by Sam Young, marketing intern & junior marketing major, Mike Cottrell College of Business
Senior accounting major Mallory Ellis wanted to determine what type of accounting would be the best fit for her. This summer, she’s spent time at the North American Mission Board to see if nonprofit accounting could be in her future.
What made you interested in doing this internship?
I wanted to see what accounting is really like outside of the classroom. I have enjoyed my accounting classes at UNG, but I have always heard that accounting work is very different from accounting in school. I also wanted to see if nonprofit accounting would be a good fit for me. The main reason I choose to intern with the North American Mission Board (NAMB) is that I am passionate about its mission. I wanted to commit my time and talents to an organization that is devoted to a cause so important to me. NAMB seemed to be the perfect fit.
How did you get your internship?
Every year our school’s chapter of Beta Alpha Psi holds an accounting career reception. Last fall I went to the reception and had the opportunity to speak with someone from NAMB. I followed up via email and learned how I could apply to be a summer intern. I visited NAMB in January, interviewed, and got the position.
What is your role?
I have an interesting role because I am working with almost every team within NAMB’s financial services department. This is a neat opportunity because I am able to learn about various accounting functions and see how they fit together. So far I have been processing incoming checks with the accounts receivable team, creating invoices with the accounts payable team, and journalizing transactions with the general ledger team. In the coming weeks I will get to work with other teams, such as budgeting.
What skills have you learned in your classes that could be applied to your internship?
Skills I’ve learned in my classes at UNG that have helped me be successful here include finding and correcting my own mistakes, solving problems quickly, working in groups, utilizing helpful criticism from others, and writing effectively. One skill that has been essential has been the ability to learn from people. In the classroom I learned how to be flexible and adapt to various teaching styles, and I do the same thing in my internship. My knowledge of accounting has been very useful and allows me to see the big picture, but what has been more important in accomplishing the work I’m given is being an attentive learner and a hard worker.
What skills have you learned in the position and how could you work on them for the future?
I am learning how to ask questions and take the initiative to learn, how to cooperate with other departments, how to stay organized when working with many different teams, and how to be flexible with my time. I am also learning about what to do and what not to do in an office. I will continue to work on these skills by emulating those around me who are more experienced in these abilities. I will also ask questions and be open to new challenges.
How has your internship prepared you for post-graduation?
My internship will help me decide if I’d enjoy a career in nonprofit accounting. I’m also learning essential “soft” skills that I will be able to use in any place that I work.
What tips do you have for other students looking to get an internship?
Be proactive. Talk to people. It may not come naturally to you; that’s okay. A great way to practice this is to get involved with an on-campus organization that will give you opportunities to network. Take advantage of these while you are in school and they are easy to find. Ask your professors about internship opportunities and be sure to welcome their advice. Also, don’t assume that other people are going to get the internship instead of you; pursue the internship with confidence. Be willing to put in the effort to follow up with people. I am glad that I pursued this internship!