Internship Profile – Linda Ma
A week in the life of a PWC Tax internship…
Summer was a little bit slow for Tax Interns at PricewaterhouseCoopers. Work assignments varied every week. Some weeks I spent at a client site shadowing a PwC Professional, and others I spent working on a continuous project such as preparing for a presentation, updating information on Excel and reviewing tax forms. When I didn’t have a specific assignment, I would check in with Associates and Senior Associates to help with their project. Doing this was a great networking opportunity as well.
The nature of the work was independent and team oriented, it really depended on what I was working on for the work week. When I was working on billing such as taking several Excel files and moving spreadsheets into one to work with, it was independent work. However, when I working on preparing for a presentation, it was team oriented. For the transfer pricing presentation, we presented our presentation to a Manager in Transfer Pricing to ask for feedback before we gave the actual presentation during the Lunch and Learn.
Highlights of the internship experience…
PwC makes you feel welcome and has a great mentorship system. Each intern is assigned a coaching team which consist of a buddy (associate), senior buddy (senior associate), coach (manager), and relationship partner. Throughout the internship, I was able to build and maintain relationships with my coaching team and ask questions about the different position levels. At the very beginning of the internship, I sat down with my coach and had the opportunity to set goals I wanted to achieve by the end of my internship and my coach did a very good job making sure I had opportunities to achieve my goals. After the midpoint snapshot, my coach asked me what I wanted to experience before the internship ends and gave me the feedback on what team members who had worked with me gave.
What I found most remarkable about this internship was the support system from my coaching team. Even though PwC is a Big 4 but I had a sense of belonging and I was able to achieve my goals I set at the beginning of the internship with the constant feedback and support from my coaching team. For every intern who were offered a full time position was encourage to attend Launch at Disneyworld. Launch was definitely the most memorable and enjoyable time to end the internship. We worked together as a team to complete each challenge. My team actually won the cooking challenge where it was like Top Chef where we were judged on taste and the display on the plate.
I was able to volunteer for different community service projects throughout the internship. I volunteered as a Host for Breakthrough Career Day where I led questions and discussion for a group of high school students who visited PwC. I also volunteered as an interviewer for First Tee students where I interviewed two middle students which helped them improve their interviewing skills especially when it was their first mock interview.
I was also able to improve on my public speaking skills. I prepared and delivered two presentations and planned and hosted a social/connectivity event. I gave a presentations on “Introduction to Transfer Pricing” and “Fostering Team Success” and planned “The Amazing PwC Race”, a scavenger hunt around the office.
There were many networking opportunities throughout the internship. I was able to speak with employees in other departments which helped me learn what other groups were in tax such as transfer pricing and venture capital whose work was different than the corporate tax group I was assigned to for my internship. This discussion helped me discover if I may have an interest in pursuing another line of tax accounting. As I reflected on my experience at PWC, I think it would have been very beneficial for me to review and be more proficient in Excel such as VLOOKUP because most of the work done throughout my internship was working on an Excel file.
What differentiates PWC as an employer…
Even at a Big 4 there is ongoing feedback: the PwC Professional Snapshot. As an intern we initiated two snapshots, one during the middle of the internship (midpoint snapshot) and one at the end in order to see our performance throughout the internship.
Though it may seem that earning a Masters in Accounting means I have learned enough to be well prepared for my future career, there is even more learning that happens on the job. There is never one day where one stop learning. Even as a partner for a firm, he/she learns something new every day. PwC also had Lunch and Learns where we can even learn during lunch time. Each tax group holds Lunch and Learns about twice each month where PwC Professionals and even interns get the opportunity to present on a tax topic while providing lunch for everyone.
What’s next for Linda…
I have accepted a full time job offer with PricewaterhouseCoopers to start as a Tax Associate in July 2016. I related my internship Launch experience to a Lego Hulk that I saw at Disneyworld for the Launch program: “Stay strong like Hulk! I am excited to launch my career just like the expressions shown on Hulk’s face! Lego Hulk started off as piece of Lego slowly combined together to form Hulk, just like I am slowly growing to become a PwC Professional!”