AAF Intern Blog: Alex Frieband
Alex Frieband, Intern for summers 2014 and 2015:
It was during my internship this summer in which I truly realized what I want to do with my career. At AAF I was given the opportunity to gain experience and exposure in both audit and tax. Throughout the summer I was scheduled to assist on various clients for audit ranging from Early Education & Care centers to community development corporations, and commercial, for-profit companies. Moreover, I was scheduled to work in the tax department for roughly three weeks. It was over the course of these three weeks when a distinction in my professional development developed. I finally had the “ah-ha” moment in which I realized that I want to advance in the tax industry. I witnessed how much the tax professionals at AAF help their clients on a day-to-day basis, clearing up business issues and advising them on how to better manage and save money and prepare for the future. The field of taxation is definitely where I see myself. This was not necessarily a new discovery, as I had taken federal taxation at school and I thought I wanted to do that; this real-world, hands-on interning experience certainly reinforced that feeling. AAFCPAs’ tax accountants ranging from the staff to supervisor level took time out of their busy schedules to not only train me in preparing returns, but also explained to me why we were doing certain things. This greater knowledge of the inner-workings of tax is truly something I will bring with me as I develop further as a professional.
During my internship with AAFCPAs I had the opportunity to work with all levels of AAF team members. On two of the audits I was scheduled on, I was able to sit through the operations meeting during the planning phase in which the entire engagement team, including the partner, manager and senior, discussed the strategy and approach for an efficient and thorough audit. The partners engaged in conversations with me trying to learn more about me as a person, which truly made me feel like a member of AAF and not just a ’temp.’ I consistently was able to learn from senior and semi-senior accountants who trained me and taught me how things work. They even provided insight into an accounting career and gave me advice on the CPA exam. In the tax department I was able to interact with supervisors and a director. Interacting with all levels of staff provided me with insight into how the firm operates and how the cycle and flow of audits and tax work. Overall, it was a great and memorable experience.