Michael Briggs ’22, a Merrimack College Senior majoring in Business Administration with a Concentration in Accounting and minoring in Analytics, has launched his career with a job at CliftonLarsonAllen as a Tax Associate. Previously, Michael has interned with CLA in the summer of 2021 as a Tax Intern, and has worked at the Lucey Center since 2019 as an Office Assistant. In his free time, Michael is also captain of the rugby team!
Congratulations on your new position. Thank you for meeting with me. Can you tell us a little bit about why you chose to work there? What makes this company a great place to work?
I like CliftonLarsonAllen for a few reasons. I really enjoy the work I do, the people and have made great connections during my time there. I think I’ll be specializing in doing taxes for non profits. I also really like how many opportunities there are for vertical or horizontal integration throughout the company.
How did you find this position, and can you tell us a little bit about what you do there? And is there any advice you’d give to other students looking to break into this company?
I found it on Handshake in October of 2020, I applied and got an interview, and I was quarantined during the interview. I do individual tax returns for non-profits and also do pretty much whatever else needs to be helped with. And, through CLA, I have been consulting Hanes, a large clothing manufacturer, with auditing.
Can you talk us through the process of finding and applying for your internship?
Handshake is a super great tool that is often overlooked. If it wasn’t for Handshake, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I saw the workplace was near me, had a few rounds of interviews, and was lucky to be selected.
How did you prepare for the interview? What was it like, and do you have any tips on interview techniques or questions?
Interviewing has been a strong attribute of mine. In my experience, confidence is key, but being knowledgeable about what you’re getting into is just as crucial. You should come off as well prepared, informed and excited, employers are looking for prepared and excited people.
In general, how did Merrimack contribute to your career development? What resources did you use?
The professors and advisors that I’ve had have been super influential in helping me figure out where to take my career. Linkedin and Handshake have been two great resources and helped me get internships and get connections.
What surprised you about your internship experience? Were there any situations that came up that you were unprepared for?
I had some unexpected situations, but it wouldn’t have been a good experience if I knew everything that was coming my way. It was nothing too daunting, but it helped me learn to think on my feet, ask the right questions, and get more comfortable with working with others in a professional status.
What skills have you developed working for this company and what do you wish you had known prior to starting the internship there?
I improved my software skills used in accounting, as well as the flow and organization of work in a corporate environment.
Any campus shout-outs to folks who have helped you along the way in getting you to this point?
The whole rugby team, the advisors at the Lucey Center who have helped me tremendously, and Michael Hyman, my advisor and mentor.
Speaking of your time at Merrimack, how did you grow in your time here? Were there any influential clubs, jobs, professors, or moments for you?
Professor Hyman has had countless conversations with me about school, life, and my future career. He is a great asset and mentor. The rugby team helped me learn more discipline, leadership, and working with others.