I have two college degrees. One is a bachelor's in interdisciplinary studies, and one is a Bachelor of Accounting. With the first degree, I was young and naive, and I believed what kind of degree you had didn't matter, as long as you had a degree. During my junior year of obtaining that degree, I obtained an internship with a renounced arts organization in Houston, Texas. I was so excited because I adore the arts. However, I soon realized my internship was anything but beautiful or artistic. I interned with the finance department where I literally sat in a storeroom and shredded documents all day. On better days, I would do data entry into an old computer with a black screen and green lettering. This was in the early 2000's. I did not gain much from that internship, except learning I was not meant to be isolated in a room without windows. I illuminate this example as a contrast to what ADKF offers our interns.
ADKF offers internships in our Tax, Audit, and Administrative Departments. The interns are immersed into the day to day activities of the firm, no matter which department is chosen. The interns are trained on our software, processes, and procedures along with being mentored in the daily routine of a staff accountant and interpersonal relationships that will help in their career. Once they're ready, they're given real tax returns, audits, and administrative work to prepare during the heat of busy season. They are in the trenches with other staff and seniors and get to work closely with all levels of the firm, including partners. Recent Tax Intern, and now Tax Staff, Dafne Ramirez explained her internship experience like this, "... ADKF has been an incredible place to work, because of the staff. Since the moment I started as an intern at the firm, my colleagues were always ready and willing to lend a helping hand. Being completely new to the tax world, having colleagues that were ready to teach me, share advice and best practices was beneficial for my learning experience." The ADKF culture is one of the best aspects of the firm. The partners stress family first. They are flexible and do all they can to create a culture of excellent customer service and hard work, balanced with family and fun. Christian Santos completed his Audit internship in May 2020 and has now been promoted to an Audit Staff member. He enjoyed his internship because, "the partners, managers, and seniors at the firm seemed to have a constant interest in my professional development and it showed with the trust and willingness to push me to take on parts of an audit that I may not have undertaken before so I could learn and grow."
Our internship program began small and grew organically. Dylan Boss, CPA, started with us in 2011 as an administrative intern. He started in scanning and return processing, and worked his way to Staff, Tax Senior, Tax Manager, and now Senior Tax Manager. Andrew Spraggins, CPA, was the original audit intern, and has grown his career with us from Staff, to Audit Senior, to Audit Manager. We have grown the program to include audit and administrative internship opportunities. In Spring 2020, we had twelve interns: six in tax, four in audit, and two in administration. Currently, we have 17 staff members who started their career with ADKF as interns.
Once an intern becomes a full-time employee of the firm, they have the opportunity to join our mentorship program. Each year, managers and partners mentor staff who choose to be a part of the program. The mentorship is confidential for both parties involved and is a great opportunity for a staff to gain insight into how they can grow and get to the next level in their career. If they choose to participate, they simply fill out a questionnaire about what they expect from the mentorship and what improvements they hope to make for the duration of the mentorship. The staff then selects their three top choices for a mentor. Once all applications are reviewed, the partners assign the mentors and mentees. After that, the confidentiality agreement is signed, and the mentor and mentee plan their monthly lunch or breakfast, where they begin to build trust and nurture their relationship. The mentorship experience is very much self-guided and is an example of "you get out what you put in."
If you, or anyone you know, are a college student in your junior or senior year, and are interested in a career in public accounting, please reach out to us. We actively recruit at local San Antonio colleges, including the University of Texas at San Antonio, Texas State University, University of Incarnate Word, St. Mary's University, and Texas A&M University at San Antonio. We offer paid internships during the Spring, Summer, and Fall semesters. Our internships require a commitment of 40 hours minimum and expose our interns to real life situations and challenges. The best part of all, is our internships are not a competition between interns. If we have ten amazing interns, we will offer all ten a position with our firm. Our intention is to hire every intern we bring on. If the intern has the aptitude for accounting, fortitude to work through challenges, dedication to work hard during busy season, and a strong desire to be a successful tax or audit accountant, we have a place for them.