All throughout high school, I would be asked what I wanted my professional career to be. The problem was that I had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life; however, my family had an idea. That idea was accounting. In high school, I had no idea what accounting was or what accountants even do. During my junior year, I took an accounting class and I did really well. A lot of the material seemed to come naturally to me, even though I had no past experience. The following year I took another accounting class, with similar success. This was the point that I realized that accounting could be in my future. My only concern was if accounting was what I wanted to do in the future.
I chose to go to Duquesne University, with my major undecided. The two majors that sparked my eye were accounting and sports marketing. I know, two totally different topics! I liked both majors for two different reasons. I have been a passionate sports fan my whole life and have always dreamed of working in sports. I also considered myself a numbers guy, and accounting is a safer job choice since there are more opportunities. I really liked both majors and I believe that I am good at both. During the summer between my sophomore and junior years, I thought a lot more about my major. I continued to go back and forth until I decided on doing a double major. Not only would this allow me to learn more about both subjects, but it would also give me the necessary 150 credits to become a CPA if that is the path that I decide to take.
Even though I had taken a few accounting classes up through the winter of junior year, I still felt unsure about what accountants actually do. I felt like a lot of the classroom material was on the overall knowledge of what accountants need to know, not what they actually do. In order to learn more about what an accountant does, I decided to pursue an accounting internship.
Entering the internship process made me very nervous. My professors have always told me that real world experience is what is most important. Obviously, grades are important, as they reflect how well you retain the material, but internships give you the opportunity to learn in a way that you cannot in a classroom. Internships allow you to see what you could possibly be doing once you graduate college. Just as important as what you will learn, internships give you the opportunity to build your network and relationships with professionals who you might be working with in the future. As my one professor always says, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” Specifically for me, this internship will give me the opportunity to decide if accounting is right for me. As of right know, I can see myself as an accountant once I graduate, but only time will tell.
So far, this internship has been a great experience. The Schneider Downs office is filled with really great people who are willing to help you with anything. They have encouraged me to ask questions and seek help when needed. I have not been given basic intern work, because they have me doing the same stuff that the staff does. Even though I am an intern, I am treated as part of the family. It seems like every day that someone new, from staff to shareholder, comes and introduces themselves to me. Overall, this has been a great experience that I would recommend to all.
Contact us if you have questions regarding Schneider Downs internship opportunities