Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis
Intern Division: Finance
Around the beginning of 2022, I received a LinkedIn message from an employee of INDOT. At first glance, I thought that it was another scam message, like one of those “entrepreneurial business start-up” that college students are ever so used to receiving. But after a short exchange, I realized that the person messaging me was real, and she was sharing with me an opportunity to intern with INDOT in the finance and accounting department. After our exchange on LinkedIn, I took the rest of that day to decide whether I wanted to commit my summer to this opportunity brought onto me. With careful consideration, I applied to the position by the next evening. After a few months, an interview, and a couple of application processes, I received a call stating that I was chosen to intern with INDOT.
What made me decide on interning with INDOT was the aspect of working with the state government. As an accounting student, I mostly learn about accounting material relating to public/private industries. I figured that this would be a great opportunity to see how differently an accounting job functions in a governmental agency compared to a non-governmental agency. Another reason I applied was that I wanted to get a glimpse into what a government job is like. By this, I mean things like work environment, pace of work, job benefits, work settings, and observing how workers interact with each other. Although I am firm about heading straight into the public or private sector after college, I do believe in trying new things. I figured that this would be a great opportunity to get a view into something different than I had planned.
My time here at INDOT has been nothing less than a great learning experience. Although this is only my second internship, I can proudly say that this has been my best internship experience yet. I have learned a lot about what the finance and accounting department here at INDOT do. I have worked with many important financial reports, reports that relate to approximately 12 billion dollars’ worth of roads and bridges. These documents include GASB 51, GASB 34, and GASB 44. Along with these financial reports, I have also learned about several different financial transactional systems in INDOT. These include general ledger, accounts payable/receivable, procurement, payroll, asset management, and more. I got to “interview” different people in these different transactional systems and really had the ability to learn about what they do and how it all fits into the big picture. Along with learning about what goes on in my department, I also had the opportunity to get outside of my department and network with other interns as well. The summer internship program set up several different events for not just me, but several other interns from INDOT as well as other agencies. These events include networking events, meet-and-greets with governmental officials (such as Gov. Holcomb), and more. By far, every week at the internship was not the same, and that aspect is what made it that much more enjoyable.
To conclude, I will say again that interning here at INDOT has been a great experience. I have learned a lot, met lots of great people, and enjoyed lots of good food (shout out to the food trucks at Statehouse Market). This internship allowed me to sharpen my skills as an upcoming business professional as well as broaden my horizons on what is out there in the accounting world. It is safe for me to say that I would recommend this opportunity to any student out there who may be interested. From one accounting student to another, even if you are not planning to go into government after college, I say take the chance. You will learn a lot and potentially, you may find a place that fits you in your future.