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Shaping the Future: AVIAN's Summer Intern Spotlight, Connor Senechal

Aug 3rd, 2023

In the second installment of our summer intern spotlight series, we're excited to introduce you to Connor Senechal. As a rising junior at Grove City College studying accounting and finance, Connor has been immersing himself in the complexities of government accounting during his internship at AVIAN. From handling financial projections to understanding the intricate dynamics of government contracting, he has delved deep into his field. Let's hear more about Connor's hands-on experience at AVIAN.

1. Give a general background/introduction of yourself. (what school are you attending, what are you studying, what's your internship focusing on?)

I am a rising junior at Grove City College, where I am studying accounting and finance.  Over the course of my internship, I have been looking over financial projections and comparing funds to actual costs.

2. What projects have you been working on for your internship?

I have had several different projects over the course of my internship. These include moving accounts payable vouchers between files, logging credit card purchases in Avian’s accounting software Costpoint, working on a cost schedule, a copy of the contribution margin report, and creating a spreadsheet showing the allocation of funds to the costs for the various contracts that AVIAN has been working on.

3. What’s your favorite project/task that you've worked on while at AVIAN?

I would say that my favorite project would be the spreadsheet that I did where I compared the allocation of funds to the costs of the projects that they were associated with. I had a much better understanding of Excel by this point in my internship, and creating the spreadsheet allowed me to get a better understanding of the funding and costs associated with government contracting.

4. What surprised you the most about the work you're doing at AVIAN?

Government accounting is more difficult than I thought it would be. My focus at school has been on the typical debits and credits. Here, I have been looking at government ceilings, funds, CLINS, and colors of money, which are far more complicated than I had anticipated.

5. Where do you see yourself in the next year? The next five years? What are your goals?

In the next year, I hope to return here for a second summer. My additional goals over the next five years would include gaining a full-time accounting position, obtaining the 150 college credits that I need to take the CPA exam, and, ultimately, passing it to become a Certified Public Accountant.

6. What were/are you looking to get out of the internship? Are you/did you get what you were looking for?

I was primarily looking for the ability to get front-line accounting experience, learn the government acquisition system, and provide a valuable contribution to Avian. I would say that I got what I came for in those regards.

7. Do you feel like you got the "AVIAN" experience?

Yes, the people are rather friendly here. The team was very welcoming. I wasn’t put in a corner somewhere. Instead, the “AVIANites” made me feel like part of the team and my supervisor gave me meaningful tasks to complete.

8. What rotation taught you the most outside of your normal discipline?

Regarding rotations, I would say that the contracts rotation was the best. During the course of my internship, I could see a lot of the money that was being received and spent. During the contract rotation, I was able to better understand how and what agreements led to the financial information that I was working on in Excel.

9. Why did you choose to intern at AVIAN?

I grew up in this area and thought it would be a good idea to get my feet wet in government accounting locally. I heard very good things about AVIAN as a company, especially the incredible employee environment.  I was initially able to connect directly with Mr. Switick who passed me off to the CFO, John Verdon. Mr. Verdon provided an overview of the accounting work at AVIAN and got me excited about the company as a whole while also providing a clear path to me achieving my goal of becoming a CPA.

From his deep dive into government accounting to his integration into our AVIAN team, Connor's journey is a testament to the enriching and immersive experience we aim to provide our interns. His dedication and aspiration to become a Certified Public Accountant motivate us, and we look forward to possibly welcoming him back next summer. As we conclude Connor's chapter, we're excited to bring you more inspiring stories from our summer interns in the next posts.

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