Skip to main content

Intern Spotlight: Stacey Roy

What attracted you to IFAC when you joined?

After an unexpected success with a mandatory Introduction to Financial Accounting class I took during my sophomore year of college, I was first exposed to what accounting was and wanted to learn more about what it really entailed, with much of the profession shrouded in mystery to me prior. With a background in Labor Relations, studying the inequities faced by everyday working people around the world, I came across IFAC’s mission and strongly resonated with its core values; accountability, integrity, and to standardize the technical industry for practicing accountants around the world, a group of professionals who are instrumental to success in countless global sectors and industries.

I realized quickly that most IFAC employees aren’t accountants. Nonetheless, I was attracted to the breadth of opportunities that came with interning in IFAC’s Human Capital department and the exposure I would receive with both Human Resources and the Accounting industry. I wanted to work with people in an internationally representative space and learn more about workplace management and the process of acquiring talent around the world. IFAC’s importance and just the breadth of how many major firms they represent captured my interests in the legal and regulatory spaces, and I simply wanted to learn more about it.

What types of projects did you work on?

I worked on a variety of human resources functions, from international recruiting via LinkedIn Data Analytic tools to filing through candidate profiles, organizing employee initiatives for health and wellness with our partners, co-leading interviews, updating our employee handbooks, looking into compensation and benefits, and generating initiatives for increased Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DE&I) at IFAC. For our final presentation, my group and I will be presenting an initiative plan on how to revitalize the accounting profession amongst college students and combat the field’s recent decline.

Given it was more of a passion project, my favorite project was definitely the IFAC DE&I slide deck. It was eye-opening to me to unearth the buried skeletons of inequality in the accounting field, both past and present, and to share this information in an accessible manner. Furthermore, I was able to suggest action steps for IFAC to be even more equitable and challenge these historical notions of power within its own organization. As someone who identifies with several underrepresented identities, I am passionate about having people with similar backgrounds to feel adequately in leadership spaces and am familiar with much of the language used to navigate conversations of intersectionality, racial & gender equity, ability, and LGBTQ+ visibility. However, I realized many people struggle with these discussions because they may be afraid to step out of their comfort zone or to get anything wrong. It’s important to take those crucial first steps to make educational resources available and to provide the tools needed to start these conversations.

What’s the most valuable skill you gained from your internship?

Apart from valuable technical skills like Excel or navigating Applicant Tracking Systems, the most significant skill I've gained is recognizing the worth of my own voice. Anxiety is often my unwelcome companion in unfamiliar spaces, and I would frequently doubt the importance of my time compared to others. Becoming an active leader in past internships and sharing my ideas would therefore be challenging due to my lack of confidence and the lack of encouragement I felt from anybody else to become more of an active member.

All to say, my experience at IFAC has been nothing short of transformative. The growth culture feels palpable in every conversation, and you’re invited to sit and listen at so many tables. I’ve felt encouraged to take real initiatives in my role and have been given able to contribute to important decisions in hiring for the organization. Through this, I've come to realize the true value of my voice when it is actually acknowledged and heard well by my team, peers, and other members.

What have you learned about the accounting profession that surprised you?

The most surprising thing I’ve learned about accounting is just how versatile it is – it doesn’t have to be boring. Just from my end of summer project about how to revive the accounting profession for college students, my research has shown me how applicable the career path is in nearly every up-and-coming industry, in all parts of the world. I realized just how stable the profession is due to its high demand and just how many exciting opportunities you can unlock with an accounting background, from forensic and fraud investigation to financial analysis and even cybersecurity. You can transfer your background in other regions of the world, travel, and jump horizontally rather than just vertically in one company. I’ve realized how many misconceptions about accounting strike from a tired stereotype about what an accountant looks like, when it can look so much more towards real client-facing, value creating fields of work.

What advice do you have for prospective interns at IFAC?

Jot down every thought, talking point, task, everything because you never know when a prior detail will rescue you. The amount of hands-on exposure to both industry and function I’ve received at IFAC is something I’ve never come across before in an internship. You’ll never feel babied nor ignored, so it’s great to retain something from every meeting you can sit into, even if you’re not fully caught up. Embrace the confusion and curiosities that those initial meetings may bring you – it’s normal to be lost! Your notes can become a springboard for genuinely insightful questions.

In my experience, communication is crucial at IFAC, and being present helps not just your manager but yourself. Overcommunicating is better than under communicating, and I think a really great idea is having a weekly Word doc summarizing what you’ve done and what you have questions that you can keep ready for your manager 1:1s.

Finally, don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve with your points of closest contact – fellow interns, managers, and mentors. Everyone I’ve spoken to has been so incredibly supportive and down to earth – it really shows how driven and passionate each of them is about what they do. Authentic interest in every person you meet at can pave the way for meaningful relationships, ones that extend far beyond the summer.