A day at the IRS, with Alex

I am a junior at Rutgers University in New Jersey majoring in economics with minors in math and political science.  My interests include macro and microeconomic issues that affect the domestic and international economies and how they influence governmental policy.  After I graduate and earn my B.A. I want to begin my career path in the public service sector. Later in my professional career I want to transition to the private financial services.  Along the way I want to pursue a graduate degree; however, until I am certain about the specific career I want to obtain the debate whether to pursue an MBA or MA/MS will continue.  Currently, for the spring 2013 semester I am studying at the Washington Internship Institute one day a week in Washington D.C.  During the rest of the week I intern full time with the Internal Revenue Service in the Office of the Chief Financial Officer.  In addition, I study and research in the various libraries for my classes and the research paper I am writing for Rutgers University in order to gain course credit.

Being that my typical day as an intern is new and exciting I look forward to the experiences each day has to offer. Usually, I wake up at about 6 a.m. and quickly join the hustle of the DC commute on the Metrobus and Metrorail.  When I enter the office usually around 7:20, I first proceed by checking my email to organize my schedule of meetings and work tasks assigned.  Afterwards I meet each of my co-workers at their cubicles to have a little discussion and ask questions about any of the emails they have sent me. I may ask if there is anything I can assist with if I happen to not have anything to work on.  No matter how simple or complicated the task, I try to accept them all even if I am currently busy. I feel that this is necessary so I can show my co-workers that I am eager to learn and can take on responsibility.  I forgot to mention one crucial part of my morning, coffee, without it I would be in a daze and not prepared for the challenges a waiting the moment I step in the office. 

On Tuesdays there is usually an hour-long staff meeting in a conference room where I sit in and my business unit discusses their game plan for the day and week ahead.  I make sure to always take a notepad and pen with me to any sort of meeting or when I am talking with a co-worker.  Your co-workers want you to ask questions, it is expected of you as an intern, and without doing so you cannot learn and gain invaluable firsthand experience.  At the conclusion of the staff meeting I head back to my cubicle and begin the work I was assigned.  Thus far, my work has consisted of creating quarterly budget reports in excel and revising and editing memos. I am also assisting the audit liaison in following up on provided by client (PBC) deliverables that the Financial Management division is responsible for providing to the Government Accountability Office (GAO) in accordance with our yearly audit, and I have begun to review the Unpaid Assessment Estimation process procedures in order to assist the group’s statistician.

At lunch time I grab another cup of coffee to give myself a short break or occasionally eat lunch with a professional in my office to learn more about their career path.  At the conclusion of the work day I make sure to say goodbye to my boss and other co-workers.  Directly from work I try to have at least one to two networking meetings set up a week to meet with professionals to help expand my network and gain invaluable insight to different careers and opportunities.  I am always looking for a networking opportunity or just an informational conversation with a professional during my daily commute.