Interning in Adelaide, Australia

During the month of July, I participated in Ernst & Young’s Global Student Experience program and completed a tax internship in Adelaide, Australia. Through the GSE program, I was sent to Adelaide with just one other intern and, having never heard of the city before, I didn’t quite know what to expect; however, it ended up being a perfect fit.  

While at the office, my work differed in both content and scope from what I had done in Dallas during my 10-week winter internship. In Dallas, I worked almost exclusively in the Private Client Services department conducting the first level review of 1040’s for high net worth individuals. However, as the Adelaide office is significantly smaller than Dallas (think 200 employees as compared to 2,000) work regularly flowed between departments based on who had excess capacity. I therefore had the opportunity to work in several new areas, including provisions, R&D, and advisory.  

However, the main difference I noted between Dallas and Adelaide was the unspoken emphasis on work life balance. Unlike in the Dallas office, people rarely work through lunch or much over eight hours in a day. In fact, even during busy season close to half of the entire tax department (upwards of 15 people) would gather in the break room for lunch to sit together and chat, and the lights in the office dim at 6:00 pm to encourage people to go home. 

Outside of the office I filled my nights and weekends to the absolute max. I road tripped around Kangaroo Island, held a koala at Cleland Wildlife Park, went skydiving in Sydney, and snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef in Cairns. I even met a fellow employee who had visited TCU while studying abroad at UT and ended up showing me local favorites all around the city!

Overall, I loved the work I did and adventures I had, but the friends I made in and out of the office were what made my experience in Adelaide unforgettable. As an accounting student having gone through the recruiting process, I have heard firms and students talk about “international opportunities” more times than I can count. However, having participated in the GSE I now know that these experiences are real and truly life changing. I look forward to continuing my career with Ernst & Young following my completion of the MAc program and hope to return to the Adelaide for full-time employment in the future.


Marissa Helf