Tommy McGrath joined us for his summer apprenticeship. Despite the variable in his overall experience due to how our work environment has changed thanks to COVID, he has been an excellent addition that will be greatly missed when he leaves for his senior year this fall. We asked for his thoughts on how his apprenticeship and life experiences will reflect on what he, and his fellow students, will look for as they enter the workforce:
“As a soon to be college graduate, I have started to think about what my next steps will be. Through the courses I have taken in school, I have acquired skills that will benefit me in my future job. I have been lucky enough to have great summer internships, which give me insight into what a job after school might look like. Through these experiences, I have been able to make connections and learn about technology currently being used. As an accounting student, I have heard stereotypes about the field. One of these stereotypes suggests that accounting is still very old school compared to other modern-day professions. While I have no problem with pen and paper, I believe accounting could be much more appealing to future students if technology and programs were integrated into school courses. My current internship at High Rock Accounting in Scottsdale, Arizona, does this very well. I have learned current programs that an accounting firm uses and the ways technology has been incorporated into the field. As it is with most young adults my age, technology has been an integral part of our lives. We have grown up on laptops and smartphones. When considering future opportunities within the accounting field, I will be looking to see if modern-day technology is being utilized. I believe my experiences at High Rock have equipped me with experience and education that will benefit me greatly wherever I may land after college.
Aside from technology, my current internship at High Rock has also shown me the type of culture I would want. Another recurring accounting stereotype can be the strict expectations that can be associated with working in the field. My coworkers at High Rock are all very professional, but they also love to have fun. There is no strict dress code or verbal filters that someone would expect to see in an accounting office. The team does their jobs and a great job at that. However, they also manage to keep things interesting, something I would want in my future career. Working hard and taking pride in my work to do a good job is important to me, but enjoying my environment is also essential.
As the next generation of accountants, this generation must reveal to employers what we are looking for. Accounting offices may not have to change to meet the applicants’ wants, but small things can make a big difference. As I mentioned earlier, technology is something that every student is familiar with. Having current generation technology in the office is very appealing to students since they use a laptop every day in school. Using a computer each day, students are used to doing things fast and efficiently, which pen and paper cannot keep up with. Another factor is the office environment. It is hard to change the culture immediately, but flexibility is important to students. Employees who are happy with their environment tend to get more work done than take time to fix it.
Ultimately, I am thankful for my experiences thus far for exposing me to the world that is accounting. I am sure that I have only scratched the surface in terms of everything that there is to offer, but I feel like I have a good start. I believe technology and new programs are the future of accounting. I can’t wait to see the advances and changes that come in the future, and how that may change the field.”