Sarah Oberman, an accounting and finance major from Sewell, New Jersey, is just one of the many students and alumni who used the Student Professional Development Center to find job and internship opportunities, help with graduate school placements, prepare for interviews and improve applications.
Sarah Oberman, an accounting and finance major from Sewell, New Jersey, traveled to Santiago, Chile and Philadelphia during her summer internship at EY in the firm's Student Global Experience Program. She credits these experiences with helping her learn the importance of projecting confidence and eagerness with every new opportunity.
Oberman is the latest person to be featured this spring in a series of profiles on the experiences of students and alumni who used the Student Professional Development Center to find job and internship opportunities, help with graduate school placements, prepare for interviews and improve applications. She answered questions recently from the SPDC about her experience.
Which faculty members did you work with to prepare and what help did you receive?
Professor Patty Cox has encouraged me to pursue accounting opportunities, including attending networking events since I was in her class during my first year. She has always been supportive and continues to express interest in my professional and personal success.
How did your interest in the internship develop?
I attended a Beta Alpha Psi networking event to meet representatives from accounting and finance firms where I learned about opportunities to participate in summer leadership programs as a sophomore that would lead to internships as a junior. The alumni at the event helped me connect with firm recruiters to set up interviews and start the process of obtaining entrance into the summer programs. After being accepted into several summer programs, I attended two-day events at a variety of firms in Philadelphia. I was offered internships for the following summer, and from there, I made my decision to accept an internship with EY in their Financial Services Audit sector.
Who did you work with to prepare for your internship, and what help did you receive from the Student Professional Development Center?
SPDC advisors in the business school helped me fine-tune my resume and reflect all of my experiences in a professional manner. I also attended the Sophomore Success program which helped me improve my interviewing and networking skills through speaking with a variety of people and getting feedback about my performance.
Tell me about the company and your role as an intern.
I had a unique internship experience with EY. After accepting the internship position, I had the opportunity to apply for the EY Student Global Experience Program. I was thrilled to be accepted into this program where I spent half of my internship in Santiago, Chile. With this experience, I was able to see how offices function in different cultures. In Philadelphia, I worked on a small team, helping on a financial services audit engagement, and in Santiago, I worked on a larger, project-based team to ensure that companies were following regulations for financial reporting in each sector and country they were operating in. During my time, I completed research tasks based on differences between reporting in various countries to help prepare companies for big events, such as initial public offerings, to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of their finance functions.
Throughout the internship, I was supported by mentors who answered my questions and ensured that I was comfortable in my new environment.
What did you learn from the experience?
From this experience, I learned the importance of teamwork within an audit engagement. By working in a small team, I was able to see how the roles of each person from staff to partner are critical, and how communication between each party is essential throughout each step of the engagement. I also learned that it is important to project confidence and eagerness with every new opportunity, especially as an intern. By asking questions and expressing concerns during the engagements, I was able to gain the respect of my colleagues and to serve as a positive influence on my team and the engagement as a whole.
What recommendations would you share with other students about the Student Professional Development Center?
The SPDC is a great resource not only for professional development but also for personal development. Advisors at the SPDC can help you analyze your strengths, weaknesses, and personality type through career assessments to see how you can work best in a professional environment as well as in your everyday life.