Hello, my name is Andrew Losee, and I would like to talk with you about the two weeks I spent interning at First Housing Development Corporation in Tampa. To tell you a little about myself, I am a senior graduating from Tampa Preparatory School on June 1, 2014, and will attend Florida Gulf Coast University in the fall to major in Accounting. One of my high school graduation requirements is to work as an intern for 70 hours, so I chose First Housing. I thought First Housing would provide me with a bird’s eye view of what an office environment is like.
I set up my internship with Tricia Gallagher, VP of Loan Administration, and I wasn’t really sure what to expect on my first day of work. I wasn’t necessarily nervous; I just didn’t really have much of an idea of what I would be doing. As I arrived on my first day, I was introduced to Tricia as well as many other staff members. Everyone greeted me warmly and welcomed me to First Housing. Tricia was nice enough to take me to lunch and treat me to a good bacon cheeseburger from a local restaurant in the Hyde Park area.
I began my internship by working on Standard Operating Procedures (SOP: a detailed explanation of how a policy, procedure, or task is to be implemented) and Escrow Analyses. One of the tasks was to revise old SOP’s from around 2008 to help find any mistakes that needed to be corrected. Although reviewing the SOP’s can be tedious work, it’s nice to know I played a part in helping better the future SOP’s that will be written for others to use. The Escrow Analyses were actually not that hard to work on, because they require cross-checking a lot of information and making sure many numbers add up correctly, which I enjoy…thus the accounting major.
On Thursday of my first week, I was fortunate enough to sit in on a presentation about Davis-Bacon presented by Angi Darling. Davis-Bacon governs how workers on construction sites need to be paid according to what they do. Even with no knowledge on what Davis-Bacon was prior to the presentation, coming out of there, I had a pretty solid idea on how Davis-Bacon works and how things must be documented.
The first Friday was a blast! All week I had heard that Friday was a “fun day.” I had no idea what that meant, but it seemed fun so I was looking forward to it. On Friday at lunch time, pizza was delivered and served with salad along with lemonade and iced tea. After eating, we were all directed outside and driven to a mysterious location which we weren’t allowed to know until we arrived. Upon arrival to our mysterious location, the Tampa International Airport, all I was thinking was, “What could we possibly be doing here?” Once inside, we were told it was a scavenger hunt. We had to take pictures of many different things within our groups as well as obtain information on different things within the airport. Doug McCree, the President/CEO, was in my group and I was able to talk to him a bit, and I found out he has an immense amount of knowledge on the Tampa International Airport. After the two hours given to find all the pictures and information, each group had to solve a small puzzle; the faster you completed it, the more points your group would be given. Unfortunately, my group and I were really not that great at puzzles, and we finished second to last. Although we didn’t win the prizes of Busch Gardens Tickets or a $20 gift card to a local restaurant, the day served as an interesting way to connect and meet other people within First Housing, making it an all-around great day.
The second week working was pretty similar to my first – Escrow Analyses, Past Due Reports, and Check Requests were my main tasks. On Wednesday, Randy Enders, the CFO of First Housing, sat down with me and gave me many helpful tips regarding his own experiences with accounting. His insight and knowledge on how to conduct myself after college was extremely beneficial, and he gave me his contact information in case I have any questions in in the future. I greatly appreciated that – thank you Randy!
Overall, my experience at First Housing was an enjoyable one, because it gave me a look at how office settings work. What I really noticed, similar to the puzzle on Fun Day Friday, is that the office itself works as a puzzle. Everyone works together like a piece of the puzzle to get the work done, and to reach the final product of the finished puzzle. I never realized how much of a cohesive unit office work spaces have to be until now.
~ Thank you First Housing!