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Dapo Ogunfeitimi's Summer Internship at Ernst & Young

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As an accounting and finance major at the Naveen Jindal School of Management, Dapo Ogunfeitimi landed a summer internship last year to gain experience in the field. In this interview, Dapo doesn’t leave out any details of his summer-long experience — even if it means revealing some embarrassing information.

Q: What was your summer internship experience like?

A: I interned at Ernst and Young this past summer in 2015, and honestly, it was a great overall experience. I learned a lot, and the best part was the relationships I made with the other interns.

Q: In general, where do you even begin to find an internship?

A: There are plenty of resources, especially here at UT Dallas and the Jindal School. You can go to the Career Management Center, talk to professors or even just networking with fellow students.

Q: Why do you need an internship?

A: It really helps you put to good use what you’ve learned in classes. And that really helps to see what you’re actually going to be doing in the working world when you’re still in school. Plus, all JSOM undergraduates are now required to complete at least one internship in order to graduate.

Q: How did you get your internship?

A: When I was a freshman, I was in the Accounting Club, and we had a speaker one day. He talked about his internship at Ernst and Young. I hung around afterwards and talked to him for a little bit, and it turned out we had a lot of things in common. He was from the same city as I was, and we were both involved in athletics on campus. We really hit it off and exchanged contact information. Then probably about a year later, after he finished his internship with Ernst and Young and started working full time, they asked him to refer someone, so he asked me if I wanted to interview for an auditing internship. Of course I said yes!

Q: Is there anything you wish you would’ve known before your internship?

A: Probably just Excel. A lot of Excel. Especially in the accounting world, and auditing too. More than 50 percent of the work you’re going to do is in Microsoft Excel. So as soon as I returned from the internship that summer, I went ahead and enrolled in an Excel class, and that’s paid dividends so far.

Q: What kind of advice can you give students who are searching for internships?

A: Just be open to new opportunities and network. Network with your class and professors because you never know who you’re going to meet that will lead you to your next opportunity. I know a couple of my professors have a bunch of internships that they need to be filled. But a lot of people don’t even go up and ask them for the opportunity, so these internships go unfilled. Just get out there and network, and there’s no way you can’t find something, especially here in JSOM.

Q: What has been your best experience so far here at JSOM?

A: [I‘ve had a great experience with] the professors, honestly. Coming into college, you see professors portrayed as being really strict, really stern people. They’re just honestly down-to-earth people. I’ve had Amy Troutman and John Barden as my accounting professors. I know accounting has this stigma that it’s just a boring major. But Troutman and Barden really help erase that stigma.

Q: Do you have any embarrassing internship stories?

A: I did learn a lot during my internship; I promise. But there were times I had to do the typical intern-type duties. One time we were working late, and it was 7 p.m. already, and I had been there since 9 in the morning. The team I was working with was really hungry, and they had already eaten dinner (which I had to go out and get, first of all). So I had to go out to get some more snacks at a Bundt-cake shop. So, I was sitting there in line getting Bundt cakes, and I was this 6-foot-2 guy in a Bundt-cake factory with little girls around me. I had to order 50 Bundt cakes, so I was there forever too. I was hoping once I got back, work would be over but, no, I was there for about another hour. But, at least the Bundt cakes were good.

Q: What was one of the most rewarding experiences with your summer internship?

A: With the internship, it wasn’t just working. We also did community service. We volunteered at the Dallas Arboretum and got the day off from work. We really got to connect with the kids – and their family members -- from the Dallas community. Volunteering for a day was really rewarding.

Q: Well, good! It wasn’t all work; there was some play.

A: Honestly, there was a lot of play.

Q: What was the percentage of work and play?

A: Well, every week they had events planned for us to do. So it was probably work 75 percent of the time, and play 25 percent. That’s a good balance in my books.

Q: What was your biggest takeaway? Are you going back?

A: Yes, I am going to go back. Not this summer, but the summer after I earn my bachelor’s, I’ll go back to intern again. After that, hopefully they will offer me a job.

Q: Would you say that you were kind of in the right place at the right time when you met the guy who connected you?

A: I would say so. I definitely think so.

Q: Would say that you’ve just got to put yourself out there?

A: Yeah, everybody else is already taken, so just be yourself.

Gaby Mokry

Gaby is pursuing her MS Marketing program at The Jindal School of Management. Before coming to UT Dallas, she gained experience at traditional and digital advertising agencies. She appreciates a freshly brewed cup of joe and spends her free time surrounding herself with creative projects, Netflix binges and biking on White Rock Lake. Read more articles

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