Margaret Hadden

  • Office: Atlanta
  • Practice: Advisory
  • School: Louisiana State University

Margaret's Journal

PART 1

Portland, Oregon; Kalamazoo, Michigan; Laguna Beach, California...The places I have seen over the past four weeks have been amazing! Weekly, I have traveled with my team (normally one or two other members) to different cities where my client has operations. On a typical day, I conduct interviews with the client, test controls over different processes, prepare documentation to support any findings, and report the status of my assignments of the engagement to my team. Due to this, I have gotten to experience how a real position with the firm would be. So far, this is what has made my internship so rewarding! Being able to perform the tasks an associate would be expected to do has let me learn a lot about my practice, as well as what I would enjoy doing as a profession.

I have received much guidance and coaching from many resources within the firm. The most important one is my Performance Manager, or PML. My PML is a partner in Advisory, specifically Internal Audit-Sarbanes-Oxley Assistance Services (IA-SOAS), which is the practice I am in. He has helped me establish goals for the summer; ultimately, at the end of the internship, he will help me gauge how well I did in accomplishing these goals. He traveled with a senior associate and me to the California site visit. Each evening, we explored various areas in southern California, including food, sights, even a little bit of the Pacific coast. It was a great experience. Over lunches, dinners, and even during work, he provided insights into the accounting industry, overall business sector, and tips on life in general. This is not an irregular event though- I have met so many individuals (from partners to associates) within KPMG that have shared this same willingness to impart knowledge, give guidance, and offer advice.

KPMG provides many opportunities to meet other professionals. Getting to know the other interns has been very important to me, especially since I moved to Atlanta from Mississippi for my internship. I've also been able to meet the other interns through events like socials, community service projects, trainings, even an Atlanta Braves baseball game! Currently, I am part of a team of 10 KPMG interns participating in the intern community service project challenge (which is a challenge amongst all interns to create and execute a service project promoting First Book). Over the past several weeks, my team and I have prepared for our service event. Recently, we were able to put the finishing touches on our project and ultimately touch a lot of children's lives!

This mixture of a challenging work environment, accessibility to KPMG professionals, and cultivation of friendship within the intern class has made my internship experience great so far!

PART 2

This past week, I have been in Concord, New Hampshire. The beginning of my week was very hectic. It actually began late Sunday night when one of the seniors on my engagement called me to let me know that I needed to change my flight from 7:30am on Monday to late that afternoon. With this change of plans, I was able to attend my intern-team's community service project Monday morning! It was a great success; we partnered with a local community organization and planned a fun morning for over 65 children! After the service project, we (a senior associate and I) rushed to the airport and barely made our flight. We arrived in Boston around 7pm. Before driving to Concord, we explored Boston, where my senior acted as a tour guide, pointing out historic sites like the location the Boston Common and the Freedom Trail (a red brick line through the city).

This two-week site review is a headquarters for the client's largest division. Nearly all of the finance functions for approximately 30 plants occur here, leading to a lot of testing! Due to the amount of testing, we've had to work a little late some nights, but we have still been able to fit in a little bit of time to explore some of the restaurants in Concord—everything from sushi to cheeseburgers to Thai! Next week, we are going to try to go to Portsmouth for dinner, a New England harbor town on the coast.

My internship continues to be very fulfilling. While the travelling has allowed me to see several different parts of the country, I've also been able to learn a lot about my client's business which makes me really feel like I'm growing professionally.

PART 3

This past week, I returned to Concord to complete testing at the headquarters of my client's largest division. It was a very busy week because there was a lot to finish! We would meet early to go to the office (and to be able to squeeze in a stop for coffee!). During the day, I gathered support to evidence that controls were being performed as intended. At the end of each day, the senior and I would have a status meeting regarding open items that needed to be completed and documentation that we still needed. Although working long days, we were not able to complete all of the testing on site. Therefore, this upcoming week we will complete the remaining few open items remotely.

No actual production occurs at the here at the headquarters; however, at the past sites I have visited, I have been able to tour the plants to see the actual operations. Being able to see the actual operations has opened my eyes to how technology has transformed the way businesses operate. I've enjoyed and learned a lot about my client's industry from these hands on experiences!

On Friday, we had a closing meeting with the Accounting Manager and then left for the Boston airport. I was excited about spending the weekend in Atlanta. Over the past few weeks, I have gotten to explore a lot of the city — everything from local restaurants to Atlanta shopping to the city's parks! This past weekend, I was able to add one more thing to the list — skydiving! This was my first (but probably not last) skydive! Being able to experience a new city has been great!

PART 4

I've spent the past week in Atlanta at my client's corporate headquarters. This week, I have mainly been wrapping up testing that is still open from site reviews. This consists of editing flowcharts, finishing walkthroughs, and completing and compiling working papers. I do not report to KPMG's office (actually I have not seen the office since the first week of my internship!) but instead go directly to the client site. There are two teams working on the engagement from my client's corporate office — internal audit and IT advisory. I've gotten to hear a lot of stories about previous engagements these personnel have been on. Most of the higher level employees have very interesting stories of traveling throughout Europe while working with the firm!

I traveled home for the weekend for a wedding, but am looking forward to this upcoming week! We have our final intern event at the Whole World Theatre in Atlanta. All interns, as well as our transitional coaches, are invited to go! My transitional coach and I are also trying to set up a time to go eat one last time. I also have a final meeting with my PML! I'm looking forward to the upcoming week. The internship has gone by very fast!

Fun Facts

  • Are you involved in any on-campus clubs or activities?

    Tri-Delta sorority, LSU-Institute of Internal Auditors Student Chapter, United Way-Students in Action, Alpha Lambda Delta (an honors organization), The Institute of Internal Auditors (professional organization, I’m a student member and a part of the Baton Rouge local IIA chapter)

    What are your favorite TV shows?

    The Office, Locked Up Abroad, Law and Order

    What is the last book you read?

    Eat, Pray, Love
  • What do you do for fun/hobbies?

    Sailing, being in the outdoors, Reading

    Have you traveled outside of the US? For school or personal? Where?

    Yes, I went to Sweden for a month as part of an international summer village in sixth grade. I stayed mainly in the southern region of Sweden—I loved it and hope to go back one day! I’ve also been to Mexico a few times for personal travel.

    What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

    Treat others as you would like to be treated. Live your life as if it were to foreshadow your eternity.
  • What are the top 3 reasons you chose KPMG for your internship?

    1. The people. KPMG personnel made me feel very comfortable throughout the recruiting process. They were concerned not only with finding a good candidate, but making sure that candidate would be able to excel at KPMG. I felt very welcomed.
    2. Opportunity for Growth. KPMG offers a wide array of growth opportunities both professionally and socially.
    3. Philanthropic Initiatives. Throughout high school and college, I have been fortunate to participate in a lot of service and volunteer projects. When searching for a place to intern, I wanted a firm that was regarded as a pro-active force within communities. KPMG offered a strong sense of this social responsibility. As an intern, I have gotten to experience it first-hand. KPMG interns dedicate themselves to their own service project during the course of their internship—this year the service project supports First Book , which is an organization that provides books to children in need.
  • What are 5 things that your friends may not know about you?

    1. I like working outside, everything from gardening to mowing the lawn!
    2. I love to travel!
    3. I love seafood, especially raw oysters and crawfish.
    4. I am the first girl on my dad’s side of the family in 103 years.
    5. I have not missed Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans since I was born.

    10. What advice would you offer to a student just beginning the recruiting/application process?

    Identify aspects of a firm that are important to you. In my search, this helped me find ways to differentiate the firms I was considering for possible internships.