Anna Barclay, Integrated MAcc Class of 2013
Internship in Paris
KPMG’s Global Internship Program (GIP) is what first attracted me to their firm. Designed to prepare interns for the global economies in which the U.S. participates, the GIP offers a select few the chance to spend four weeks interning at a foreign KPMG office where they are immersed in the culture, language, and business practices of that country.
After accepting my summer internship offer at KPMG New York, I applied for the GIP by submitting my resume, four short essays, and my first choice office. I studied French for nine years but had never been to France, so Paris was an obvious pick. The final round of the selection process was a phone interview with a member of KPMG’s Global Mobility Team. A month after applying, I was ecstatic to hear that I was the only intern selected to go to Paris – all on KPMG’s expense!
While in Paris, I was constantly given work to keep me busy. The KPMG U.S.-Paris Tax desk is a relatively small team of nine, so I worked closely with Senior Managers and even the Partner on a daily basis. We spoke both French and English in the office. Our clients were U.S. entities operating in France or French entities operating in the U.S. or those expanding abroad. We specialized in U.S. tax law, advising clients on reducing tax liabilities and educating them on the tax burdens of foreign operations. My day-to-day activities ranged from preparing tax returns to drafting budgets to researching tax laws for M&A clients.
Living in Paris was much like living in New York. My apartment overlooked the Eiffel Tower and was in a perfect location for shopping and dining. Since I spoke French, I had no trouble communicating with Parisians. I became good friends with one of the associates, so she often took me out to experience Paris nightlife and to improve my French. I visited the Louvre, attended a service at Notre Dame, and even traveled to Belgium!
When I returned to the U.S., I found that Paris had given me more experience working in KPMG’s tax practice than I ever would have attained in New York. In fact, many of the New York interns had no idea what I was talking about when I described the work I did while abroad! The opportunity to go to Paris was invaluable, as I have a better understanding of KPMG, our clients, and what it means to work in a global economy.
The Master of Accounting (MAcc) program significantly impacted my ability to intern at a Big Four accounting firm and complete tasks assigned to me while interning. The challenging coursework required of MAcc students equipped me with a vast amount of prior knowledge on the subjects taught at training, as I was much more familiar with tax law compared to interns from other universities. I felt comfortable analyzing tax codes since I had already done so in class. The MAcc program inarguably gave me an advantage over other interns vying for the same position, whether it was in New York or in Paris for the GIP – and it paid off, too, when I received my full-time offer from KPMG!