IDK are we being overly cynical here or is this dumb? This feels a little like the “unlimited” vacation trap. If you think relaxed summer schedules were last year’s trend as big companies took gentle measures to steer employees back to the workplace, think again. Schneider Downs & Co. is embracing a policy that closes […]
This is a really exciting time of year for some people at KPMG, if for no other reason than FREE MEAT. Yes, it's Omaha Steaks time again. Says one tipster: Surprised I haven't seen a post about this yet- my Omaha Steaks arrived today thanks to the house of Klynveld. Weiners, steaks, chicken and burgers […]
The first half of 2013 took an unexpected turn for Klynveld Peat Marwick Goerdeler back in April when we all learned that former partner Scott London had shared material non-public information about the firm's audit clients with his watch-concert ticket guy/golfing buddy. While there has been almost no client backlash — the firm hasn't lost […]
Really, KPMG? Buying folks off with ice cream?! I haven't had the pleasure of indulging in an ice cream social since I was a young, un-tattooed suburbanite in Wisconsin, so that would have been maybe 6th grade. Anyway, here's what KPMG has scheduled for their ice cream-loving associates slaving away in San Francisco per a […]
Let me just say first off that this will not be an exclusive thread to the Big 4, I simply have to appease my SEO fanatic co-workers. That means if you’re interning at Grant Thornton, BDO, McGladrey, Moss Adams, Rothstein Kass, it doesn’t matter, don’t be afraid to jump in with questions or comments or respond to any of the regular commenters out there (“GT Partner” is a treat).
Anyway, it’s not technically summer but DWB encouraged me to drop an open thread on you all so that A) interns can share their skyrocketing anxiety and B) the veterans can bestow some of their wisdom upon these coffee gophers so that they don’t get in the way too much. Since I saw my fair share of interns pass through my time inside the House of Klynveld, I’ll jump in first.
For starters new interns, you need dress nice. If you show up in baggy Dockers without a belt and a Nike golf shirt and scuffed-up shoes – I hate you already. And unless you can do back flips (as it relates to your work) and buy me coffee once a week, my mind is made up about you already. For the ladies, since the dress code is a little more subjective for you, all I ask is you not show up in your pajamas. That said, your female superiors will be eyeing your attire much closer and they will be judging the shit out of you. And if they’re really offended by your fashion forwardness, they aren’t above tattling on you. Believe me, I’ve seen it happen.
As for work – find it. Sometimes you may have to act busy by reading god-awful training manuals or diversity literature or something else that makes you want to bathe with a toaster but FOR THE SAKE OF YOUR MEDIOCRE BIG 4 CAREER, I suggest you don’t look bored. I don’t care if you have to grovel to the lowliest A1 on your team, if you’re not working (or at least appear to be working), someone will notice and that doesn’t bode well for your chances at fulltime offer.
Finally, make some friends. Can you carry on a conversation that doesn’t revolve around your Beta Alpha Psi chapter or the bitch of an Intermediate mid-term you had? Excellent, you’ll be fine. Someone will like you. If you like talking about those things, I strongly suggest you find a hobby fast. The Mets are driving you crazy? Great, talk about that. You just saw the Arctic Monkeys in concert? Wonderful, music is rad. Outdoorsy type? Talk about some camping trips. You’re into Brazilian Jujitsu? Okay but don’t show off your injuries. That’s just gross.
Bottom line: be yourself. Unless yourself sucks. In which case, email the career advice brain trust and we’ll turn this around. Now if you’ll excuse me, some of us don’t have interns and I have to fetch my own coffee.
Good afternoon and Happy Thursday, people. For the sake of your sanity I decided not to write about LeBron James and his impending decision*. Today I wanted to focus on something that is plaguing all of us right now – the summer months.
What the devil are you talking about, Daniel?
You heard me, my accounting cohorts. The summer months are traditionally a down time for most public accounting professionals due to the accounting cycle combined with the influx of extra hands on deck (i.e. peppy interns). The lack of significant workloads during July and August can be enough to drive even the most motivated accountant to the breaking point of boredom.
Here are a few tips to get you through the days ahead once you reach the max weekly usage on Pandora:
Five before 5 – Things never feels slower than when there seems to be nothing to accomplish through the course of the day. Avoid the “I did nothing for 8 hours” by setting out a list of five things to accomplish during the day, trivial or not. List items can include everything from contacting your scheduler or manager about the fall client schedule or rolling forward workpapers in preparation for the 2010 year end. Creating the list the night before will also help set the tone for your morning routine.
Volunteer – The effects that volunteering has on one’s mind and well being are well documented. In short – it’s good for you. Check in with your local HR rep or watch out for the monthly emails about volunteer opportunities. Want to look outside of your firm? Volunteermatch.org is a wonderful resource.
Mentor an intern – See that bright-eyed and bushy-tailed intern in the cubicle passing time by reading through 10K’s on the SEC website? Do their internship experience a favor and walk them through one of your clients’ workpapers. Carving out time in your day to explain the steps and processes documented in your work will help them better understand what they can expect in the future. Anything you can do to expand their exposure beyond cas rec’s is an accomplishment; and trust me, they’ll remember and appreciate the fact that you took the time to explain the process.
Get out of the office – If nothing else cash in a chunk of your vacation days and take a week off. Even if you don’t travel, use the time to catch up your personal life. Read a book, sleep for 16 hours, I don’t care. Just get away from the office and turn off your Monday-Friday mindset.
*That said, I hope he comes to New York
A fellow Big 4 expat once told us that Tuesday was the worst day of the week. The logic was essentially that Tuesday was no man’s land – you weren’t catching up on your weekend with your co-workers like on a Monday, Friday is an eternity away and plus Tuesday has no feel.
And since the summer months tend to be slower, the days can drag.
With that in mind, a current Big 4 soldier wanted to find out what firms were doing to help pass some of the hours either through internal initiatives or on individual teams. She was kind enough to share with us her team’s Friday ritual:
Every Friday we head out early to get manicures. Just wanted to know how/if other teams or firms were letting people blow off some steam this summer.
For the gents that aren’t so in touch with their delicate sensibilities, this probably sounds awful. Regardless, it beats the hell out of being the office, yeah? And spending over half of your day on Deloitte’s Fantasy Football doesn’t qualify as a substitute.
You may remember that KPMG is letting the troops don their best denim – baggy, skinny, nut huggers – whatever and they also shipped out some sweet flesh that Klynveldians may have burned on over Memorial Day.
So whether your summer consists of extra-casual dress, afternoons at the $5.99 buffet strip club or double-duty on your office’s landscaping, discuss how your firm is helping you enjoy (or not) months 6 through 8.