Accounting

Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce

U.S. Attorney's Office
 

 

Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce

While completing my internship at the AACC I accomplished a variety of tasks that exceeded my expectations including the complete development of an operating database, facilitating a conference, assisted in the composition of a newsletter, and developed a network of people that will definitely help me in my future endeavors. On an academic level I succeeded in completing many of my goals as well. The cultural diversity that was experienced out here was impeccable. The service that I was able to participate in really allowed me to further my horizons on a cultural and personal level.

Professional & Academic

In access I created a database that is capable of storing all data on contacts that the AACC interacts with. This database allows for users to only enter data once and then being able to categorize that individual contact in many different ways so that they can sort by using the category parameters. It is very efficient and successful in accomplishing what they had intended for me to do with it. I have also used this database to create mail merges for labels, nametags, badges, letters, etc using these same parameters making everyone’s job run much more smoothly. While at the AACC I was involved in many other tasks such as working with other colleagues to create a newsletter helping with the organization and composition of it. Contacting people learning business to business language and expectations involved with that was also an intricate part of my job. I was involved in staff meetings stating my opinions when needed and actually made some of them easier by the data organized from my database. I also assisted in getting the AACC ready for an audit by organizing the receipts and data in a manner that it could be easily referred to. The AACC held a conference in which I was asked to facilitate certain areas like transportation, guest lists, and population control keeping everyone on time and in order. This was a great experience as well as a great opportunity for me to network. There were around 300 people that attended and I met probably 75% of them making a number of solid contacts that I can refer to in the future for advice or job reference. I was actually offered one job at Washington Mortgage Group and interviewed at Athena International where though they couldn’t find a position immediately they did however inform me to contact them about mid-spring semester for a potential career after that doing business development and consulting in Afghanistan, which I am highly interested in. In working at the AACC it became apparent that there is a certain level of professionalism that other professionals expect. The intern position that I was enrolled in engaged me in professionalism and taught me the guidelines for doing business. I was also taught the importance of keeping in touch with contacts that were met through networking and composing emails in a professional manner being short and to the point.

Service

The volunteer work that I encountered was absolutely great. The first volunteer was with the 2nd Annual Hispanic Heritage Dinner where I assisted in organizing the seating for attendees as well as assist them with their questions, worked with the program manager to keep everything operating smoothly, and used leadership skills to work with the other volunteers when problems arose. This event also offered a free meal and dining with influential people. The next volunteer I did was at the 2nd Annual Duke Ellington Jazz Festival where I checked credentials, assisted in seating people, oversaw selling memorabilia for the event, and ran errands throughout festival multi-tasking between different positions. This was also a great experience to listen to great jazz music live being behind the scenes hanging out and speaking with the different bands. I also got on a first name with the Producer of the event Charlie Fishman. It was 3 days of absolutely great music and being surrounded by legendary people like Paquito De Rivera and others. The last volunteer work I did was Youth Service America where I reviewed grant applications from organizations seeking money to help children in high risk situations and developed skills in what is expected in a grant application. This was an excellent opportunity to see first hand what is expected when writing a grant.

Personal

As a person I expanded my horizons this semester. The experience gained and networking that was accomplished were simply priceless. I was able to develop into a more diverse and culturally aware individual from my experience out here. The people out here were great and are always open to share knowledge and their perspective on most issues. Working in the AACC’s Business Leadership Program through The Washington Center prepared me for a professional career in business and actually reinforced how much I love the fast pace of the business world. As an intern, student, and volunteer I accomplished everything I set out here to do. Primarily, prepare myself for a career and network to give me options after graduation. Not only was that done but so much more in my development as a citizen, student, and professional. The experience at work with the database where it was using everything that I had learned and then applying it while doing a trial and error with different ways of organizing was great. The hands on work I did with executives on a daily basis also gave me the networking I sought and in the mean time I was essentially offered two jobs after graduation, one of which is a definite possibility in business development and consulting. I believe I fulfilled everyone’s expectations, requirements, and more. While school is important applying it in an intern position is what I learned the most from, I advise anyone who wants a serious career to take advantage of internships and the skills, networking and experience that is gained.

 

U.S. Attorney's Office

Dear Dean Ingram:

At the beginning of my participation in the Washington Center and my internship at the United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia in the Fraud and Public Corruption Department, I established several goals in the areas of academia, professionalism, civic engagement and my personal life. In this letter, I would like to demonstrate how the different facets of my summer experiences have helped me to accomplish my original goals.

Early on, I decided to prioritize the fact that I need to make a decision of whether I wanted to attend law school. Through the experiences at my internship and the program events with The Washington Center, I have been able to get a better handle on making this decision. Although I have enjoyed my internship and the exposure to a legal career, I have decided that I am not ready to make a commitment to law school. Working in the Fraud department, I have applied my accounting knowledge in the form of forensic accounting to create exhibits for attorneys. I have found that my passion currently lies in accounting and I want to pursue a career as a CPA when I graduate in May. I have further discussed my career options with the auditor and CPA on staff in our department. Despite the fact that my internship isn’t directly related to the career path I have now chosen, I have developed my professionalism in the workplace and gained valuable experience that I can carry over to any future position. I think that if I had not taken this opportunity to get a legal internship, I would not have found my true passion and this decision would have been much more difficult. Although I am not sure if my future will hold a career in law at all, I have established a strong network of individuals in the D.C. area that will be instrumental as references in the future, yet another goal I set at the beginning of the summer. Not only have I built a substantial network of established professionals in the D.C. area, but I have also formed friendships with other interns that will hold value in my future career.

In addition to making this important life decision, I have also strived to maintain the same high academic standards that I hold for myself at the University of Iowa. I have worked diligently at my internship to meet the requests of the attorneys and I have continually sought additional projects to make the most of my experience. I have made an effort to work on my portfolio components steadily throughout the summer to ensure a quality final product. In addition to the internship component of my experience, I have taken a class in criminal law and procedure. I have completed all the requirements in the class and have studied hard for the exams and quizzes to ensure a good grade in the class.

Due to my hard work in my class, I have been able to meet another goal: integrating class concepts into my internship experiences. I have attended numerous court proceedings prosecuted by my office and have witnessed the application of the criminal laws I learned in class. I have discussed cases and proceedings with the attorneys to gain better insight on how my class concepts apply in the real world. Two attorneys I work with served the U.S. Attorney’s Office as interns many years ago, so they both understand the importance of this learning experience. These individuals have spent a lot of time discussing my future career options, the history of their cases, and my questions regarding the experiences I have had.

My time spent in D.C. this summer has allowed me to advance in my goal to become more engaged in the community. I have always found importance in campus and community involvement at the University of Iowa and in Iowa City, so I wanted to stay involved in my new community—the District of Columbia. At my internship, I have the opportunity to attend many high-profile court proceedings, such as Scooter Libby’s sentencing and Marion Barry’s probation hearing. Through these proceedings alone, I find that I have more of an interest in the current events surrounding me.

My internship supervisor organized a police ride along to give us real life look at narcotic crime in the metro area. In early June, a group of friends and I volunteered at a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton. Although, I have not yet chosen my candidate for the 2008 Presidential election, D.C. has given me the opportunity to preface each candidate in the running with debates, local newspapers, blogs and events in the community. I set a goal at the beginning of the summer to become more aware of my political surroundings in order to make an informed decision in the 2008 election and I have found that just living in D.C. has made my political awareness much greater.

In addition to politics, D.C. has offered several spectacular events that have allowed me to sit in the limelight of our nation and get more involved in important causes. I have attended both the Memorial Day and Fourth of July concerts at on the West Lawn of the Capitol, as well as the Memorial Day Observance Service in Arlington National Cemetery, where President Bush spoke. The fight to find a cure for breast cancer has always held a special place in my life so when the opportunity to get increase my involvement in this cause presented itself in D.C., I jumped at the chance. In early June, I participated in Susan B. Komen’s National Race for the Cure and have researched the public policy related to the cause. My findings led me to write letters to my congressmen to encourage Congress to pass the reauthorization of the Breast Cancer Research Stamp, a postage stamp that has raised more than $55 million for breast cancer research in the past 9 years. Throughout these experiences, I have continued to learn the importance of staying active in the issues that I hold closest to my heart. I have confidence that my time in D.C. will help me to further implement this practice into my daily life at the University of Iowa.

Most importantly, I am thankful for every opportunity I have received this summer. I am confident that my experiences in Washington D.C. will forever shape the person I become, both professionally and socially. Upon my return to the University of Iowa, I plan to bring my experiences back to develop my leadership on campus and in the College of Business, as well as help advance my future career options.