Careers Blog

A Day in the Life of Michael - 2018 Tax Intern

A Day in the Life of Michael - 2018 Tax Intern

Michael J Williams
Pittsburgh Tax Intern

7:00AM – Wake Up, Time to Get Ready: I wake up every morning to three alarms, 6:30AM, 6:45AM, and 7:00AM. Before I go to bed, I get my clothes ready to decrease the hassle of running around and ironing my clothing. I take a nice COLD shower to increase alertness; it’s a nice trick I learned a few years ago and it has been a part of my mornings ever since. I eat a banana, toast, baby carrot sticks, and drink water to keep me energized. I live very close to Herbein, so my commute is about 8-10 minutes on a normal day.

8:30AM – Thinking Cap On, Sleepy Face Off: I love interning at Herbein, so when I arrive in the office I am always smiling. I place my jacket in my locker, start my computer, and immediately check my email. I usually reply to emails ASAP; however, I am such a fan of face-to-face interaction I would rather reply by following up with an in-person visit to the sender’s office/area. Once I am caught up to speed, I plan my day based on priority of returns, difficulty, and how much information I have on it.

12:00PM – Water and Mental Break: As an intern, I operate a bit different than most of the team members. I drink water all throughout the day and would snack on small granola bars. I would ask the Administrative team if they would need help moving anything or assembling any returns that are ready to go out. Though it is work, it’s a quick break from the norm. It proves to be very beneficial to give my mind a rest from the computer monitor.

12:30PM – Back to the Nitty Gritty: I follow up with the managers on any open item list that I may have sent them over the course of the internship so I can get the return to them for review. If it all is cleared, I immediately ask for a new return to start on. I absolutely love to learn new things and get my hands on new information—no matter the difficulty. That is the fun behind doing a return: Everyone is different and based off the prior year’s notes, they all have different filing requirements or accommodations.

3:30PM – Still Trucking Through the Day: By this time, I am usually through my third return and eager to start the next one. Before I ever give a return to be reviewed, I do a self-review to make sure everything is accounted for – pun intended. I have been doing returns that would be discouraging to me when I first started. It’s about having understanding that not every return will be simple or perfect. The supervisors, managers, and partners assure you that is okay to mess up and that they are happy we can learn from our mistakes and make sure to correct them so we can know what to do going forward in the case of a similar situation.

5:00PM – Leaving for Lunch and Class: I make my way to get a late lunch near my school which is only across the downtown area. I eat for about 30 minutes and use the other 30 minutes to decompress and think about my day and make a mental schedule. Since I am involved in a plethora of different clubs and programs outside of school, I tend to have a very busy schedule. I am fortunate to be able to leave early in the day or tell the managers I will not be able to make it when I have an event at school or need time to study for an exam/project.

6:00PM – Academia: Every Tuesday and Wednesday I have class from 6PM-9PM. I get all my homework done over the week, bus rides, or while I eat lunch before class. I am the Treasurer of Point Park University’s Student Accounting Association and we are always busy figuring out new things to do to increase our presence at school and the city. Thursdays and some weekends, we have meetings where we invite CPA prep course reps and various companies to come in and speak with the students. We created a small business that is held in the lobby of our business department building that sells coffee, healthy snacks, and info cards about our club.

9:00PM – Return to the Returns: With Herbein being so flexible, I can work at the hours that fit best to my schedule. I like to volunteer and do a plethora of extracurricular activities, with the hours being able to fit my schedule, I can use it to my benefit. Once class is over, I make my way back to Herbein to finish up some work and prepare myself for the next day. Along with myself, there is always the usual few that remain there to finish work because the ball never stops rolling. I may decide to stay for an hour to finish up things and send out my emails and double check my open items list. When I make it home I help myself to a quick meal, lay out my clothes, and enough time to watch a few shows on Netflix, then off to bed I go.

Michael J Williams
Pittsburgh Tax Intern
Point Park University