September 9, 2008

Finding My Career Path

Alaina Masler ’09 writes about her summer internship with BDO Consulting in New York City

Alaina Masler ’09 (Cortland, N.Y.), a Spanish and economics & business double major, spent her summer interning at BDO Consulting in New York City under the direction of David Berliner ’83, a partner with the firm.

I was fortunate to spend this summer at BDO Consulting, a division of BDO Seidman, LLP. As an intern in the Business Restructuring Services group, I worked on a variety of projects and learned about business restructuring and bankruptcy and, even more importantly, about what a career in consulting would be like.

The BRS group deals primarily with the bankruptcy and the turnaround of financially distressed companies. Through this internship, I gained firsthand insight into the bankruptcy process, specifically Chapter 11, or restructuring. I researched debtors and troubled firms, and helped develop a model to identify distressed firms. I also helped prepare proposals BDO uses to offer its services to creditors of a bankrupt firm. I prepared exhibits and reports, which analyzed financial statements and identified trends.

Working on an assortment of projects is one thing that draws me toward a career in consulting. As work is client and project specific, every day is different. This allowed me to learn about multiple aspects of the business and to work with almost everyone in the department – something I enjoyed greatly. All of the employees, from associate to partner, were very helpful. They took the time to explain the background of my assignments so that I would understand the purpose of my work and why it was important. This welcoming and supportive environment made coming to work fun.

Even with all of the work, there was still time for (a little) fun and games. The interns had lunch with the partners, one of whom is David Berliner, a Lafayette alumnus, at Ellen’s Stardust Diner, complete with milkshakes and singing waiters. The consulting group had a farewell event for the interns at Dave and Buster’s. We also attended the BDO Consulting annual outing at a park which included water slides, mini-golf, and barbeque.

I feel very fortunate to have had this experience at BDO, and I would like to thank David for offering the internship to Lafayette students. It is convenient that New York City is so accessible to the Lafayette community, as it makes networking and interviews more feasible. Being able to travel to New York and meet with multiple employers was certainly beneficial to me during my internship search. Lafayette students are fortunate that there are alumni, like David, who want to assist us in obtaining externships, internships, and jobs.

My 10 week adventure in the world of consulting allowed me to experience the business world as well as work on a wide array of projects with many different individuals. I had a wonderful experience, and it has helped me decide what I would like to do after graduation: begin a career in consulting.

  • David Berliner ’83 Opens Doors for Students in the Big Apple
  • Foreign Languages and Literatures
  • Economics and Business
  • Internships/Externships

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