Beyond the Classroom: Accounting Major Jade Kenny on Her Internship with Subaru

Jade stands in front of a tree, smiling.

Jade Kenny is a senior Accounting major expected to graduate this summer from Voorhees, NJ (Camden County). Jade is currently in a yearlong internship as an accounting parts intern with Subaru of America based in Camden, NJ. This experience has acted as a gateway to what she plans to do after graduation considering she has since accepted a full-time position as an audit associate with the firm BDO. Outside of her work related to her studies, Jade gets involved on campus by participating as the fundraising and outreach chair as well as the former treasurer for Rowan’s Outdoors Club.

Rowan University Accounting major Jade Kenny wears a blue sweatshirt and works on a laptop with the Subaru logo in Business Hall.

Why was Rowan right for you?

Jade explains when she was applying to Rowan, her original path drew her to elementary education. For Jade, choosing Rowan was the best of both worlds since it allowed her to study what she believed to be her passion at the time while respecting her parents’ wishes for her to stay close to home. Jade says, “It’s like close, but not as close as like a 30-minute drive. So I still have some independence from home.”

After you arrived at Rowan, what then led you to transition from education to accounting?

Jade looks back on when COVID hit, during the fall 2020 semester, it led to her making the executive decision to not take any classes that semester, because online learning wasn’t suitable for her. She went on to map out the path that led her to where she is today: “I was working full time at Jersey Mike’s Subs as a shift leader. I started doing more cash management like counting the drawer in the morning, in the afternoon at night, doing the deposit, and inputting invoices from our produce order. I found it way more interesting. And so I decided to make this switch before going into the spring 2021 semester.”

Rowan University Accounting major Jade Kenny wears a blue sweatshirt and walks down the stairs in the lobby of Business Hall.

What is it about accounting that appeals to you?

Jade explains, “There’s always something new to learn. I feel like I’m constantly learning, especially in my internship, because it’s so many things. It is interesting in that way. But it can be overwhelming at times.”

Overwhelming, how so?

She elaborates: “One of my tasks here at Subaru was to do reconciliations for different accounts, so, going into our system and pulling all the activity and making sure it matches. And sometimes it won’t match, and I get frustrated because I can’t figure it out. And so I need to get my manager for help.”

Tell us how you discovered the Subaru opportunity.

Jade thinks back: “I found it on Prof Jobs last fall, I believe. And I interviewed with Subaru in October, and then I accepted the job in November. And it just appealed to me because I didn’t know much about Subaru, just that it’s a car company. And when I was researching it, I found out that their values align with my values. And I would want to work with a company that shares my values. They have The Love Promise where they care for the earth, animals, and the community. And I care for the earth, I’ve been helping out the community and animals. So I would really like to work for a company that shares those values. And so that’s why I saw Subaru as a good fit to apply to.”

What is the specific title of your internship?

Jade is an accounting parts intern. She goes on to give more insight into her job description, stating, “I work on the parts team, like, car parts.”

What does a day in life entail for you in the accounting parts department?

A day in the life of Jade entails: “This week was the start of our month end and quarter end close to closing the books for December. So this is my busiest time of the month. So usually like yesterday on my first day, I would start doing all of my required journal entries. And I had a Word document that has all the procedures written down on how to do them. And I just referenced it so I’m not constantly bugging my manager. And so I’m doing all of those journal entries. And then once I’ve finished them, I let my manager know on [Microsoft] Teams they’re ready for review. And then she’ll review them and let me know they’re good to upload or if I have to fix something.”

She adds, “Also, while making those journal entries, I have to create backups, journal entry backups, to show how I report. Did I get these numbers wrong? How did I get these numbers? And then that’s usually the first few days of the close and then once it ends, I have to start doing financial statements and reconciliations. So like, one reconciliation I do involves inventory at our distribution centers, in our ports, so we have to compare it to the ledger and sub-ledger. And if they’re like, over or under I have to make a journal entry for that. Yeah, it’s a lot of journal entries for the first few days of the month. And then it’s all reports. So my day can vary depending on what time of the month it is.”

How are you balancing your internship and your coursework?

Jade as any college student has many different responsibilities to juggle, and only so many hours in a day. That being said, she expressed the troubles she faces with commitments she has outside of her internship like classes and her part-time job at Jersey Mike’s. Despite having her plate full, Jade was able to get by telling us, “I mean, it’s definitely not ideal. But I was able to handle it last semester pretty well. I got good grades.”

Rowan University Accounting major Jade Kenny wears a blue sweatshirt and smiles while on the second floor of Business Hall.

What has been the best part of your internship? 

Peering at everything that shines at Subaru, makes picking just one favorite thing hard. However Jade described the best part of her internship being the connections she’s been able to make with other interns. She went on to say: “I made a good group of friends who are interns here. During the summer, we always ate lunch together. And then we had a Friendsgiving at my apartment where we all hung out. So I think that’s definitely the best part is like connecting with more interns.”

Have you learned anything new? And if so, what have you learned?

Jade shared that she learned how to actually upload journal entries “because, in our accounting classes, we’re just writing them down. But I actually learned the process of uploading them and then creating the journal entry backups for them. I’ve learned how to create invoices.”

She notes: “So every month, we have to run reports, we have different ports. And sometimes we’ll send them parts, but then they get damaged at the port. And so they have to reimburse us for it. And so I had to run the report, see what parts were damaged, the cost, and how many of them, and create a whole invoice, and then I send it out to them for them to pay in the future. And that’s also a journal entry. I enjoy creating the invoices and then reaching out to the ports.”

Going on, she adds: “I’m also learning about reconciliations and financial reports because I really didn’t know much about them. I was like, What’s a financial report? I feel like it’s so vague. But now like I do, I know, the reconciliations are matching to make sure everything is correct. So I have been learning a lot here.”

How has the experience helped you both inside and outside of school?

Jade exclaimed: “I think for both inside and outside school, it’s helped with my confidence. I think accounting can be very intimidating because it can be very complicated. But I think working here — I worked almost full time during the summer. So I was doing a lot. And just everything I’m doing and being able to talk about it, to explain what I do, I think has definitely helped with my confidence when it comes to my accounting skills. Because yes, accounting can be overwhelming, and I always doubt myself. But this internship has helped me not doubt myself as much.”

Rowan University Accounting major Jade Kenny wears a blue sweatshirt and sits outside Business Hall.

Do you have any advice for students on obtaining internships and how to conduct themselves in an internship?

In her advice to other accounting students, Jade wants them to know the following, “I would recommend definitely researching every company that you apply to and interview for so you know that’s a company you want to work for. Because with Subaru during my interview, I was able to talk about, ‘Oh, I love your Love Promise and how you guys help the earth and animals in your community,’ because I’m the same way. And so it is important to try and relate to the company and interviews.”

She went on to share, “I would also recommend making sure your resume is almost perfect because I feel like that’s very important. And also going to the Center of Career Advancement to get your resume checked. Make sure you’re joining clubs on campus so you can also try and relate it to your future internship. I was able to talk about being treasurer of the outdoors club, and treasurer of the Sign Language Club, and about my experiences with cash management. I think resumes and researching your companies are the big things.”

After some hiccups at her internship regarding the behavior of her peers, Jade recommends the following: “I would definitely recommend learning how to be a professional, whether it’s from Google or YouTube, learning how to speak to others. It doesn’t matter if they’re above you or an intern. You shouldn’t be speaking unprofessionally because it’s also networking.”

To conclude lastly Jade wanted other students in the Accounting major to know this, she says: “For all the accounting students, I know it can be overwhelming, but you’ll learn so much when you’re actually out in the field. So I wouldn’t worry about how stressful everything is with classes because you’ll be trained on everything once you get into a job and it won’t be so bad.”

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Story by: 
Asiya Robinson, junior writing arts major

Photos by:
Valentina Giannattasio, sophomore dance and marketing double major 

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