Summer Internship: Accounting and Payroll Departments

Sep 27, 2019

by Rachael Buckel '21
Edited for content and length.

For the entirety of this summer, I was fortunate to work at the W.S. Badcock Corporation right in the heart of Mulberry, Florida. Prior to beginning my internship search, I knew that I would like to work for a company that closely mirrors the small, nurturing atmosphere we have at Florida Southern. I also knew that I wanted an experience that would allow me to apply knowledge learned in the classroom to “real life” scenarios.

Group of people at W.S. Badcock Corporation working together.
"Soon after meeting the Accounting Team, I began work on tasks such as account reconciliations and developing our advertising expense report." -Rachael Buckel '21

W.S. Badcock Corporation provided just that and so much more. W.S. Badcock Corporation prides itself on being a family-owned business and translating that family-style attitude and culture into everyday work in the office.

I applied for the Accounting internship at W.S. Badcock Corporation after attending the Career Center’s Career Fair and shaping up my resume. As anyone would be, I was extremely worried that I would not hear back. To my surprise, I received an email expressing interest in me as a candidate. I attended an interview and shortly after, I received word that I was accepted for the accounting intern position. Around the same time, I applied for and secured a spot in Florida Southern’s pilot Summer Internship Program.

I was a bundle of nerves walking into the office on the first day, but I was also incredibly excited to meet my soon-to-be fellow interns and become acclimated with my new surroundings. My first day was a blast, as I developed a better understanding of the corporation's core values and principles, networked with fellow interns, met my supervisor, and even had the opportunity to visit a corporate Badcock store.

My second day was truly the first day in the Accounting Department. Soon after meeting the Accounting Team, I began work on tasks such as account reconciliations and developing our advertising expense report. At first, the account reconciliations task intimidated me, but I decided to reach out to my colleagues for questions and assistance. Eventually, I was able to complete complex account reconciliations without any assistance. Another major task I worked on was developing efficient and effective tracking procedures and facilitating an extensive review process to ensure all requests from the KPMG PBC list were fulfilled. Additionally, I had the opportunity to compile documentation and facilitate the review process for account confirmations, as requested by the KPMG auditors. While I have not taking the Auditing course at Florida Southern yet, this internship experience exposed me to the auditing process on a very high level. Hopefully I will be able to recall knowledge gained in my internship experience and apply it to the material presented in class.

Rachael Buckel '21 in front of the Badcock & More Home Furniture Sign.
Rachael Buckel '21 in front of the Badcock & More Home Furniture Sign.

I wanted to make the most of my internship experience this summer, so I decided to make a switch to the Payroll Department about halfway through. Previously, I had never considered a career path in payroll until the opportunity presented itself in this internship experience. In the Payroll Department, I have been able to sharpen my analytic-mind and further develop my attention to details. I have had exposure to the Workforce timekeeping system, versions 9 and 10 of the Lawson ERP system, and training in Kronos. Two of my favorite and most rewarding tasks have been ensuring that all federal and state withholdings meet the IRS’s standards and allocating hours and pay to the proper pay codes for our Home Delivery team.

In both departments, I have been able to meet my goal of bettering my Excel skills, through running and uploading queries, learning shortcuts from my colleagues, and making silly mistakes occasionally. As an intern at the W.S. Badcock Corporation, I was able to participate in a program that hosted workshops and presentation events on topics such as Women in the Workplace, developing a strong and professional digital presence, and merchandising.

Rachel's working space.
Rachel's working space.

Similarly, I attended regular meetings for the Summer Internship Program at Florida Southern that covered topics such as team work, culture in the workplace, and fully utilizing technology to its maximum capacity. These programs enriched my internship experience, as I was able to apply much of the knowledge learned to every day interactions in the office. Additionally, these experiences encouraged me to think critically about topics I do not always think about. Moving forward, I will be sure to incorporate and keep in mind all of the skills, advice, and topics discussed.

As for anyone considering an internship opportunity, DO IT. Even if the opportunity is not at a major corporation, there are still incredible experiences and new knowledge waiting for you. If you are currently in an internship, always be confident in your work and keep your eyes and mind open to new opportunities. There may be mistakes or bumps in the road as you progress through your experience, but in the end, the hardships will make you a stronger candidate for future jobs and a well-seasoned young professional. Finally, always be comfortable and confident enough to ask questions of your co-workers and supervisors. These individuals are often full of wisdom and advice when it comes to making important career choices… so learn from them!