Culture Corner: New minds, new perspectives (Jack Bradshaw)What’s working life like for our summer interns?
Each month, our HR Manager Paula Fernandes usually interviews 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 months, Paula 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 month features Jack Bradshaw, a returning intern in our Restructuring practice.
Paula Fernandes (PF): You’ve been at Richter for almost three months now, tell us about your experience working here; what have you worked on so far this year
Jack Bradshaw (JB): The past three months have been a fantastic experience because it really feels like the Richter team is trying to involve me in client work and help me make the most of my time here. I have been able to assist the restructuring team with business development, creating a teaser and preparing financial statements for a sales process, and running the tail end of a receivership. I have been given a lot of autonomy within the group, which has given me the opportunity to learn and practice my skills as a professional.
PF: You also interned with us last summer, how has this year compared with last year? What was it about Richter/your last experience that made you want to return again this summer?
JB: Last year was more of a learning experience for me; it was my first “office job” and I spent the first month or so getting acclimated to the environment, helping out with research, and understanding the ins and outs of restructuring. However, it wasn’t all introductory. I gained valuable experience in the second half of the summer when I was able to work on-site for a few different clients.
What I enjoyed most about my internship last year was the sense of trust within the team. Even though I was inexperienced, my colleagues ensured that I always had challenging work, which made me feel like an asset to the team. I had the chance to work with each member of the Restructuring group, and I believe working in a smaller team allowed me to prove my worth and make more meaningful connections compared to what I might have experienced at a large firm.
That familiarity and trust was what led me to come back for a second internship. It was obvious the team felt the same way I did, as I was pulled out of an orientation meeting during our first week to lend a hand with a client file. Once again I’ve had the chance to work on a number of files with different members of the team, and have even been able to assist our Montreal office with one of their clients.
PF: What’s been your favorite thing about working at the firm so far?
JB: My favourite thing about working for Richter is the amazing team. Everyone has been approachable, helpful, and welcoming, and the entire firm has really gone out of its way to ensure that the interns are integrating well. I always feel like I can ask any of my colleagues a question and I have been able to learn a lot from their expertise.
Part of what makes the team so great is the balance between their work and personal lives. Everyone has interesting hobbies or passions, and it makes for a unique and diverse group to work with. It’s enjoyable working with people who are not only talented at their work, but can share stories about their talents and experiences outside the office.
PF: What do you hope 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?)
JB: I hope to continue to gain an understanding of restructuring law and receivership processes, as well as practice analyzing financial information. While I’ve been able to learn a lot over my two summers here I believe I can continue to improve my skills, and l look forward to honing them through exposure to more clients.
In regards to soft skills, I would like to develop my ability to communicate concisely. In my role, I have to speak with a variety of people to resolve a range of problems, and the ability to summarize one’s thoughts and make a clear point is crucial for moving towards solutions. Communication skills are applicable in any environment, and I hope to improve mine by the end the summer.
PF: What advice would you give to younger students looking to land an internship at a firm like Richter?
JB: I think that an issue for many students – and something that I’ve struggled with in the past – is the fear of taking a risk. It can be intimidating applying to a professional firm. Students will stress over the details of their résumé, how to act in an interview, or even how to approach someone at a networking event. The pressure to succeed is ingrained for many students, which creates a fear of failure. Many people miss out on opportunities because they won’t even submit an application in fear of getting rejected, but you not only rob yourself of the chance to land a job, you also lose the opportunity to learn. Each failure or rejection is a moment to re-evaluate. Maybe in one networking event you had trouble carrying a conversation, or maybe you talked too much and annoyed the professional you were speaking with. By having these experiences, you can improve yourself and have a greater chance of succeeding in the future.
When I applied to Richter for the internship last year, I didn’t know if I would get it. I didn’t know if I was the most qualified applicant, or the smartest, or the most experienced, but it didn’t matter. I interviewed with the belief that I could make a difference at this firm, and I was rewarded with an offer. So submit that application, go to that networking event, send that prospective email. Don’t wait for an opportunity to present itself at your feet, create the opportunities for yourself.
About Richter : Founded in Montreal in 1926, Richter is a licensed public accounting firm that provides assurance, tax and wealth management services, as well as financial advisory services in the areas of organizational restructuring and insolvency, business valuation, corporate finance, litigation support, and forensic accounting. Our commitment to excellence, our in-depth understanding of financial issues and our practical problem-solving methods have positioned us as one of the most important independent accounting, organizational advisory and consulting firms in the country. Richter has offices in both Toronto and Montreal. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.