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
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.