Sarah Krom started at a PKF firm in Germany while studying for an international degree and was always interested in gaining international experience. In early January, Sarah headed to Chicago as part of the Global Employee Exchange/Secondment program to PKF Mueller. As her time at PKF Mueller comes to a end, she shares her final experiences.
Living in Chicago
During my last month here, I’ve had the pleasure to experience living and working in downtown Chicago. From commuting on the local public transportation system to working in a high-rise building in the loop, Chicago has offered me everything that I had pictured about living in a big city. Living downtown has given me the chance to experience Chicago from a non-touristy perspective. My local colleagues have shown me places like Insomnia cookies in Old Town, bars in Wrigleyville, and beaches on Lake Michigan that I have very much enjoyed. I am still amazed by the cleanliness of the city and the opportunities it offers.
Working in Chicago
While working at PKF Mueller, I was able to expand my professional knowledge in the field of public accounting. Thanks to internal trainings and very helpful colleagues, I have learned to file 1040 individual tax returns and helped with multiple audits. Additionally, I have gained insight into various accounting programs and ERP systems. One of my greatest experiences was the attendance at the German American Chamber of Commerce in Chicago’s luncheon, where we talked about German American relationships. Learning about the cultural differences and the importance of collaboration have inspired me to keep building relationships with American businesses once I return home.
Doing business in the U.S.
Another thing I will take home is how Americans do business. As opposed to Germans, Americans are far more social and engaging. This May, PKF Mueller will host their yearly Client Appreciation Event to network, engage and socialize with their clients. I think this is a great way to thank clients, stay in touch and learn more about their business. I also love the idea of casually taking someone out for lunch to get to know them better and stay up to date. This is definitely someone I’ll try to do more at home.
Staying in touch
Speaking of staying in touch… now that my internship is almost over, I reflect on the things I have learned and how deep the friendships are that I have created here. This time has taught me so much about business, the United States, and myself. Every single day, I enjoyed coming to work, and I am grateful I got to work at such an amazing firm. I have experienced a new city, a new firm, met new people, and made a lot of friends. Everyone at PKF Mueller has made my time here one of the most memorable and pleasant times of my life. For my last week at work, they have even organized a Farewell BBQ, and I can’t wait to celebrate the end of an incredible internship experience with such amazing people. I recommend everyone to go on a secondment if they have the chance.