What attracted you to IFAC when you joined?
The culture, diversity, and multi-faceted nature of the work attracted me to IFAC. As a law student, I found it particularly interesting to work within the accounting and regulatory environments. The international landscape of the organization both within the New York office and across the greater organization made this role very interesting to me.
What types of projects did you work on?
During my time at the internship, I was able to muddy my hands in the projects I was given. I was able to help in the process of building an application to allow the Standard Setters to disburse continuing professional education (CPE) credits. With accountants from around the world, I was given the opportunity to kickstart the application process for CPE credits and investigate the standard requirements that must be met. Furthermore, I was also given the opportunity to draft administrative policies and also further understand the concept of sustainability in accounting. Additionally, I was able to assist in simplifying the information and suggestions that were provided and developing key themes from the comment letters the International Ethics Standards Board for Accountants (IESBA) received from several interested stakeholders regarding the 2024-2027 strategy and work plan. Finally, I investigated a question throughout the tenure of the summer (regarding attracting and retaining accountants within the accounting field) and presented, alongside my team, our final conclusions to my managers and IFAC upper management.
What’s the most valuable skill you gained from your internship?
The most valuable skill I gained from the internship is keeping an open mind and having better communication. I have learned a lot more than I expected by keeping an open mind and welcoming varied ideas and work. Keeping an open mind has allowed me to remain flexible and work with and learn from a diverse group of people. Communication, especially in the hybrid work environment, is critical. This role has helped me better my communication skills in a hybrid set up environment, as well.
What have you learned about the accounting profession that surprised you?
The accounting profession is extremely diverse. Accountants can play many roles- whether it is at an accounting firm, non-profit, government agency, or regulatory board. Furthermore, accounting tells the story of companies, and accountants relay that story. Scandals and successes of companies lie in their financial reporting that are drafted, reviewed, and finalized by accountants. Hence, the integrity and transparency of the accounting profession remains extremely critical. With the rise of AI and sustainability concerns, it is vital that accountants remain alert and diligent in the change of landscape. Accounting requires accountants to understand the changing landscape and maintain the ethical integrity of the field. These changes, regarding AI and sustainability, make the profession interesting and lively.
What advice do you have for prospective interns at IFAC?
Prospective interns should not fear asking for work and getting their hands dirty. There is a lot to learn from this internship, especially with the onslaught of changes- technology, environment, etc.- within the environment we now live in. Finally, do not be afraid to ask questions; asking questions allows growth!