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Francis Duggan Kearney & Company Intern Journal

New Beginnings: My Internship at Kearney & Company by Francis Duggan

IT Training at Kearney – 7/10/18

During my first week with Kearney & Company, I realized that Kearney was a different type of company, one that truly cares about its employees and interns. The constant mention of an open-door policy and being one big (growing) family was very welcoming. A common theme I started to pick up on during my first week at Kearney is their commitment to growing and developing their most important asset, their employees. From talking with my friends and family who have completed internships before, I expected a lot of grunt work. I was pleasantly surprised if not shocked when I was told I would be taking a training class, followed by a certification exam, during only my third week at Kearney.

It was my first day at Kearney and I was handed a textbook in preparation for the Federal IT Security Professional Auditor (FITSP-A) training class and exam. With having little to no IT background and no auditing experience I was nervous about this class. Mr. Tyler Harding and Mr. Bill Wright, our class instructors, made it clear it was a hard exam, and that we were not expected to pass. That fact Kearney was willing to invest in me, an intern, and PAY me to prepare and take this exam is a testament to the value Kearney places on the training and development of their employees.

The class schedule was rigorous – three days of lectures, multiple quizzes, and knowledge checks followed by an exam on the fourth day. The training class, while fast paced and covering a lot of material, jump-started my knowledge of federal IT concepts and prepared me to support the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) annual Federal Information Systems Modernization Act (FISMA) evaluation. While I didn’t pass the FITSP-A exam, the experience of preparing and taking a certification exam was very valuable, and something I am very thankful for.

I also had the opportunity the following week to be trained on Kearney’s FISMA KIT by Mr. Terry Williams. The FISMA KIT is Kearney’s methodology for executing FISMA audits and evaluations. Similar to the practice aids for financial statement audits, the FISMA KIT consists of templates for FISMA Entrance Conferences, audit plans, test matrices, questionnaires, project management plans, and draft reports. Collectively, the FITSP-A review course and FISMA KIT training prepared me to be a successful intern on the NSF FISMA and IT portion of the financial statement audit.

Work Hard, Play Hard – 8/1/18

“The Kearney culture is aptly described by the motto, “Work Hard, Play Hard.” CEO Ed Kearney is often the first to remind employees that they must balance their work and personal lives. We realize your happiness and health are critical to your success every day.” Those few sentences can be found on Kearney’s website and cannot be truer. Since I’ve been at Kearney I have been involved or attended many company sponsored events. They all have been tremendously fun and enjoyable.

As part of my internship experience, our intern class has organized several events in support of Camp Kesem, an incredible organization who offers a free camp for children who have parents who had cancer, are undergoing cancer treatments, or have lost a parent to cancer. The first Kearney event I ever attended was an event set up by the interns. It was a trivia night happy hour at Murphy’s in Alexandria. Our next event that us interns set up was Camp Kearney. Camp Kearney was a competition-based event at Kearney’s headquarters in Alexandria, VA. This event was a little different as it wasn’t your traditional happy hour, or intern event. This event made us think outside the box and taught us that setting up an event can be very complicated. All in all, the motto “Work Hard, Play Hard” is engraved in the Kearney culture.

This article was originally published on Francis Duggan’s (Summer 2018 Intern) LinkedIn page.

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