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One Day in the Life: Brent Blackburn Brent Blackburn, an English major, worked for a few years before enrolling in the Vanderbilt MAcc program. “I was looking for a career and not just a job,” he says. “I like hanging out with people, and that’s what drew me to this program. Accounting is actually a very people-focused business.” Students complete their internships during our partner firms’ “busy” season in January and February. Here’s how Brent describes a typical day during his internship with Nashville’s KPMG office. 6:00 AM 1:00 PM Head for the downtown Y to work out. Before my internship I wasn’t really a morning person! After lunch, there is a little more urgency to follow up on information gathering and connect with clients before the end of the day. 8:00 AM Arrive at the client’s site—except on days when I had to call Europe, where it was already mid-afternoon; then I might arrive at 7. I’ll check emails, get caught up, and meet with my senior associate about the work for the day. 3:30 PM Keep projects moving. A lot of my projects involve reviewing cash and bank accounts, long-term debt and fixed assets. Some projects might take 10 minutes. Others, might take two hours. 9:00 AM Our first meeting of the day with clients usually happens around this time. Meetings consist of posing questions to the clients to gather information and insight into their business. There is a lot of stopping and starting based on when we can schedule times to meet with or talk to clients. It takes multi-tasking to a whole new level. 5:30 PM Later in the evening , we open the doors to the audit room and team members compare notes on issues we need to deal with. 11:00 AM My senior associate is great about checking in with me every couple of hours. It gives me an opportunity to ask questions I might not otherwise have asked. 6:30 PM During the evening we are usually consolidating information we got that day. Although we do not have set hours, the average workday during busy season ends later in order to meet our deadlines. For the majority of the work week, that means ordering food in. But, on Fridays, KPMG team members meet somewhere for dinner to unwind. Noon Our team typically goes to lunch together to get to know each other a little more outside of the office. 10 11

Day in the Life—Brent Blackburn

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