Inside ARB: Testimonials

What is it like to gain experience though ARB’s  internship program? What made our talented staff choose to launch or expand their careers with ARB? The best way to learn the answers to questions like these is by exploring testimonials from our team members.

Testimonials from our team: 

Laura Everett, CPA, Director – Graduate of the University of Southern Maine

Karla Brannen, CPA, Tax Manager – Graduate of Thomas College


Erika Gagne, Husson University – “As an intern, I felt like a valuable member of the team.” 

I was first introduced to the accounting profession through my father, who spent his career in private accounting. When I decided to study accounting at Husson University, I learned more about public accounting options and heard about ARB through classmates. The opportunity arose for an ARB internship, and I jumped at the chance to be able to experience public accounting first-hand.

One of the many things that I noticed about ARB was its sense of community. Before I even started my internship in January of 2013, I was invited to many firm-wide events, which proved to me just how different ARB’s culture is from other firms. As an intern, I felt like I was a valued member of the team. They do a great job at providing the knowledge and expertise of a large firm while still focusing on small-firm, personal touches.

I expected to be working on small projects, maybe even doing clerical work, but ARB proved me wrong. I did not expect to be working on in-depth returns and statements. From the very beginning, I was assigned many returns and other projects that tested me professionally. Whenever I ran into roadblocks or had questions, the staff was GREAT at helping out. All were willing to help me learn how to solve the problems. The team aspect really came into play, which is very important to me. They wanted to see me succeed in my goals. I was definitely challenged, but with the support of everyone at ARB, I was able to succeed.  They also provided great advice on my future goals of attaining my CPA and working in a public accounting firm. I learned so much from diving into a busy tax season within a public accounting firm and truly believe that ARB is a great place to be!

Kevin Hudon, Husson University –  ARB was a great environment to have questions answered.”

ARB was a great firm for an internship. Everybody that I worked with was remarkably patient with all of my questions, and everyone was very knowledgeable. It was a great environment to have questions answered and to be able to learn what an accountant experiences during tax season.

ARB was also very supportive of its employees’ work/life balance. There were no restrictions on when people needed to work. As long as you worked your required hours, then it didn’t matter when you worked them. As long as the work was completed on time, everyone was happy.

For me, the first lesson of tax season was how to work inside effectively all day. Coming from primarily labor jobs, my ARB internship was the first time I had to focus for a long day and use what I had learned in courses – and on the job – all day.

I also enjoyed living in Portland during my internship. There was a lot to do on my time off, and the people were all very friendly. It’s not a large place like Boston or New York – but there are things to do – and it has a city feeling to it while also retaining the feeling of a small town.

Brandon Spera, University of New Hampshire – “It was immediately clear that ARB was going to be a great place to work.”

My first introduction to ARB was at a career fair hosted at the University of New Hampshire. The accountant from ARB’s Recruiting Committee was extremely friendly and personable. That first conversation set ARB apart, which led me to attend their annual open house. Throughout my interviewing process everyone at the firm was extremely nice and welcoming. It was immediately clear that ARB was going to be a great place to work. Everyone works well together and there’s mutual support for growing in the field.

Smaller firm, big rewards

I was attracted to a mid-size firm, rather than a larger firm, because I wanted to work in an environment with a focus support and mutual respect, not office politics. I also wanted to get as much experience in different industries as possible early in my career. ARB makes this a priority for new accountants, which not only improves your accounting knowledge, it forces you to step out of your comfort zone and grow as a professional and an individual. I’m sure I was given more responsibility at ARB earlier in my career than a larger firm would have given me.

Living and working in New England

I enjoy spending time in the outdoors — hiking, rock climbing, running, canoeing and water skiing – so New England is a great place for my career. I’m a native of New Hampshire and attended UNH for both undergrad and graduate school. Now that I’m living and working in Portland, I love the city’s diverse restaurants, and our proximity to the ocean and mountains.