Interned Winter 2020, Winter 2021, Summer 2021, and joining full-time at start of 2022
I was most surprised by how open everyone was in the office and how well they knew each other outside of work. Gatherings during lunch with cute brain teasers or puzzles were fun around holidays or special occasions. Taking this time was nice to step back and learn more about everyone.
What type of firm was I looking for?
Cooper Daniels, Interned Winter 2021, Summer 2021, Fall 2021, and joining full-time at start of 2022
When I was looking at where I wanted to intern, I decided on MRPR because I believed their smaller size would give a more intimate learning environment and would offer opportunities to work on a wide variety of projects. After working with the firm this past year, I was excited to join MRPR full time to work with people I enjoy being around, and who care about my development in the field.
In your first few weeks, what stood out to you about the people who worked there?
Sadia: What stood out to me about the people that worked at MRPR was that they were all very friendly and they made sure that their interns were well-acquainted with everyone. For example, I was invited to a welcome lunch on my first day where I was able to meet and converse with some staff members, managers, and principals. It was neat having lunch with personnel from all levels within the organization. It truly is a collaborative effort ensuring that interns feel welcomed and comfortable, and MRPR was able to execute that effort successfully.
Cooper: The firm has a very learning-friendly culture, and everyone from staff to Principals were happy to help me learn the duties of my new job.
Lindsay: In my first few weeks of my second internship, what stood out most to me was how well everyone worked virtually and how I was still able to talk to the people I needed to talk to. I even got to know some people at the other office more than I would have if we had been in person.
Which job benefits appealed/appeal to you most?
Rachel: As an intern, I appreciated the flexibility I was offered. I did a part-time internship during the summer and I was able to choose which days and times I worked.
Cooper: The CPA exam aid to help further my career, and the flex-work policy to give a greater work-life balance.
What was your interview process like?
Lindsay: About a week after attending an accounting fair at Eastern Michigan University, I received a phone call inviting me to the office for an interview. The interview itself was calm and relaxed. I felt like I was having a natural conversation rather than trying to prove myself.
Cooper: After speaking with Matt at a career fair, I was interested in the opportunity the firm had to offer. I had a second interview with Amy, who made the process comfortable, making it easier for me to give the best presentation of myself.
What are your goals for your internship with MRPR?
Evan: The goals I had going into my internship with MRPR were to increase my knowledge of tax preparation, to witness how seasoned tax professionals worked and managed a long tax season, and to get a job offer.
Lindsay: My goals for my internship were to learn more about accounting software and how they work together as well as work towards having a career in public accounting.
Provide three adjectives to describe the work environment at MRPR
Rachel: flexible, collaborative, encouraging
Sadia: engaging, professional, rewarding
Cooper: team-based, friendly, and fast-paced
Lindsay: flexible, proactive, and mindful
What advice would you give to someone currently looking for an accounting internship?
Sadia: The advice that I would give to an aspiring intern would be to do research on different CPA firms and to seize any opportunity that presents itself. No firm is too big or small to get your foot through the door and be exposed to a wealth of knowledge. Accounting internships are very competitive, so be proactive instead of reactive. Thus, make sure resumes are up to date and GPAs are in good standing.
Cooper: Study hard in school, and be ready to learn a lot more when you start doing accounting in the real world.
What would you tell your friends and family about working at MRPR?
Sadia: I would tell my friends and family that working at MRPR feels like working with a group of friends! Everyone is extremely friendly and is always readily available to answer any questions. Also, MRPR really takes the initiative to make sure that their employees feel comfortable and that they maintain a healthy work-life balance.
Cooper: It’s a community working and growing together. I get to work with people I enjoy, who have taken an interest in helping me develop my skills, and made me feel like part of a team.
Lindsay: I tell my friends and family how close everyone is and how supportive everyone is, cheering each other on during the busiest times of the year.
Why I decided to join MRPR after my internship
Evan: I decided to join MRPR after my internship because how the people I worked with treated me. People genuinely cared about teaching me and having me learn what I was working on. I was able to take part in different projects and wasn’t pushed into a corner and forgotten about. People actually cared about my opinion and mental well-being.
Rachel: After a few short months of working at MRPR during my internship, I knew that MRPR was the place where I could gain valuable experience in many different areas of the accounting world. From attest engagements to tax work, bookkeeping to payroll, and software implementation to general consulting, I could see many opportunities for both learning and being able to better serve clients.
What I learned along the way as a Staff that a new grad would find interesting:
Evan: At MRPR, you get to work on all different types of work, not just pigeon-holed into tax or audit or accounting, you will get the opportunity to choose your path where you best fit. I thought I would dislike talking with clients, but once you build a relationship with your clients, you will find you enjoy speaking with them.
Find The Right Accounting Internship For You
An internship with the right firm can be a great launching pad for your career and help set your expectations about what it's really like to be an accountant. We recommend that you do your homework and find a firm that is a good fit for your own personal core values and beliefs about work, life, and giving back.
"When choosing the right internship, think about who you are and look for a firm in which you can see yourself at more long-term. Their values, people, and goals should compliment who you are and what you are looking for in a career." - Amy Rohlman