Internship Spotlight: Tom Howard, Leidos
Oct. 8, 2021
Tom Howard is an Accounting and MIS major graduating in the Spring of 2023. This summer he interned with Leidos as an Accounting Intern in Tucson, Arizona.
What was the process for getting this internship, job, or summer experience?
The first exposure I had with Leidos was an Eller Externship (virtual) in January of 2021 in which I got to learn about the company and meet some of the people that would eventually be my supervisor and coworkers. I met with some of the very same people at the Meet the Firms event shortly after being accepted into Eller. One day afterward, I saw a LinkedIn job opening at Leidos for an accountant intern. When I entered the interview call, I noticed that one of the interviewers was one of the people (my future supervisor at that point) I had previously met from my past experiences, which I felt helped me secure the position.
What was a typical day like?
I would check my email/calendar for any special projects that I was tasked with completing or helping to complete. If I wasn't working on any specific project for a certain amount of time, I would process journal entries or post accruals (depending on the time of the month). When I completed all the journal entries that needed processing at the time, I would normally reach out to my supervisor or coworkers to see if they needed any assistance on tasks they were working on.
What was your favorite part of the experience?
I felt like I was a full-time employee at the company; I was given a lot of autonomy and I was never given a task that I felt was menial or considered busy work. Everything I did contributed to the accounting process and other operations of my team. Also, I was impressed with the company culture; help was always available if I needed it and I never had a bad experience with any of my coworkers.
If you worked on a big project, please describe it below:
Around the beginning every period (roughly a month), I was in charge of running a variance analysis of journal entries processed late in the period. This involved looking at around 230-250 journal entries, looking at the team responsible, looking at the reason for them, and determining if it was necessary that they be completed so late in the period. I then would make deliverables that went to team managers and the VP of Accounting and Business Operations.
What did you find most challenging?
I would say learning the accounting and more general processes involved in working at Leidos. This was not overly difficult, there was just a little bit of a learning curve, but I had help all along the way.
What did you learn?
Broadly, I learned what it was like to work in a corporate environment and how to complete projects that I am completely responsible for.
What advice do you have for other students looking for a similar experience, or advice for future students to be successful?
Don't be afraid to ask for help or say something will take longer than expected, you're all on the same team at Leidos.
How did Eller prepare you for this experience?
Eller helped me enhance my professional manner, things like proper email etiquette. Some principles I learned from ACCT 200 also helped me.