How a Mistake at My First Internship Taught me about Organization

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When I was working at a lifestyle company brand, I was in charge of customer relations which means I was the liaison between our customer and the company. Before I began, I expected to learn more about how a start up business operated and what the business world was like, as I had no experience prior.

Internship Courtyard at San Diego

During my first few weeks of work, there was a time I had a celebrity’s manager call me. I had not taken note of who was supposed to call that day so my lack of preparation caused me to not be ready for this big call. I managed to carry out a professional greeting. However, I still did not know who I was talking to. Shortly after the start of the phone call, I put the manager on hold so that I could get my boss to answer questions the caller had. My boss was disappointed that I had forgotten about the call but was quickly forgiving as I was just learning and this was my first “slip-up.”

I was extremely frustrated with myself and confused because I was overconfident in my ability to remember. I felt like I failed my boss and the company because of my behavior. Nonetheless, I try not dwell on my failures; instead, I try to learn from them. I told myself— no matter what task I have, I need to write it down and put reminders on my phone. My calendars are extremely detailed but this is how my organization helps me perform my best for work. Years later, I am now an Audit Associate at KPMG and have found that the organization lessons I learned from this slip-up has helped me day-to-day operations in the corporate accounting world. 

KPMG Audit Associate

Ultimately, this experience made me realize that I should always carry myself professionally, whether or not I’m talking to an important client or even my coworkers. At the end of the day, I want to treat everyone kindly. Be genuine to anyone and everyone. People can really see through you if you’re being fake towards someone or if you have selfish intentions. Also, be an honest person in the workplace because that will take you really far. You might not achieve the success you want by taking the honest route, but the payoff will be worth it in the future. Instant gratification is not worth cutting corners or ruining your reputation. You want to be a person people can always trust because that’s what will make you memorable. 

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Tiffany Wei is a proud SoCal local. Her current professional role is an audit associate at KPMG. She is pursuing her CPA license and graduated from University of Southern California in 2020 with a Masters of Accounting, Data and Analytics degree. Tiffany completed her BS in Business Administration, Accounting and Auditing  at the University of California, Riverside (2019). Experienced in accounting, public relations, and branding with a demonstrated history of working in the telecommunication, technology, life science, and consumer product industries.

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