Written by Ophelia Wen
During the first week of my accounting internship this past summer with a major accounting firm, I remember looking up and around the room during training and thinking:
“There are so many of us here.”
There were about eight ballrooms total filled with interns doing their training for audit this past summer. I felt worried. I felt nervous. Surely there were other students who were smarter than me. More outgoing. More likeable. Would it be hard to succeed when I had so much competition?
As training continued, I began to worry about whether or not I would be able to network well enough. I imagined ending my internship without having built any relationships or having done anything meaningful. I wanted to make the most of my internship, but I wondered how limited opportunities would be divided among such a large intern class.
When I realized that there was not much I could do as a new intern who only knew a limited amount of people from the firm and wasn’t fantastically charming, I resolved to trust in God and accept the experience that He wanted to give me – whether it was going to be good or bad. I couldn’t call up a partner and ask to be put on a client. I could only rely on the Everlasting God.
As I resolved to trust Him, my insecurity and nervousness gave way to confidence and hope in Someone stronger than myself. I came to realize that trusting in God was the best decision ever. I ended up receiving great opportunities this past summer that allowed me to learn from some great people how to succeed in my future career.
I was afraid that, because I didn’t grapple for opportunity and fling business cards like frisbees at a networking event, I wouldn’t be able to grow as fast as I wanted to. God surprised me. It is truly like what the writer of Psalm 16 said: “Lord, You alone are my portion and my cup! The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places.” As nervous as I was during some parts of the internship, opportunity after opportunity continued to fall into my lap, whether it was shadowing the partner at a meeting with the internal audit director of a multi-million dollar client or doing a presentation in front of the engagement team. Every experience I had this past summer was a way for God to shape my work ethic and my professional growth.
By the end of my internship, I had been thrown way out of my comfort zone. Coming into the internship, I was more shy and insecure than I wanted to be. But the growth I gained from the opportunities given to me was evident. The thought of talking to a partner used to intimidate me, but at the end of the internship, my relationship partner was one of the nicest people I had worked with that summer. When the partner called me to give me my offer, he said, “Ophie, I think you have all the qualities of a superb associate, and I would like you to come back on my engagements. You have my personal number, so feel free to call me if you need any help in the future.”
My experience this past summer left me feeling quite humbled. I am the type of person who likes to run and grab for opportunities. In the end, I did not have to worry about grabbing for anything. God was the one who opened doors for me. The words of Jesus in Matthew 6 have never rung more true: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans pursue all these things, and your Heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added unto you.”
Choosing to trust in God was not an easy decision to make. The temptation to trust in myself and my own strengths was strong, but I’m grateful that God gave me this opportunity to trust in Him first.