Finance and Accounting intern on her way to NYC
Since 2016, UF’s Division of Finance and Accounting has been offering fall and spring internships to students pursuing accounting, finance or related majors at UF, and in 2018, the program expanded to include students at Santa Fe. The internships involve accounting, financial reporting, process improvement and compliance projects designed to implement or improve best practices in each area.
Janelle Barghout is one of the division’s current interns. A junior pursuing her bachelor’s in business administration with a major in finance and a minor in accounting, Barghout is interested in understanding the complex dynamics that drive the world of finance and pushing the financial industry to new and exciting places.
She has completed a year-long internship so far, starting out with the Asset Management team, where she assisted in financial reporting, developed internal control narratives for review by the auditor general, revitalized business processes, analyzed data from sales and inventory reports, and processed related deposits over $100,000.
“With strong writing and communications skills, Janelle is uniquely talented as an accountant,” said Assistant Controller Ryan Parris, one of Barghout’s supervisors. “While we knew how skilled she was coming in, she has still managed to exceed our expectations.”
Early on, Barghout expressed an interest in process improvement, so when UF accountant Emily Moran told Parris she was looking for an intern to help with a major website redesign project, Parris told her about Barghout, as much as he didn’t want to lose her.
“Your supervisors are always looking for opportunities for you,” said Barghout. “They’re always on your side, helping you develop professionally and grow and providing opportunities in your areas of interest.”
The internship provides students with access and opportunities similar to that of a large accounting firm. They get to apply what they’re learning in the classroom to their responsibilities in the office, which Barghout says she has found invaluable.
“I have grown a lot,” she said. “It’s very different when learning something in the classroom vs. in an internship setting.”
Barghout will graduate from UF in spring 2020. In the meantime, she’s headed to a global management consulting company in New York City called Protiviti for an internship this summer, where she will collaborate with team members to deliver client solutions for complex business problems and practice meaningful consulting work. She credits her F&A internship, and specifically the experience writing internal control narratives, with helping her to secure a spot at Protiviti.
“Janelle is fabulous,” said supervisor Moran. “We are really lucky to have her and such great interns in general. It’s really about them and what’s going to help them in the future.”
Barghout plans to return to her F&A internship in the fall, much to the team’s delight. Many, though not all, students continue their internships through graduation. The time commitment is eight to 16 hours per week, with the understanding that school comes first.
Accountant Sherry Adams, who also supervised Barghout in Asset Management, has a piece of advice for the aspiring accountant as she advances in her career to her ultimate goal of becoming a chief financial officer someday:
“Work hard and enjoy it, but don’t forget to play hard, too.”
Learn more about the F&A internship program at: http://www.fa.ufl.edu/controller/student-interns/