Olivia joined the RBF team as an intern in January 2023, working both with the Audit & Assurance and Tax departments. Originally from Upper Moreland, PA, she is a senior at Millersville University studying Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and Management. After graduating in May 2023, Olivia hopes to gain additional work experience while pursuing and master’s degree and studying for her CPA license.
We talked to Olivia about what inspired her to pursue accounting, what a typical day as an intern looks like, and what drew her to working at RBF.
What inspired you to study accounting?
Two things. One: both of my parents work in the accounting and finance field, and they both really like their jobs.
Two: I’ve always been interested in making money and creating my own budget. When I was little, I would set up a stand on the corner of my street to sell bracelets with other girls in my neighborhood. I applied for my first job on my 14th birthday.
What does your role as an intern at RBF entail?
One of the best things about my internship is that I don’t do busy work or “intern” tasks. My work is the same work that everyone else at the firm does.
I started in the A&A department, putting together audit engagement letters and entering data from audit engagements the team was working on. I also got to observe the actual audit process.
When tax filing season started, I switched to working with the Tax department, preparing individual tax returns.
What does a typical workday look like for you?
On a typical day during tax season, I come into the office and start at my computer. I check my email and see what tax returns are in my work queue. Then I start working through those returns. If I need help or have questions, I visit someone’s office. That’s something I really like about my days in the office; everybody is willing to answer questions or walk through the steps with me and understand the next time I see it.
What are some of the most challenging things you deal with in your role?
The most challenging thing for me was learning the systems and software that the firm uses to prepare tax returns, a platform called UltraTax. I had never used software like this before so getting the hang of it was a challenge.
What is your favorite part of your internship?
The work environment – everybody here is friendly and easy to talk to. The environment feels very genuine, and everyone is very willing to help.
What drew you to RBF as a place to intern?
I was interested in working with RBF from the way they talked about the internship in the interview. They really conveyed that they wanted to teach me and expose me to a lot of things in the accounting field. During the interview, they mentioned doing auditing and tax, but also going out to see clients. The other places I interviewed made it seem like I would just be doing busy work.
I also really like that RBF is a smaller firm, so I have been able to meet everybody. There’s been more opportunity to build relationships than if I interned at a larger firm.
What advice would you give to students looking to intern with an accounting firm?
Take advantage of your school’s resources – use Handshake, for example.
And go into it with an open mind. Initially I was looking for a finance internship, and there was a lot of opportunity to learn and grow by taking an internship at RBF.