April Garon / The Natchez Democrat — Meghan Zito and Caitlin Woodruff are completing their summer internship at Silas Simmons. Zito is a graduate student at Mississippi State, and Woodruff is a senior at McNeese State.
April Garon / The Natchez Democrat — Meghan Zito and Caitlin Woodruff are completing their summer internship at Silas Simmons. Zito is a graduate student at Mississippi State, and Woodruff is a senior at McNeese State.

Interns adding up experience at accounting firm

Published 12:11am Thursday, July 18, 2013

By April Garon

The Natchez Democrat

NATCHEZ — Megan Zito and Caitlin Woodruff are adding up lots of experience this summer at their accounting internship at Silas Simmons Certified Public Accountants.

“In school, you learn the whys of doing things, but you don’t learn all the hows,” Zito said. “Now, I know what it’s going to be like to have a job after graduation.”

Zito, a Natchez native, is earning her master’s of professional accounting degree at Mississippi State University. Woodruff, of Monterey, is a senior at McNeese State University, where she studies accounting.

“There is a big difference between getting up and going to school and getting up and going to work,” Woodruff said. “This experience has taught me to get ahead and be prepared.”

The two interns have been assigned several tasks in their field, such as analyzing transactions and building Excel worksheets. They also focus on collecting data and making calculations.

“They complete preparatory work on larger jobs, to assist the staff,” CPA partner Sim Mosby said.

Woodruff’s internship focuses on tax and accounting duties, while Zito is learning about assurance and auditing.

Mosby said this prepares them for life after graduation, when they could be hired in either a tax or assurance department at an accounting firm.

Woodruff and Zito said they see the impact their internship will have on their future.

“I am much more ready to graduate and get a job now,” Woodruff said. “I was scared about how I was going to feel, but I feel like this has given me confidence.”

Zito said she is bringing a new perspective with her when she returns to graduate school.

“It’s going to be weird going back,” Zito said. “Here, we use software for a lot of tasks.

“At school you have to use a calculator and write things out by hand.”

Mosby said that an internship should be a bridge from school to real life, and the two interns are crossing that bridge confidently.

“You should know what you want before you make a decision, so you are not completely lost in the real world,” Zito said.