Student Intern: Matthew Pappas
Hometown: Miami, FL
Internship: Tennessee Valley Authority
As an intern, my main responsibility was testing internal controls that spanned all across the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). Over the course of my internship, I was able to test over fifty business process and IT controls. I was also expected to work well in teams. During my internship, I collaborated in some way with other employees in my group for most of my work.
I was able to learn about many of the different departments at TVA and how the organization functions as a whole. There are internal controls that monitor every process in the company, so I got to see how things worked from a variety of angles.
TVA also has a great work atmosphere. Everyone I worked with was friendly and more than that, they were specifically working at TVA because they bought into the mission of providing power to the people of the Tennessee Valley.
I also had the opportunity to do two notable things that most people do not get to do. The first being to sit in on a CEO forum and listen to the head of the company answer unfiltered questions from the employees. The other opportunity was to tour a nuclear power plant. Since TVA is in the process of building a new nuclear reactor, I was able to tour the inside of the reactor.
What made your internship valuable?
The most important lesson I learned was that you have to love what you’re doing. This is not saying that every single second you have to love working, because there will be trying times that you might dislike the work you have, but if work is simply a means to a paycheck then you’ve lost God’s original intention of work. Work is supposed to be something that is fulfilling in that it brings glory to God. As I progressed through my internship I found myself more in awe of the complexity of God’s creation.
How did you get the internship?
I was helped out by Covenant alumnus Josiah Lee ’06 who told me about internship opportunities in his department at TVA. Seeing that Sarbanes-Oxley is intertwined with external auditing, I saw this as a great opportunity to gain some real, practical experience. On top of this, TVA was particularly intriguing because it is government owned.
How does your internship relate to your career plans?
I believe my internship at TVA gave me valuable experience and as well as confidence that I can compete with accounting students from more well-known colleges.