How can a college student make a decision on what he or she wants to do? The answer for me was: internships. I wanted to do as many as possible to expose myself to the diverse industry that is accounting. I found that college life can only prepare students for a general understanding of the specific topics we encounter in the classroom. The course-work and advice from professors help guide us, but only to a certain extent. It is the experience gained from internships that provide the most useful “insight” and introduction into the work world. When Tiger Woods first stepped foot onto the golf scene, he was quoted as saying, “Hello World!” as his introduction to the people he would entertain for years. Similarly, internships serve as a student’s “Hello World!” moment where we have an opportunity to introduce ourselves to the professional workforce.
I have been fortunate enough to have completed a few internships in different accounting practices at different firms. My experiences range from a small accounting department of four employees working on general accounting tasks, to tax preparation at a Big Four accounting firm, and finally, audit work with a regional public accounting firm. Each of these has provided useful knowledge into their specific accounting focuses, as well as business operations overall. Over time, I have noticed that relevant work experience is not the only benefit I have received from my internships. Through these experiences, I was introduced to some great people and able to network with various professionals, but just as importantly, I learned about myself. I have recognized the things I would like to pursue and avoid. These experiences have opened me up to simple things such as new types of food, traveling to unfamiliar places, and meeting people I probably would not otherwise meet.
The Schneider Downs internship has been a very beneficial experience. I have learned so much in the time I have spent at SD, and feel that I got a good look into the world of Audit, as well as the firm overall. In general, as an intern, you never really know what to expect; you have to be ready for change and have the ability to adapt and take on new challenges. The SD internship enables a close look into the life of a staff-level auditor. You get to work closely with many people from the firm and the clients you are assigned. Overall, my internship experiences have greatly shaped the interests I have and also the person I am today. I am grateful for the opportunity I have been given by Schneider Downs, and I am very appreciative of the knowledge, experience, and connections I have gained here. I truly enjoyed being a part of the Schneider Downs family.
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