To be completely fair, interning is a lot like painting. As a painter, you begin every process the same way, with a blank canvas. All you have is a clean brush, fresh paint from which you will create your master piece (career), and the knowledge you gained from the prior painting (school). Interning is similar because you begin your time at Whitley Penn with that same blank canvas, the same clean brush, and trust me there is no shortage of the paint. I myself found this to be quite intimidating. Thousands of color combinations and stroke lines to which I could create my own path into the world of accounting. The biggest problem was knowing where to begin.
My painting began January 1, 2018 as I was sitting in the airport in Houston. Nervous as could be for what was to come, I found myself relieved when I met my fellow interns waiting for the plane. Soon you begin to understand that you’re not in this alone. A short 45 minute flight later and the plane touched down in Dallas for our internship training. The next three days were long, consisting of HR and audit training. I vividly remember wondering how I would remember all of this. Much to my relief the trainers were incredible and encouraging to say the least. Leaving Dallas I felt as though I had a good primer for the remaining work to come.
I loved my first taste of auditing. Every day I got to experience something different. Different paint types and colors, constantly learning the ins and outs of the financials. What I also learned in this moment was any mistake can be fixed. For example, the time I spent two hours importing a trial balance and grouping the accounts, only to find out I had done it completely wrong. I thought the world had ended, I was going to get fired and I would go down as the worst inter in Whitley Penn history…. but what do you know, I’m still here. Instead of shaming me for my mistake, I was uplifted by my coworkers and encouraged to make mistakes so that I could learn. Taking that time to be patient with us made all the difference, allowing us to feel comfortable with the process.
Mistakes are what make for a good painting, and sometimes it’s those mistakes that make the end result so much better. Here I am now, two weeks from completing my painting. It’s coming together nicely, but there is still so much work left to be done. I am forever grateful for those who took the time to teach me, and help me grow as a young businessman. I truly cannot say enough good things about the people of Whitley Penn. My painting is far from complete and who knows, maybe I’ll get to continue this same one in the future, but for now it’s a work in progress. The point is that from the beginning I doubted myself and my abilities, however with a little guidance from the people of Whitley Penn, I can see myself becoming who I have wanted to be all along.
Whitley Penn continues to be one of the region’s most distinguished public accounting firms. With a strong base in Texas and a worldwide network affiliation via Nexia International, the firm is strategically positioned for continued growth both locally and internationally. Whitley Penn has been consistently recognized as “One of the Top 100 Firms in the U.S.” and “Best of the Best” by INSIDE Public Accounting. For more information on Whitley Penn, please visit whitleypenn.com.