IYF Intern Alumni Spotlight Series: Brandon Thomas, Summer 2022 Intern

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Brandon ThomasAt IYF, our mission is rooted in the belief that every young person deserves a chance to thrive, regardless of their background. We stand as steadfast allies, accompanying them on their journeys towards brighter futures. Central to our focus is our commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI), dismantling systemic barriers and fostering an environment where every voice is not only heard but valued.

In our ongoing series highlighting the remarkable journeys of our interns, we're honored to showcase the insights and experiences of Brandon Thomas. Brandon, a student at Towson University pursuing a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting with an anticipated graduation in Spring 2025, has embarked on a journey marked by passion and growth. 

Witnessing IYF's dedication to meaningful work resonated deeply with Brandon's desire to make a positive impact. The opportunity to delve into the Finance department offered a valuable glimpse into potential career paths, while simultaneously providing him with valuable skill-building opportunities.

Currently serving as an Intern at Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander, LLC, Brandon's trajectory exemplifies the transformative impact of internships in shaping career paths and fostering professional development. Recently, IYF caught up with Brandon to see where he's at now and how his internship has shaped his career. Here's what he had to say:

What motivated you to apply for the internship program at IYF? 
I always wanted to do meaningful work. So, when I read IYF’s mission and the description of the job I would be doing, I became interested because I knew I could be making a positive impact. Another reason is that as an accounting major, the internship program would allow me to work within the iFAAM department, so I could work closely and interact with those who were doing jobs I was interested in. I also wanted an opportunity to gain work experience and build transferable skills. 

How did your experience as an IYF intern influence your career trajectory? 
The IYF Intern program had a significant influence on my career trajectory. Based on how my initial internship program went, I returned to IYF as an accounting assistant. With my experience as an accounting assistant, I have gained more knowledge about what I want to do and have received more accounting internship opportunities. 

What are some key learnings or skills you gained during your internship? 
I gained some skills in Microsoft Office applications and digital file management. I learned more about how to give presentations in a professional work environment, including visual aids and preparation. I also learned more about communicating and collaborating with others in a virtual workspace, as it’s much different than face-to-face. 

Can you share any memorable moments or experiences from your time in the program? 
A memorable moment was presenting the work I did throughout my internship in front of the entire IYF staff at the global meeting. I also enjoyed many team-bonding events, whether watching the World Cup or working with others at a coffee shop. It was great connecting with others. 

Where are you now in your career journey? 
I am currently in my Junior year at Towson University. I am interning at Rosen, Sapperstein & Friedlander, doing tax and assurance work. 

Are there any words of advice or encouragement you would like to share with current/future IYF interns? 
Be proactive. Seek opportunities beyond what is expected or required of you. Be willing to make suggestions. You get more out of the program this way. Build relationships. One of the biggest reasons I enjoyed my internship at IYF is because of how great the people are there. It’s an excellent opportunity to meet and network with people. When you have free time, try to set up a chat with someone. Make sure to find a balance between work and other obligations. Life can get tough, especially when you have a lot going on, along with work. Make sure to prioritize & communicate with your supervisor about scheduling changes. 

Stay tuned for more inspiring stories from our IYF Intern Alumni Spotlight series!