Feature Friday: Joel Zaretti

Feature Friday: Joel Zaretti

Many college seniors stress over finding a job, graduate school or what their exact steps are after graduation. For senior Joel Zaretti, an internship this past spring has already secured him a spot at an accounting firm after coming to Albion with zero interest in accounting.

Zaretti came to Albion with the intent to study international business, but as time went on he developed an interest in accounting. A member of the Carl A. Gerstacker Institute for Business and Management, he enjoyed the challenge accounting presented.

"I've always been a numbers guy," said Zaretti. "I felt like accounting really suited me and could provide me with some job security, especially in the world we live in now."

His sophomore year at Albion, Zaretti met with a recruiter from Ernst & Youngwhere he learned more information about the internship program. After two interviews and a long wait, Zaretti secured an internship for this past spring -- nearly a year after the initial meet up.

In January, Zaretti began an eight-week internship where he had three options within the firm to choose a track -- consulting, tax or audit. Working in the Detroit office, he chose audit practice, where he would be assigned clients and ensure their financials are correct.

Over the eight weeks, he had four different clients. With clients ranging from large, publicly-traded companies to smaller, privately-owned businesses, he would receive their financial statements and look at everything to assure accuracy.

During his time, he recognized the time commitment it takes to be an accountant, as some weeks he was putting up to 70 or 80 hours in.

"My first day was actually on a Saturday, so I knew right away that would be an adjustment," said Zaretti. "Some clients we would work 35 to 40 hours a week with, in addition to other items that had to be taken care of."

With Zaretti's internship slated to end in early March 2020, the senior understands how lucky he is to have been able to complete an internship in person before the pandemic shifted many workplaces to a virtual setting.

"I'm very fortunate to have had the opportunity to have my internship be an in person experience," said Zaretti. "I learned so much being on-site everyday that I can't imagine the difficulties trying to learn everything if it was done remotely."

His time with EY was also enhanced by the Albion connections he made at the firm. There were many Albion alumni on staff, which Zaretti recognizes made the transition into the company a smooth one. As one of roughly 10 interns on staff, Zaretti made connections with his fellow interns by going to Red Wings games and other activities. At those events, he and the other interns had the chance to meet others in the profession and get a feel for what a career in accounting is truly like.

The midfielder also excels on the pitch, as he has started in 46 of 49 games in his Albion career. Along with a pair of goals last season, Zaretti earned MIAA Defensive Player of the Week honors on Sept. 30.

Before his senior year of college even began, Zaretti accepted a full-time position with EY that will commence following graduation in May. He will continue his role in audit.