If experience is the best teacher, Post student Louis Santa Barbara Jr. has had some exceptional instructors. Few Post students have garnered more experience than junior Santa Barbara, who inside the classroom is an honors student and double major in Accounting and Finance, and outside the classroom is going on his third internship in as many years.
Santa Barbara began interning with companies in the second semester of his freshman year, and he hasn’t looked back since. He started as an intern in the Grants and Operations Audit Department at Waterbury Hospital in Spring 2014. Santa Barbara assisted in the process of applying for grants and working with the expenditures associated with the different activities and programs funded by those grants.
“The most satisfying piece of this experience was seeing the many individuals that benefited from the programs, in the hospital as well as within the Waterbury community,” he said.
Following this internship Santa Barbara completed a yearlong internship with Fortune 50 company United Technologies Corporation (UTC). Working in the Treasury Services Department allowed Santa Barbara to experience the ways UTC managed cash, credit and various forms of risk.
“The internship at UTC introduced me to the overall corporate environment and taught me important strategies relating to both project and time management,” he said.
This semester, Santa Barbara has begun an internship in the Assurance & Advisory Services Department at Fiondella, Milone & LaSaracina LLP (FML). FML is a medium-sized public accounting firm in Glastonbury, CT, and it felt like a perfect fit immediately for Santa Barbara.
“FML’s nature of being small and personal to clients, yet competent and experienced really made me feel as though it would be a terrific place to learn and grow,” he said. “I am enjoying it very much so far.”
Santa Barbara specifically chose to pursue an internship in public accounting because it aligned with his goal to pursue CPA licensure upon graduation, but also, it was a matter of following his heart.
“Accounting is the subject that I have known that I wanted to continue learning for the longest time,” he said. “It’s so exciting to be getting “real-world” experience in the subject that I have loved since I was a junior in high school.”
As an intern in FML’s Auditing Department, Santa Barbara has the opportunity to travel to different businesses and observe their accounting and financial reporting processes. FML has clients in many different industries and Santa Barbara feels it will be great exposure to observe the different processes and requirements.
“The experience will help me in my career by being exposed to a plethora of different business environments as well as the documentation and reporting procedures that are required in each,” he said. “I’ll also have a better idea of what to expect with regards to the CPA firm environment.”
Despite his many internship experiences and areas of study, Santa Barbara has not wavered from his longtime interest of public accounting and can’t wait to launch his full-time career in the field.
“I’m focusing on continuing to learn as much as I can with respect to the practical and technical skills that are needed in the public accounting industry,” he said. “My aspiration is to work hard and earn an offer for continued employment at FML at the completion of this internship.”