John Cuadra (BBA, BAcc ’16)
Master of Science in Accounting (currently enrolled at FIU)
Internship: KPMG, Charlotte, North Carolina, in IT Audit & Assurance. KPMG is one of the “Big 4” international accounting firms. Offered a full-time position in IT, Audit and Assurance after completing the internship.
How did you get your internship?
I was selected to be part of a mock interview at the KPMG office in Miami. I got to learn about the interviewing process from professionals from all over the southeastern region, and had an interview with the recruiter from Charlotte. He later contacted me about a position. I interviewed at Miami, flew up and interviewed at the Charlotte office and was offered the position.
What did your work as an intern involve?
Working for one of the largest accounting firms in the world exposed me to working on multiple public and private clients ranging from healthcare to banking industries.
I have an accounting and MIS background, and I used them both, interpreting information like coding in some situations and auditing knowledge in others.
Interning with KPMG helped me get firsthand experience to what I was going to do as an IT auditor. As an IT auditor, my role was to examine a client’s IT infrastructure and make sure that the IT processes established protect the entities assets and secure their data integrity.
How were you able to build relationships during your internship?
I’d say from the experience of learning the work that the firm performs, and meeting talented individuals. I spent a week in Chicago for training and I got to meet individuals working for KPMG from all over the world. I was able to create valuable relationships that I will appreciate for the rest of my career.
Did you experience something you didn’t expect that enriched your internship?
Yes – being chosen to lead KPMG’s Family for Literacy (KFFL) event, which is comprised of spending a day at the Boys and Girls Club reading to the kids, having outdoor activities, lunch and donating books and other materials for them to use for school. This was a beautiful day and I will never forget the experience, along with all the interns who happily joined to help the event run smoothly.
What did you learn about yourself?
I learned the true definition of a work-life balance. I managed to live on my own, take classes online, sometimes work over 40+ hours, go to the gym, go to concerts, hike, chores, cook and still have time to explore Charlotte and hang out with my friends. There is no limit to what humans can do and I aspire to be the best version of myself every single day.
How did your experience at FIU help you with the demands of a challenging internship?
I knew what it takes to work, study and be involved in organizations all at the same time. While I was studying accounting and MIS at the undergraduate level, I founded the Hispanic Business Association and was vice president of public relations for FIU’s Association for Information Systems student chapter. I was ready and prepared to work long hours and perform at a high level.
What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process?
You never know where an opportunity may arise, whether it’s at a birthday party, networking event or even a mock interview on campus. Be confident, prepared and put maximum effort into everything that you do and you will be ready when that opportunity strikes. At FIU, as soon as you can, join an organization, speak to previous alumni who have gone through the internship process, speak to advisors and most importantly stay informed by finding out which companies are working with FIU on acquiring interns.