Augustana College printing logo

What I learned last summer at Deere & Co.

September  24, 2013

From left, interns Hiba Ansari, Bowen Dang, Kierra Smith, Greg Larson and Devan Peterson.

Over the summer five Augustana accounting majors completed internships with Deere & Company, based in Moline, Ill., near the college. At the end of their internships, they gave a presentation to faculty and company management on their experiences. Here are some of their take-aways:

Timeliness: I learned how to prioritize even more acutely with such hourly impending deadlines during closing week, and during supervisor directions.

Communication: It was mind-boggling how many mediums of communication I was using, and was entrenched in. The fact that I went from emails, to instant messages, to phone calls, to sharing my screen and talking, and then setting up meetings... wow. 

Resourcefulness: Although I received help when I asked, and had colleagues anticipate my needs, I really had to take my own initiative to seek out the answers to my questions. This was really learned on the job, and it made me feel good to take my independent initiatives.

Hiba Ansari, now a senior, explained what she did at Deere. "I worked with 19 different units under John Deere to retrieve accrual information regarding federal tax work papers, compiled and created the CQ report of foreign commercial liabilities submitted to the U.S Department of the Treasury, and worked on resolving cost errors for manufactured parts.

"I learned that resourcefulness and initiative were paramount in meeting and exceeding your goals and that one person's optimism and enthusiasm in infectious and noticeable ...  And that supreme attention to detail and processes is necessary to meet multiple hourly deadlines for period closing.

Dang Bowen, also a senior, created a visual reporting tool for Enterprise Expense Line project (EEL), enhanced EEL report's readability and helped users across the enterprise develop a better understanding of their financials; developed the Worldwide Headquarters 2014 Expense Structure Lines by conducting financial analysis using Essbase; communicated with area management level; presented to Senior VP; delivered an error-free inter-factory volumes transaction record and ensured the accuracy of cost accounting deliverable.

"Accountants' job duties require strong analytical skills, attention to details as well as patience," Dang said. "Through doing projects like 2014 expense structure line analysis, enterprise expense line project, as well as cost accounting projects, my abilities in terms of those skills have been greatly enhanced. As an international student, this experience also helped me improve my communication and presentation skills."