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Indiana INTERNnet celebrated internship excellence on February 7, 2018 at the 12th Annual IMPACT Awards Luncheon. Though the event is over and the winners have been announced, we are continuing to celebrate the nominees’ successes.

These are their stories.

Joseph Slaby graduated from Indiana State University in the spring of 2017 with a degree in accounting.  He completed an internship with Kemper CPA Group in Terre Haute.

Indiana INTERNnet: What made you interested in going back to school for accounting?

Joseph Slaby: I graduated from Indiana State University in spring of 2017. I initially attended Ivy Tech and earned a two-year degree and later decided to go back to school in order to order to have more opportunities with a four-year degree. Accounting was a field I was drawn to because my senior year of high school was in 2008-2009—which is when the massive economic downturn occurred. During those months I learned a lot about why the economy fell into a recession and the complexity of how a business earns revenue and pays expenses were a driving force into why I got into this field.

IIN: Describe your experience with Kemper CPA Group. What were your favorite aspects?

JS: I worked at the branch located in Terre Haute, Indiana. I loved working with my co-workers (who are extremely fun and helpful, along with my boss who’s just an outright cool dude) and the amount of work there was. There was seldom a slow day. In addition, the expectations were high and I was given reasonably challenging returns in order to have a great internship experience.

IIN: What was the most challenging project you were assigned?

JS: After tax season ended, I stayed on for another month in order to help out with personal property tax returns. There was supposed to be another individual helping me prepare them (and then we had one reviewer). Unfortunately, a family emergency forced her to take several weeks off and the responsibility of preparation rested on me for the majority of the returns. They aren’t the most complicated returns, but because it was my first time preparing them, it was a challenge. It also was rewarding though because I independently had to figure out things more often without having that safety net of seeking someone out to help me.

IIN: Describe how you helped the team develop. Did you encounter any obstacles?

JS: The process at our tax firm involves a preparer preparing the return, and then one of the two partners reviewing them. It was important to prepare them in accordance to how the reviewer wanted it done (for example, how the tax support work papers were organized and labeled, etc.) in order for them to have the easiest time reviewing the return. I also reached out to co-workers to ask if they needed help with anything. There were a few individuals that took time out of their day to help me when I was struggling through a return, and so I tried my best to help them out when I could. The main obstacles were learning the process of preparing a return, and learning how to get into a flow so that not too much time was being spent on a single return while at the same time making sure what I was submitting was high quality.

IIN: Have you completed any other internships? What are some the benefits you’ve gained from these experiences?

JS: The one at Kemper was my first. Having an internship is a great way to try out a position and work for a company without making a long-term commitment. It also provided motivation to do as good of a job as possible because there was no guarantee of a full-time position after the internship. In a way it’s like an audition for the company if your main goal is to receive a full-time offer.

IIN: What are your future plans and career goals?

JS: I am currently studying for the CPA Exam (I’ve passed three and have one more to pass before January 2019). In addition, I hope to relocate up to the Indianapolis area and work for a firm up there—hopefully in the auditing area.

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