A Day in a Life of an Intern

September 8, 2021 by Jacob Itzen
Employee Experience

I interviewed and accepted my internship with Copeland in the fall of 2019. My internship lined up with the 2021 busy season leaving me with just over a year of college at UND, which felt like both an eternity as well as the fastest year of my life. After a chaotic year, graduation had finally come, then two short weeks later, I saw myself taking the first step towards my new career.

The first day of my internship felt completely different yet somewhat familiar. I knew I had been in this situation before, but at the same time, it felt even more foreign than I was expecting. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic that had been going on for over a year at this point, we were not actually training within the Copeland Buhl offices. We were, in fact, at the Wayzata Sailing Center. Beginning my internship during this pandemic gave me a bit of worry deep down. There was a multitude of reasons for worry, but at the forefront of all my thoughts, I found myself asking, how will Copeland Buhl handle a challenge such as this pandemic? To overcome these challenges, we utilized Microsoft Teams to help maintain facetime communication and adopting a paperless system for a vast majority of the firm’s projects. Implementing these into the firm’s practices allowed for more remote work once the office occupancy was limited due to the pandemic restrictions. Since witnessing how Copeland handled this situation firsthand, I can confidently say that the team here is well prepared to face any adversity that comes our way.

Within my first six months here, I was exposed to multiple different projects varying between business, individual and nonprofit tax work, interreacting with clients, as well as tax planning. One of the best things about Copeland is the willingness to let interns experience as many different facets of business as possible, including 401k audits, compiling financial statements, and recruiting. One thing that we all do is implement Copeland’s vision, mission, and values into every project that we work on. One of the common things related to this industry that every new intern is well aware of is the amount of work required. Since this was not my first busy season, I was lucky to have had a little bit of an idea as to what I was getting myself into. To my surprise, the way that the team here at Copeland managed the hours was entirely different. Stereotypically during busy season, it is imagined that accountants appear overworked and consume more caffeine than would appear humanly possible, but at Copeland, despite all the work that is done during busy season, the atmosphere in the office never took a downturn. The team is always more than happy to help whenever an issue or a learning experience arises despite the amount of work that we all know is still ahead of us.

All my experiences at Copeland thus far show one common factor, and that factor is the people. It may sound cliché to say that the people are what puts the firm above the rest, but in all reality, it is true. Without the dedicated co-workers putting their best foot forward in every aspect every day, Copeland would not have a unique fingerprint. Anyone can prepare a tax return, but it takes a special group of people to provide a quality experience to both their clients as well as their co-workers while still providing a pristine end product. Overall, after six months of being a part of the Copeland Buhl team, I am continuing to learn new skills and make new connections through my many hardworking co-workers. Because of this every day I show up to the office eager and ready to contribute in any way possible.