Interning the hb&k Way
By: Kate Thigpen
In 2012, I had the opportunity to spend a semester as an intern at hb&k. Since then, I’ve enjoyed working closely with all our groups of interns as they come and go. Our internship program provides you with a valuable tax preparation and research experience, coupled with developing lasting relationships with our team.
We’ve worked for years to continuously improve our intern process to make both training and tax preparation as efficient and streamlined as possible. Often, application of the concepts you’ve learned in school is what will teach you how to be effective at tax work, and our internship is the perfect opportunity to make that happen.
The hb&k Process
Making the jump from the classroom to real-world tax work can be intimidating. Although you likely learned about individual and possibly corporate taxation in school, we understand if you have not absorbed it and know it backwards and forwards. Often, this is the first time you’ve actually completed tax work. To get you ready, we teach you the hb&k firm-wide processes, how you fit into it, AND how to use the software that brings it all together.
As an intern, you will receive conceptual training in a group setting so you can bounce questions and ideas off one another as you learn. Our processes are all dependent on using computers because we are a paper-free firm. Luckily, if you’re like me and grew up using computers, learning how to use a new application should not be intimidating. We’ll help you understand what you’re using it for – you just need to be able to adapt and learn the functionality of the software.
We expect you to have questions and want to see you succeed by providing you with the necessary and continuous training and resources to do so.
Team Up with a Coach
Once you’ve been introduced to our tax process, software applications, and shown how to prepare a tax return, we pair you up with a coach. You will prepare a mock tax return on your own with your coach as a guide to answer questions if you get stuck. After all interns have completed the mock return, everyone comes back together to discuss and go over any lingering questions.
Your relationship with your coach is an important part of your time at hb&k. While any seasoned hb&ker will be willing to answer questions and help you, your coach will know you best and be able to guide you through any tough situations.
Coaches often encourage you with surprises on your desk and take you to lunch or coffee. You will meet with your coach every other week during the season to discuss performance and areas where you excel or can improve.
What is it like to Prepare?
Throughout the internship, you will pull work from our virtual database of assignments as you become available for tasks. The tax returns you prepare will go through two levels of review before it gets filed. Like turning in an assignment at school, if a reviewer finds errors in your work, they will leave you notes regarding what was wrong and how to fix it. It’s from this feedback that you will learn and grow to be a strong preparer.
One of the most exciting things is that even as an intern, you are working on real-life clients. You are not running errands or getting coffee for staff. You get to do research and come up with solutions to best fit the client’s situation. Some interns even work on multi-state or international tax returns.
Apply to Join Us!
Participating in an internship program is extremely important. It gives you the chance to be sure this is the right career for you, provides you with the real-life experience that you won’t learn from your classroom, and lets you determine if the firm you’re interning with is the right fit for you.
In addition to tax internships, we offer Audit and Client Advisory Services internships as well. In each of these departments, you will receive hands on training and ongoing assistance throughout your internship. If you or someone you know would be interested in interning with us, please contact us for more information by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.