During the 2022 Summer Intersession, rising senior Jacquelyn Beaulieu completed an internship at the TJX Companies. Read on to learn about her experience as an Accounting and Finance intern!
If you’re interested in doing your own internship but don’t know where to start, make an appointment with your Career Advisor by going to Handshake.
What was your internship? My internship was the accounting and finance intern position at the TJX corporate finance office in Framingham MA.
Why were you initially interested in this internship? I was initially interested in this internship because of the strong community that is promoted within this company. Their internship position allowed me to get an idea of what accounting and finance positions existed within the retail industry. The 12-week program allowed me to make many connections across various departments which really drew me into applying for it.
How did you find your internship? I found this internship in a few ways: through the help of the career center and Handshake, and through online research of available internships. My career advisor was a lot of help in narrowing down the positions that I would apply to.
What did you do as part of your internship? My responsibilities varied week to week but I did have one constant project throughout the 12 weeks. For this project, I was given a team of 5 other interns and two project coaches that would guide us in regard to how to obtain data and contact the appropriate resources. Our focus was to work together to come up with a sales-driving initiative for two of the TJX stores within a specific department. Once we decided on a solution to our given problem we were able to connect with many different people within all of the departments in order to be able to fully analyze and go about how to create a full presentation on our solution. I currently have 4 weeks left and this project will continue to be a priority as when finished we will be able to present our findings to a panel of the head executives within the company.
As for individual responsibilities I was able to do account reconciliations, run various reports, organize different file folders, reverse capital accruals, and use different platforms such as Oracle, Excel, and Power Bi to ease the process for other employees during close weeks. I was able to be involved in a bunch of presentations across multiple departments so that I was able to gain exposure to different sides of the business.
Has this internship helped you work towards your future career goals? If so, how? It was a very good stepping stone for me as I am on the CPA track and was interested in learning about a side of accounting that was not public accounting. I wanted to be able to experience more non-traditional roles throughout my internship so that I had a better understanding of the jobs that were available to me. This internship has provided me with a number of tools to use as I continue toward my career goals. For instance, TJX has allowed me to understand how to talk with various levels of management, how to ask the right questions, how to have confidence when presenting, and how to do so many other more job-specific tasks.
What was your biggest lesson/takeaway from the internship? One thing that TJX preached to us as interns was “relationship over task.” This essentially means prioritizing the people around you and connecting with coworkers across multiple departments because the better connections you have the more successful you will be at the tasks assigned. Networking provides so many more opportunities as it allows you to connect with those in different realms of business than you. Learning about their perspective on for example a given data set, helps me to understand how to better analyze it as it gives me more information on how to visualize the data. The more connections and the better the relationships you have are, the more likely you are to be comfortable, happy, and grow within the company. Being personable with people creates trust, an important trait to have with anyone.
What advice would you give to someone interested in a similar internship opportunity? Do not be afraid to ask questions or to fail. I know that is somewhat cliche and told to us as students all the time but going into the internship I was so nervous to mess up something or not be able to understand a task assigned to me. Once I was able to recognize that failure only leads to growth and questions only lead to better understanding, I was able to capitalize on more opportunities and experience more of being in an accounting finance position. There is nothing that you cannot fix and there is always more than you can learn. Asking questions is a sign of curiosity, interest in the business, and intelligence. It shows that you care about learning more and understanding the concepts as well as the tasks.