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Accounting

Are you good at what you do? What would you like to be better at.

I am an accountant.  Well, technically, I am still a student but my major is accounting and I plan on charging head first into the realm of public accounting after graduation.  It is a scary thought that I have roughly a year and a half left of school and then I transform into an adult.  And to be honest, I’m not really good at accounting.

Accounting is quite difficult and not as boring as the media plays it out to be.  Rather, it’s a very complex game of Sudoku (and a little cat and mouse) to me.  In Sudoku, each number is positioned with the utmost care and there has to be a reason why you put the number where you placed it.  Similarly, in accounting, each number you see on the financial statements represents something and is placed where it is for a reason (with the exception of plug numbers… they’re just plugs).  Now, I’m very skilled in Sudoku, but accounting?  Not so much.

The difference between accounting and Sudoku is that Sudoku is all about the numbers.  Accounting factors in more than just numbers.  It is a business job and in business, you need class and confidence.  These two things are gained through experience and practice.

I’m not perfect and I do not come from a family of business people.  But I am learning how to eat properly, order wine, compose business emails, perfect my resume and cover letters, create business cards, dress for success, make small talk, etc. etc… While I have all of those checked off, I am still missing one thing-

Golf.

I cannot play golf, I do not understand golf, I do not speak golf.

Golf is THE business sport and I know nothing but Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson.  Of course golfing is not a necessary skill to have to succeed in accounting, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt to play!

In all seriousness though, I still have a long way to go before I can say I am confident in what I do.  In terms of technical skills, I am glad that I will have training with the firm I work at.  And everything else?  Well, there is something called mistakes and we learn best from those.  Plus, I am constantly networking to practice for the real thing.  😉

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Sorting Out Confusion

Tomorrow is an important day for me- my first one-on-one with an associate.  I am not really sure how I pulled this off- but somehow I landed myself an office tour and a lunch meeting with KPMG.  This is typical of my life though, uncalled for and random events that throw me in a doozy.

However, do not get me wrong- I may be doozy and just a little bit queasy in the stomach and head, but I am on cloud 9.  There are no words to describe how happy I am to have this opportunity to interact with a firm that I am so madly in love with (the crazy accountant in me just said that…).  For the past couple of days, since I set up this date, I’ve been pushing this moment to the side, afraid to even think about everything from what shoes I should wear to what I should say.

Now, usually I am a moderately confident person.  But a simple meeting with a Big 4 is enough to throw my confidence out the window.  I am so nervous because THIS is my time to impress, to show them who I am.  And honestly, I’ve never experienced one of these “lunch with an associate” or “office tours with meet and greet with partners and managers.”  Even as I am typing this post, my head is running wild with thoughts and my heart with nervousness.  I can’t help but think, what if I shake their hands too hard?, what if I say something awkward?, what if I get salad stuck in my teeth?, what if I eat too fast?, what if I forget to ask for cards?, what if I don’t have any questions?

The more I think I about tomorrow, the more I work up my heart and my brain… so I really shouldn’t be panicking.  But this is exactly what I felt before I interviewed with KPMG a couple of months ago.  This whole cycle is starting again- and I can’t tell you why KPMG makes me THIS nervous.  It’s like I want to be perfect, absolutely perfect, for them.  At the same time, I know that I can’t be a perfect candidate, no one can.  All I can be is… well, prepared.

I am going to make the best of my opportunity tomorrow and just relax.  And most importantly, I have to go prepared.  That is the key- and it helped me out last time, so hopefully it will help me out this time as well.  I never stop; once I put myself in a situation, I go forward with it and challenge the outcome.  Tomorrow is just another test for me, in my path to my career.  If I pass, then great!  If not, then I can move on- opportunities are experiences as well.

My outfit is already prepared: gray short-sleeved business casual dress, black stockings, black close-toed heels, and a white Guess bag.  I did not think a full-on business attire was necessary… so I went for an outfit that was casual but meant business at the same time.  And stockings are always a nice touch, but I have to wear stockings tomorrow because my legs would be mad ugly if anyone saw them… I went in the woods yesterday and little bugs and mosquitos made a feast out of my legs… Not to mention the weather is sooooo hot these days, making my business pants impossible to wear.

Wish me luck tomorrow as I experience my first lunch with an associate… and meet and greet with the partners and managers.  They prepared for me to come, so I need to be on the same page.  I must focus and relax.  This is what I wanted, this is (one of) the moments I have been waiting for.  I might as well just have fun with it- for all I know my tense aura could easily make tomorrow awkward.

But seriously though, at this point…

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Yesterday was my first day at work… and I mean… work. This is not silly teenager work… this is adult work.  If you don’t know, I am an accounting major so I started my first accounting internship yesterday… and hopefully I’ll be interning there for at least 6 months.  Any who, yesterday was just crazy- and it all started at 2 am…

The night before Friday I went to bed early in hopes that I would wake up refreshed and ready to go- all was good until someone in my building across from me started blasting music at 2 in the morning (the guy even blasted Gangnam Style at 3 am… and noraebanged with himself).

So, with the disruption, I didn’t quite wake up refreshed.  Actually, I woke up later than I expected and had no time to have breakfast.  I only had time to grab a bagel and ate as I walked… I was planning on finishing my bagel before I got on the bus… but the bus came as I was nomming.  Then, the bus machine wasn’t taking my $5.00 bill… that was just awkward having the whole bus stare at me while I was trying to shove a $5 bill into the machine… and holding a messy bagel.  The driver didn’t help- and he told me no eating on the bus.  I was seriously… seriously… going to smack him with my bagel.

(heehee… I secretly ate the bagel on the bus though O_O)

But as I was on the bus, this lady in front of me kept glaring at me from head to toe.  I gave her my “wtf-woman-don’t-you-dare-give-me-that-shit” look but she stared on.  It was scary… I didn’t even do anything to her!

Finally I got off of that bus and transferred to my next bus.  All was fine (very hot and sweaty though) until all these high school students came on to the bus.  I was stuffed… I could barely move because the bus was packed… packed.

I was so happy to finally have reached my destination… only I was an hour and a half early.  So I chilled on the park bench listening to music.

So, now to the work part:

Well, to be honest, when my boss started introducing me to the type of work I would have to do, I was kind of in shock… because a lot was getting thrown at me… my brain was not ready.  As the day went on, my brain adjusted better- but it was still a lot of info for me to handle all in one work day.  My boss was most worried about me understanding how to read the 990 and audits but those were actually fairly easy to me.  Rather, I had a more difficult time trying to understand how to work the email system… To some degree, I can work with computers… but to the other degree (?) I have a hard time looking at anything besides a mac computer (I had a hard time understanding a mac when I first transitioned from windows to mac).

But yah… pretty much… it’s like an adult job.  Oh, and I have to wear business casual attire to work every week… which means I have to get more business casual wear and I have to sweat in business casual every week- not looking forward to this.

It definitely felt strange to be thrown in the adult world so quickly.  One minute, I am a sophomore still in college… and the next minute, I am a grown-up working.  It’s scary to have to grow up so quickly… I’ve been on my own before and that kind of made me grow up… but it’s a different type of growing up.  Working… is not like college.  Working is not like having a part-time job.  Adult work is just… different and it’s hard to accept at first.  Especially since I am only a sophomore, I don’t feel ready to grow up yet.  I don’t think I’ll feel ready in 2 years either… but sometimes life throws you hard balls and you just deal.

Starting my internship has made me realize how fast time flies and that it’s time for me to grow up.  I simply can’t be a child anymore.  As much as I enjoy 유치 things… I need to change.  No one told me this, but when you’re an accounting major, things move fast, faster than any other major.  To keep with the pace, you just have to keep pushing through.

I am not looking forward to being grown up- so many responsibilities attached… and it’s just tiring.  But I don’t have a choice, do I?  I chose this path… and I have to accept all the challenges that I am presented and push through them.  It’s just the way things are.

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There are times when I believe I am a fashion designer instead of an accountant.  I constantly have this inner conflict about whether or not I made the right decision… for my future.  Since I was a child (and I mean… child as in I didn’t even start school yet), I’ve been drawing human figures. My drawings started out odd and disproportionate, but over the years, they have developed greatly. 

In the fourth grade, I decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer.  I simply enjoyed sketching designs and making clothes.  I spent hours at a time drawing figure after figure, clothing after clothing.  When I was older, I even cut out NYC Fashion Week photos from the newspaper and collected fashion magazines to look at in my free time.  During school, I spent my lunch hours in the library sketching my next design.  Fashion was so amazing to me.

However, my parents thought it was so silly for me to want to be a fashion designer.  Even my sister thought it was ridiculous; I told her when I first decided that I wanted to be a fashion designer and she told my parents because she wanted to see their reaction.  It hurt to have my family laugh at something that I loved so much.  I argued with them about this because I hated that they didn’t support me at all- fashion designing was my dream since I was in elementary school.  To some degree, I grew apart from my family over this… they kept telling me that I would never get a job if I went into design.

Despite my love for fashion designing, I realized that what they said was right- the world of fashion design is very difficult to break through.  Did I really want to spend my youth pushing and pushing to make myself stand out from all of the other 980709871069807096897 fashion designer newbs out there?  Especially since I’ve always wanted to start a family before 30, fashion designing would hold back that dream.

And so I let go of fashion designing.

In my senior year of high school, I heard that some people in my year were going to fashion school- and to be honest, it pissed me off when they would say “I’m going to fashion school because I love fashion and I have great fashion sense so I want to share that with other people.”  That’s no reason to go to fashion school- seriously, just because they have no other skills but dolling themselves up???  And I may not be a qualified person to judge… but their figure sketches sucked… how can a designer design quality clothes on a figure that isn’t even drawn correctly? 

I am currently getting my accounting degree and it’s not like I don’t enjoy the subject… it’s just that my mind likes to think, what would have happened if I went to fashion school?  My life would be so different than it is now and that’s strange to think about… I would have different people in my life, a different lifestyle, a different personality, different experiences, different skills, etc. etc. 

Two years ago, my sister started medical school and she asked me to draw sheets and sheets of human figures for her to use as diagrams of the human body to study from.

A couple of weeks ago, when my parents were helping me move-in, my mom found my fashion sketches that I stored in one of the boxes and commented that it would have been nice for me to be a fashion designer if the field wasn’t so difficult to get into. 

Sometimes, I wish I could have believed in myself more.

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