Interning with a Company in Transition
A large company undergoing a transition period is similar to working at a start-up. You end up working on much more critical projects than planned.
As with anything else, there is the good and the bad with it. The good is that all of your work carries much more weight and are able to see your work have direct results on the company as a whole. The bad is that if you do a poor job, it has a clear negative effect on the company and there is no one else to blame.
With Caryl Stern, the current President and CEO, announcing her departure in several months, many others in the company have also decided to move on. In my department, Finance and Operations, 2 people have already left in my short time here with 3 others that announced their intentions to move on in the near future.
My original supervisor left a few weeks into my internship. My next supervisor is only in the office twice a week due to him coming off of paternity leave. This left me as the only person working on preparing the Chart of Accounts as well as our financial systems review project for GrantThorton, an accounting firm that has been hired to restructure our financial operations.
So here I am, almost two months into my internship and trying to complete a major project solo. I couldn’t have asked for anything more beneficial to my career development than this. It has forced me to interact with numerous coworkers across all departments in an attempt to collect the data and information I need.
The biggest thing that I realized was how much I enjoy the responsibility and pressure that comes with the work. At the start of my internship search I ruled out working for a startup. I thought it would be more beneficial to my growth if I was being guided in the right direction. I have never been so wrong before. I now realize that I have learned more by being pushed out of the nest and left to figure things out for myself than being guided through the process safely.