Where one door closes, another opens. Or maybe the same door opens twice.
For many NWU students last spring, internships and other forms of experiential learning were cut short due to the initial rise of COVID-19. However, for junior accounting student Livia Wilhelm, she is getting a second opportunity to finish what she started.
In January 2020, Wilhelm, a junior accounting student, began as a tax intern with SP Group P.C., an accounting firm located in Lincoln. Having connections to several professionals within the organization, Wilhelm was eager to land a position working with the small, local business. The internship was supposed to continue through tax season ending around April 15; however, it was ended abruptly in March.
The uncertainty and disappointment of the internship quickly ending prematurely was a challenge Wilhelm had to overcome. The junior from Syracuse, Nebr. explains, “The internship continued for a very short period after spring break until they made the decision that interns would be sent home without returning as there was a lot of unknowns about what was going to happen.”
During her first internship experience with SP Group P.C. last year, Wilhelm learned about the organization’s value of relationships that spanned across clients and coworkers. Mentors even took students under their wings to help them reach their future goals with offering advice and even helping them to make more connections within the firm.
“While COVID concluded with the interns having to leave early, they still proved to truly believe in maintaining a good relationship through clear communication and support which eventually resulted in the opportunity to return to the firm,” she describes.
This spring, Wilhelm’s role as a tax intern is to complete individual tax returns. Interns are invited into weekly informational meetings as well as company outings like bowling nights. Since returning this tax season, Wilhelm has also picked up other tasks such as helping businesses with their QuickBooks accounts in addition to the tax returns.
Given a second chance to work with this local firm, Wilhelm has created even
more connections in the accounting world alongside gaining a real-world experience in the profession.
“It provided me with numerous mentors to help me reach my future goals such as decisions about continuing education and the CPA exam,” she reflects, “as well as help me decide if I want work in public or private accounting.”
This summer, Wilhelm anticipates another internship at Spreetail, an e-commerce service in Lincoln, Nebr., for an experience in private accounting. Unsure what direction she hopes to take in the future, whether she would like to work in public or private accounting, the junior plans to attend a master’s program for either business or accounting in order to complete the 150-credit hour requirement for the Certified Public Accounting exam.