My Intern Hustle: Brady R., University of Wisconsin-Madison

Accounting and Finance Internships

April 10th is National Siblings Day and I figured what better way to celebrate than by highlighting my brother, Brady, and his Intern Hustle story. I’m a proud sister, and honored that Brady let me feature him as the very first #myinternhustle blog post on theinternhustle.com. If you are a college student interested in accounting and finance internships, this one’s for you.

Name: Brady Rein

Education: University of Wisconsin-Madison, BBA in Accounting: 2013 & Masters in Accounting: 2014

Did you have a dream job or specific career path in mind when you started college? If yes, what was it?

Coming into college, I did not have a specific dream job in mind; however, I did know that I wanted to set myself up for a career that could be both successful and flexible. With accounting and finance being the language of business, I was confident that a solid foundation in one or both of these disciplines would be a great launching pad.

What internship(s) were a part of your Intern Hustle?

Accounting and Finance Internships:

  • June – July 2010: Investors Advisory Group – Financial Advising Internship
  • January 2011 – August 2014: UW-Madison Athletics Business Office – Accounting and Finance internship/job
  • January 2013 – March 2013: EY – Assurance Intern

How did you get your internship(s)?

When I was a freshman in college, I was still exploring the differences in accounting, finance, and personal finance. I reached out to my professors to inquire about accounting and finance internships and was told I wouldn’t be able to get an internship, since they were primarily offered to students in their junior year. The traditional, structured route didn’t seem to work, so I began reaching out to my network — friends, family, friends of family, etc. Networking and persistence paid off and helped me land my first two internships. These experiences early on in college helped me (i) learn which major I’d be most interested in pursuing and (ii) stand out when interviewing for subsequent internships/jobs.

Name the top three highlights from your Intern Hustle.

  1. The people I met along the way. Interning with really bright and like-minded individuals led to amazing friendships and professional networks. These relationships have already helped my fiancee and I transition to new roles/jobs this past year.
  2. Exposure to high-profile clients. If there’s one way to make the textbook come to life, it was working on engagements and clients that I was reading about all the time in the news and WSJ.
  3. The money. While I worked a lot of hours during my EY internship, it paid off (literally). I knew I’d be paying my own way for my Masters, and making some money, in addition to gaining quality experiences, was really helpful in avoiding student loans.

What is one of the biggest challenges you faced during an internship and what did you learn from it?

During my EY internship, I worked with a variety of different engagement teams and on a variety of different clients. While I enjoyed most of the clients and teams, there was a particular situation that made the day-to-day work pretty miserable. I quickly learned that everyone’s experience at the firm wasn’t the same, and that I needed to be intentional about trying to get on a team I enjoyed and on a client and industry that interested me. Essentially, I needed to be my biggest advocate and driver for my own career development. My negative experience motivated me to stay in touch with engagement teams that I enjoyed and allowed me to return to these great teams when I started full-time with the firm a year and a half later.

What is the most unexpected skill you gained from an internship?

Learning to be comfortable with being uncomfortable. Depending on the internship, you can get thrown into the fire pretty quickly. While it can be intimidating at first, I realized that situations that force you out of your comfort zone allow you to grow the most, personally and professionally.

What internship advice do you have for college students?

Start right away and don’t just follow the herd or the school’s recommended timeline. If I waited until my junior year for my first internship (like most students), I would have missed out on early experiences that not only shaped which major I chose, but also set me up for success down the road. Without experience, it’s normal to not know exactly what you want to do when you first get to school. Being intentional about getting internship experiences early on helps ensure you can make the right choice at the right time.

Did your desired career path shift at all based on your internship experience(s)? If yes, in what way?

Yes, my first internship was in the financial planning industry, as I’ve always had a passion for personal finance. While the interest still remains, I learned that I wanted more exposure to corporate finance and large corporate clients. My first internship experience helped refine my choice for a major and ultimately led me to accounting.

Were you offered a job as a result of your Intern Hustle? Tell us about it!

Yes. The Big Four accounting firms have a formal internship program that leads to a full-time offer if you perform well. I received and accepted an offer at the conclusion of my internship. While I still had my Masters year and CPA exams ahead, it was nice to know I had a job lined up for post-graduation.

And for the final question…What’s your party trick?

I perform my 6th grade rap titled “I got game”.

(As Brady’s sister, I can attest to this. His rap game in 6th grade was on point.)

If you’re interested in learning more about EY’s accounting and finance internships, you can check out their website here.

Do you have a #myinternhustle story to share? Or do you know someone else who does? Email me and I’ll send you the details on how you can apply to be featured.

The #myinternhustle story of Brady, a University of Wisconsin-Madison grad, featuring his lessons learned from multiple accounting and finance internships. #internship #intern #accountinginternship #careerpath #careeradvice #collegestudent #college #uwmadison

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