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Summer Internship Spotlight: Meet Clayton Goode, Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate, ‘17
Summer Internship Spotlight: Meet Clayton Goode, Post-Baccalaureate Accounting Certificate, ‘17

Clayton Goode is pursuing the Postbac Accounting Certificate at the School of Business. He plans to start working towards the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and Certified Government Financial Manager (CGFM) upon graduation in fall 2017.

Clayton is an Accounting Intern at the Bonneville Power Administration, a power-marketing administration under the US Department of Energy.

After being with the Navy on missions in various locations, Clayton wanted to learn a new skill that is marketable in the Portland area. Inspired by his wife, who works at Moss Adams (business consulting), Clayton decided to take introductory accounting courses. He became very interested in this topic and made the choice to enroll into PSU’s Postbac Accounting Certificate Program.

As an intern, Clayton is particularly thankful for accountant mentors, who gave him the reassurance to have made the right career choice.

Can you tell us about the Bonneville Power Administration?

BPA is responsible, by direction of Congress, for marketing the power that is produced by federally owned power-generating assets and a few nonfederal plants. The majority of BPA’s generation is produced from 31 hydroelectric projects, which are run by the US Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, and a nonfederal nuclear generating station in Washington. BPA is tasked with marketing this power to create the greatest benefit to the region. I believe it is a noble mission worth doing well!

How far in advance did you begin your search for internships?

I was actually just looking for part-time jobs that would pair well with college life. I was particularly interested in jobs that had some relevance to accounting, for obvious reasons. I was searching to find a part-time accounts-payable clerk job, or something of that nature to gain some entry-level experience. I actually just stumbled across this internship in my search.

How did you find the internship?

I searched USAJOBS.com, which is the official website for Federal government jobs. I applied for the job before my first term at PSU, but I later saw that PSU’s SBA put out a list of internship opportunities, and BPA was on that list. – If you’re looking for an internship, pay attention to those SBA internship emails!

What has been the most rewarding part of your internship so far?

 Every bit of this opportunity has been rewarding, so it is difficult to pick just one thing! Internships are an opportunity to network with professionals in your field, gain experience to make yourself more marketable, as well as an opportunity to try out your intended career field before you’ve completed the degree! If I’ve got to pick one thing as being the most rewarding, I would say it is rewarding to have gained a few great accountant mentors at different stages of their careers – these mentors have given me confidence that I can succeed, and that I’ve made a good career choice!

How has the online internship course helped you be successful at your internship?

The online internship course has helped provide a sort of “road map” for success. When you get in at a new position you are overwhelmed with new information. Hopefully you’re already the type of person who is trying to make the most of your opportunity, but that can still be challenging. The internship class will really help you to bring everything into focus. Right from the beginning you start identifying your goals and the goals of your company, then you “map out” your path to connect the goals. The course is really geared towards helping you identify things that will add value to your career and your agency. – I should also mention to future accounting interns, the OICPA will accept up to 4 credits of internship towards your Oregon CPA exam eligibility.

What advice would you give other students considering an internship?

Make sure you make a time commitment consistent with what you think you can handle. If you are taking too many classes and working too much, then your performance at both will suffer. Have a realistic time commitment in your head, and make sure you communicate that at your interview.

In what ways do you feel this experience will benefit your future career?

This internship has given me an awesome opportunity to see different aspects of accounting at a power-marketing agency. I hope to learn more and get more exposure. This experience will help make me competitive for a full time position with the agency. If that does not work out, then I will have this experience to add to my resume and invaluable connections with respected professionals in the energy industry and the field of accounting.


 

Seven steps to finding and getting the most out of an internship:

1. Begin your search approximately a year in advance – starting in fall term. CareerConnect is the best place to search online for internships.

2. Attend Career Fairs organized by your school and other career development activities.

3. Participate in case competitions organized by your company of choice, attend webinars, and info session opportunities.

4. Present your best self in the application process – get a resume review and do a mock interview before applying.

5. Take the internship 404 class to earn academic credit.

6. Once hired, network within the company to cultivate professional relationships.

7. Stay in touch with your contacts after the internship and do your part to foster the relationships.