Former intern: ‘Skills learned at GoTriangle led to early promotion’

Joi Rogers
Former intern: ‘Skills learned at GoTriangle led to early promotion’

Joi Rogers is at the top of her game. Promoted in January from a staff member to senior technology risk consultant at EY, one of the country’s leading financial consulting companies, she says her GoTriangle internship contributed to her success.

“I really love my job,” Rogers says. “EY has been great! I got promoted early this past January to a senior [position]. Typically, when you come to public accounting, you have two years as a staff, but I got promoted early because of my leadership skills that I really learned at GoTriangle. … I was treated like an adult at GoTriangle – and it was my first time in the world truly learning and applying the skills that I was learning in school.’’

Rogers joined GoTriangle in 2018 as a Finance department intern, handling the Finance department’s daily accounting as well as larger, creative projects. She led a fare-free study that GoTriangle’s Board of Trustees members requested and presented her results to them. She also worked with the Finance department team to implement a new in-house system to track project spending and trained the incoming intern who replaced her. After landing a full-time job, Rogers left GoTriangle in 2020 to complete a master’s degree in accounting at NC State University, which she earned in May 2021.

GoTriangle managers gave her guidance but also independence to grow and learn, Rogers says, noting that experience helped her as she entered EY.

“Ren [Wiles], my [GoTriangle] boss, pretty much taught me how to be independent, critical think and problem-solve a lot,” Rogers says. “And those are key tools when you go into public accounting, so I use those skills as a leader. … When there were problems at work, I was able to present them to my boss with ideas of solutions that I had, which is something that Ren really ingrained into me.”

Training the incoming GoTriangle intern in 2020 also prepared her for training interns at her current job. At EY, her main work is auditing the financial systems and software used to create financial statements.

The first in her family to graduate from college, Rogers had to work hard to attain her success. As an undergraduate accounting student at NC State, she worked two to three jobs simultaneously to support herself. For graduate school, she earned a full-ride academic fellowship at NC State, which covered tuition, health insurance and granted her employment at the university.

Interviewed in 2020 when she was leaving GoTriangle, she said her goal was to become financially stable. Since then, she has bought her first home and earned her Certified Public Accountant license. She still keeps in touch with Wiles, who she says, “has been there” for her as she worked to earn her CPA license.

A GoTriangle senior accountant, Wiles is proud of her, showing up to cheer for her at her undergraduate graduation. Interviewed in 2019, Wiles predicted that in 10 years he expected Rogers to be mentoring other young accounting students.

It turns out he was wrong. It only took Rogers three years to begin that mentoring, and he couldn’t be happier!

As Wiles remembers it, he told the final candidates for the internship that he would be training them by asking a repeated question, “Why did you do it this way?” The intent was not to test technical knowledge but to learn how accounting classwork and theory fit into the real world.  Rogers stood out because she replied, “I accept that challenge.”