Culture Corner: New Minds, New Perspectives (Arie Pesner)
Each month, we usually interview a Richter partner to gain insight into how our leadership finds balance and focus in a demanding job, and what non-technical skills contribute to career success.
However! For the summer, we’re switching it up a bit. For the next few weeks, we will be chatting with our summer interns, to learn more about their experience at Richter, and what working life is like at the very start of their young careers.
This edition features Arie Pesner, an intern in Audit.
You’ve been at Richter for almost one month now, tell us about your experience working here; what have you worked on so far?
I didn’t really know what to expect coming here, as it is my first job in accounting. I’m very happy with how it’s turning out. So far, I’ve worked on two notices and a review, and I am very excited to work on my first audit next week. I will finally get to meet with a client! I was reassured to see that everyone here is very open with the summer interns and eager to help us. I know that I can go to anybody with my questions without feeling like I am bothering them.
What were your expectations for this internship? Is it what you expected or has anything surprised you?
Before the internship started, I was a bit nervous because I haven’t taken an audit class yet and I didn’t know if we would be put with clients or on real files right away. During our first two weeks, we had training sessions to introduce us to all the necessary topics. It was a lot of information in a short period of time, and I didn’t know at first if I would retain it all. However, a lot of it stuck with me, and every time something new comes up, I remember seeing it during training. I think it was helpful and it has made me feel more prepared.
“Honestly, I really love coming here every day! Our training ended before the long weekend in May, and I couldn’t wait to go to work on Tuesday!”
What skills do you wish to get out of the rest of the summer? Any soft skills you want to work on or technical skills you would like to develop?
Obviously, I want to improve my accounting knowledge. I’m really looking forward to working on my first audit file and to put into use what we learnt in training. As for soft skills, I think that meeting with clients and interacting with them will be a perfect way to enhance my communication skills.
What’s been your favorite thing about working at the firm?
Honestly, I really love coming here every day! Our training ended before the long weekend in May, and I couldn’t wait to go to work on Tuesday! We’re a great group of 17 interns and I feel that we are all very close. We help each other out with the files that we are working on. If one of us has a question, we try to solve it within ourselves first. Everybody in the group is going through the same experience and it is very comforting. I really appreciate how nice everyone in the firm–from juniors to partners–has been so far and how they truly want us to succeed.
Another aspect that I like is that interns do rotations during the summer and get to see other types of departments (we all start in audit). For example, I was helping out with U.S. Consulting during the second week of June and in July, I am scheduled to be working with the enterprise group. I do like what I do in audit, but I’m excited to get the opportunity to broaden my experience!
What advice would you give to younger students looking to land an internship at a firm like Richter?
My advice would be to go to any recruitment event that the firm is having and to talk to as many different employees as you can because everyone has had different experiences. At first, I found it a bit intimidating being just a student and going up to talk to so many people, but eventually I got the hang of it. I asked as many questions as possible to make sure I would make the best decision. During recruitment, Richter team members kept saying that the firm was like a family, and now that I have been working here for over a month, I can feel it too. It’s important to go where you feel you fit, and you can only really decide that by talking to the people that work there and seeing if your values correspond to the firm’s.
Every summer, Richter interns are also tasked with organizing charity events to raise money for a cause of their choosing. Can you tell us about these events?
This year we chose to support the Just for Kids Foundation. We organized various events to reach our goal: a bake sale (that turned out to be such a big hit that we had another one in July), a yoga session, a spinning event, a raffle and a silent auction. At the beginning of June, I had some time to work on the fundraising and it was very motivating. I contacted different companies to find out if they would have prizes to donate for the raffle. I feel proud because I’m really helping to put on the events, and I sincerely hope that we raise a lot more money! This whole fundraising project really shows how giving back to the community is important at Richter, and I like that very much about the firm.
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