When my junior year at Washington & Jefferson College began, the professional internship interview process was underway. I was nervous but excited to begin my accounting career outside of the classroom. I investigated the companies that were recruiting on campus and decided to interview with Schneider Downs because of their “Big Thinking. Personal Focus.” slogan. I traveled to Schneider Downs’ office for my second interview, and I knew that I wanted to work at this specific company to not only learn the methodology of accounting but also interact with the professionals. When the firm’s H.R. Assistant Director, Mike Collins, called and informed me that I was selected for the internship, I was ecstatic to intern at Schneider Downs to proceed towards my future career in accounting. I was placed in the tax department for my summer work at the firm, and quickly integrated with the firm by attending the Christmas party to meet other interns and the current employees. I enjoyed my first interaction with the firm, and could not wait for summer and my internship to begin.
My first day at the internship was May 13; however, for the first three days, I went through training with the other interns and was unable to interact much with anyone from the tax department. I arrived on the following Monday morning expecting to be introduced to new concepts and programs that I would use regularly through the summer. I was correct in my assumption, but my first glimpse into the field was confusing and overwhelming. I regularly asked questions of my coworkers. Luckily, the employees of the firm are well-rounded, friendly people who were able to help me learn and successfully complete my assigned tasks until I learned to use the computer software, and until I learned the accounting procedures that I was being asked to complete. I have received real-world experience with the limited time that I am interning with Schneider Downs by creating estimate vouchers and recreating tax returns and amending them for deductions, along with many other projects. I have made friends in my experience interning, and I hope to maintain contact with them as I finish my college career.
Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. offers a unique opportunity for interns to fully interact within their field of study, ranging from accounting areas to other fields of study such as marketing. The firm offers the advantages of a larger firm, such as the software available to employees, but is able to keep the personal focus with clients through their interactions. The company has been able to create opportunities for the interns to interact with one another through not only work-related events like training but also leisure activities like lunch. The firm’s summer picnic is an excellent opportunity to bring together the entirety of the firm for interaction and the forming of new relationships. I am extremely happy to feel like more than just an intern to the firm but an integrated part of the firm. I would enjoy any future opportunity to continue to work with the company. Even though I have many more topics to explore and learn about within accounting, Schneider Downs & Co., Inc. has been a rewarding opportunity that is the foundation for my future learning in the field and relationships that I will build.