Throughout the past three years of college, the question that I have been most frequently asked is, “What’s your major?” After someone hears that I am an accounting major, I always receive the usual response of,” How can you put up with sitting in a cubicle every day pushing numbers?” When I chose to major in accounting, I also had that point of view of accountants. Through hearing about internship experiences from friends and my own internship experiences, I have realized that with an accounting degree you do much more than just stare at numbers all day. Being a student at the University of Pittsburgh’s business school, there are countless opportunities available through our career services department to help further our professional careers. Whether it is setting up a mock interview or getting career advice from an executive in residence, someone is there to help you along the way and provide advice or input. My advice to anyone in college looking to gain internship experience is to utilize these opportunities.
During my junior year, I quickly realized the importance of exposing yourself to companies through the opportunities that were offered. As I entered into the fall semester, I knew recruiting season was coming up fast. Networking and recruiting are definitely nerve-wracking experiences, since they can make or break your future. With this in mind, I knew I had to get a summer internship to see if accounting really was the right choice for me. Once recruiting season was over, I was thrilled to get an offer for an internship from Schneider Downs.
Now it is nine months later, and I am currently four weeks into my internship. In this past month, I have learned an incredible amount about auditing. I have taken numerous accounting classes thus far, and while these classes equipped me with the necessary knowledge of accounting, my experience in the field has given me much more insight into what a career in accounting is actually like. Not only does this internship provide me with knowledge you cannot get in a classroom setting, it also has helped me learn about the work environment at Schneider Downs. One piece of advice that I have always been told is to find a company that you really fit in with. In these four weeks and through the recruiting process, I have always felt welcomed by every employee I have had encountered. I have never been afraid to ask a question or for clarification on something that I am working on. That meant a lot to me, seeing as this is my first experience in auditing. Not only have I learned a lot about accounting, but I have also learned a lot about professionalism. Every day on an audit you have to interact with the client, and while I was nervous on my first audit, now I am confident and comfortable. I am so thankful to have the opportunity to start my career in public accounting with this Schneider Downs internship.