Jenny Lee received internship offers from The Walt Disney Co. and PepsiCo before accepting an offer with Amazon in Seattle this summer as a financial analyst intern.
“I was looking at which company I could learn the most from,” said Lee. “It’s been a lot of fun and also challenging to learn how big Amazon is.”
Lee is expected to graduate from Case Western Reserve University at the end of the fall 2022 semester. As a triple major at the Weatherhead School of Management in accounting, marketing and business management, Lee said the internship with Amazon is a way to expand on her experience in the accounting sector.
Her past two internships were with the U.S. Government Accountability Office (U.S. GAO) and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). Both of which were accounting internships as well, but were focused on public and government accounting versus corporate accounting at Amazon. For Lee, her experience this summer has been notably distinct.
“From day one, I got introduced to a project that I have to own, accomplish a goal myself, and give a presentation about it during my last week. Based on that I will be evaluated on how my internship went and what my results are,” Lee said. “Having that sense of ownership of an entire project is different and exciting.”
Lee’s project focuses on how to enforce additional procurement controls within Amazon, so that Amazon can reach its goal of having a reduction in purchase order defects and enhancing its data. Lee’s project will impact the Operations Expense team and help automate stock and enhance controls within the team.
This is Lee’s first internship that she’s been able to experience in person, due to the COVID-19 pandemic inhibiting in-person internships for the last couple years. Learning about corporate culture and corporate accounting has been one of Lee’s biggest goals for this summer.
“I feel very privileged to go into Amazon’s offices in Seattle,” Lee said. “It’s been cool to explore their buildings. And being able to hangout with my intern cohort after the workday for a quick dinner has been fun.”
Upon graduation, Lee would like to receive a position back with the U.S. GAO to focus on government accounting. She eventually aspires to go to law school to become a legislator or a judge.
“I feel like there’s a huge value of being a public servant and serving the government before going to law school,” Lee said. “GAO is not my end goal, but a stepping stone to being a judge or legislator.”
During her time on campus, Lee is heavily involved with Beta Alpha Psi, an honors organization for accounting students. She has served on the executive board, as a director of membership and a director for the Meet the Accountants Breakfast, which is an annual networking event with accounting firm professionals, most of whom are Case Western Reserve alumni.
“It was very rewarding to be the director of Meet the Accountants,” said Lee. “I heard so many students get an internship offer or just that they got to know more people in the accounting field through that event.”
Lee is also involved on campus as an event assistant for the Linsalata Alumni Center; an operations assistant for the Flora Stone Mather Center for Women; a Wolstein Society Member; a Spartan ambassador; and a campus ambassador for Becker CPA.
What has she loved most about her time at Case Western Reserve? “Everyone is so approachable. Whether it is meeting with a professor or getting involved in an organization,” Lee said. “Being able to meet such great people from all over the world who come together here, in this place. I can’t emphasize my gratefulness enough toward the Case Western Reserve community.”
Lee credits Associate Professor of Accountancy Sharon Martin, for offering to be her advisor for the PwC internship, writing a scholarship recommendation letter and for giving her advice about the work.
“That helped me a lot,” Lee said. “I applied for scholarships and she wrote me a recommendation letter.” Lee also noted Assistant Professor of Accountancy Melissa Carlisle’s support.
“It’s more than learning something in the classroom because it’s those conversations we have outside of the classroom where I’ve learned so much too,” Lee said.
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