My internship at Pricewaterhouse Coopers

Alec Sanchez 1Name: Alec Sanchez

Year and Major: Senior, School of Accounting, College of Business

Hometown: Miami

Where you interned: Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in the Washington, D.C., metro area, one of the four largest accounting firms in the world (summer 2016)

What did you do there?
I spent most of my time at the offices of federal agencies such as U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The agency can call Pricewaterhouse Coopers regarding issues related to, for example, budgeting, revamping the entire management system, implementing a new process, etc. 

This provided me with a wide variety of knowledge about the firm and a greater idea of what I wanted to do in the future with my accounting degree.

How did your work there connect back to your studies?
A lot of my studies came into play once I was at the client sites for the advisory practice. This practice requires a wide variety of knowledge in the accounting field, and the interpersonal skills you learn in classes such as management and public speaking were a virtue when meeting people of all different backgrounds and experience.

What did you like most about your internship?
The best part of the internship was all the networking and people I met while I was in DC. It’s a thriving city with many young professionals seeking to grow as and in t heir respective careers.

What did this experience teach you about the real world?
Get comfortable with the uncomfortable. I had never lived away from home, let alone in another city. This experience thrust me out there into the unknown and truly allowed me to grow as a person. The real world is unforgiving and not easy. You have to be able to remain persistent and driven through all the struggles or the real world will run over you and leave you behind.

What was the coolest thing about your internship or something great that happened during your internship?
It was a great experience to be able to enjoy the Fourth of July festivities in the nation’s capital. I also experienced playing basketball on the court of the Verizon Center as PwC rented it out for one of their events. I also attended a Nationals baseball game and toured most of the monuments in the capital.

How did you get the internship?
I secured an interview for this internship at the Ahead of the Game Career Fair and Expo organized by FIU’s chapter of the Association of Latino Professionals for America. If it weren’t for this event, I would have most likely never received the internship.

What advice do you have for other students who are either looking for internships or who wish to get the most out of an internship?
Employers don’t expect you to know everything. In fact, they don’t expect you to know anything. Being passionate, driven, motivated and charismatic makes you much more attractive than knowing every detail about your specific field. Be open to anything thrown your way. Sometimes the path to your goals can take a few turns that weren’t expected, and it’s important not to close off these opportunities.

Every step of the way is an opportunity to learn and grow. Network as much as you can and always have a smile on your face because a good attitude speaks volumes. Being nervous is a good thing, so embrace the nerves and venture out of your comfort zone.

How did the experience impact your career goals?
Going into my internship, I wasn’t sure what exact sector of accounting I wanted to do. Now I know that I want to pursue consulting. Consulting allows me to be a part of a wide variety of projects and exposes me to many different clients that will help me grow as a professional. This internship definitely helped me define myself and my career aspirations.

Meet other interns at the FIU in D.C. blog.

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