How I came to be here:
I was introduced to Schneider Downs quite a while ago. My mom worked at the firm when I was young, and I was able to see the company from a different perspective. I saw it not from an accountant’s perspective, but from a family one, and I saw how cohesive the firm was as a group and the fun opportunities that they presented to their employees. I attended the Kennywood day picnics and “Bring Your Kid to Work Days” and loved every minute of it! I remember nothing but nice things about the people I met from the start. Walking around Kennywood Park with bright orange t-shirts on with my family was great. The back of the shirts said something along the lines of, “The future is so bright you have to wear shades,” and it all really stuck with me. My mom left the company so that she could spend more time with us as little kids, yet she remained great friends with many of her coworkers. She speaks so highly of everyone she met at Schneider Downs, and the experience she had made it seem like the place to be from the start.
I became interested in accounting in high school when basic classes were offered and therefore pursued this major at Niagara University. There, I attended career fairs and participated in interviews for internships offered by our career services office. Of all of the places I spoke with about internship opportunities none were captivating enough for me to stay in the Buffalo or Niagara Falls area. I wanted to be in Pittsburgh and I knew that for sure. I started looking into opportunities in Pittsburgh and Schneider Downs was at the top of my list. It had the draw of a prestigious company but still had the family appeal that I remembered when I was younger. I applied for the Summer Leadership Program for the summer of 2014 and was thrilled when I was accepted for the opportunity. While I was here for the program I was able to eat lunch with some new staff members and also interns that were currently working for Schneider Downs. They spoke so highly of their new employer and the opportunities they were presented that I was drawn to apply for the internship program and interview for the position. Subsequently, when I was awarded an interview, I was nervous I would make a mistake or run out of questions to ask. However, when I came in and spoke with individuals of various levels within the company I was pleasantly surprised how the conversation flowed and how much I had in common with the people I met, like golf and other sports. It was clear I wanted to be a part of this company.
Fast-forward to Summer 2015, the start of my current internship, and I am amazed at how hands-on the experience is from the start. I have heard numerous stories from friends that are participating in an internship where they are only copying and filing paperwork and there are no opportunities for travel, meeting clients or any other actual accounting work. When I tell others about my internship, they too are amazed to hear that I have been presented so many great opportunities to engage and learn. To travel and work with a variety of people in the company and also with clients, attend CPEs, to learn how the company functions and be at a place where I am not just an intern but where I am already treated like an employee and a friend is an incredible opportunity. I am so grateful for this experience and for the people I have met to date. Schneider Downs is exactly the type of place that I aspire to work at when I am finished with my masters program at Niagara this upcoming school year.