OUR THOUGHTS ON:

Making the Most of My College Education

Internship

By Regan Salvator

As a senior in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do after I graduated college. I went into my freshman year at Ohio University as an education major, possibly wanting to teach high school calculus. At this point I still wasn’t sure of what I wanted to do after college because I wasn’t super-excited about the major I chose. I felt as if I was wasting my college opportunity in that I knew how expensive tuition was and, although I was working very hard in all of my classes, I really wanted to pick a major that I loved. I took my first-ever accounting class my sophomore year at OU for a business minor that I planned to treat as sort of a back-up to my not-so-hopeful calculus teacher plan. It was Intro to Financial Accounting; I loved it and knew about a month into the course that I was going to declare accounting as my major.

I began my summer internship in May, before my senior year. During my interviews with Schneider Downs I was told that I would be treated as a staff. Although I initially thought that I would be treated as more of a typical intern; making copies and basically doing the bare minimum when it came to audit work; this has not been the case at all. My first day out of training, I was put onto a job with two staff members and was given multiple tasks.  I never thought I would be that happy to be assigned to consistent work! From that point on, up until today where I’m out at a client site on a job, I have been assigned to a multitude of different clients. I have been exposed to financial statement interim fieldwork, audits, and reviews, as well as ERISA plan audits. I had no idea what ERISA even meant before I started, but it stands for Employee Retirement Income Security Act. After each client I work on, the staff or in-charge who worked with me on that specific client will fill out an evaluation form informing me of things I did well and things I could work on. I find this very helpful in that I use this feedback to know what I can improve on for future engagements. I have also had mentor meetings with my assigned manager, where I have been able to talk about my experience, e.g., things I would maybe want to work on that I haven’t yet had the chance to, which I think is very important. Throughout my internship, I have felt comfortable asking any staff, in-charge, senior, etc., for help if I need it. That’s what I think I love most about Schneider Downs: people who are genuine and who want to help you do well. I am about two weeks away from the end of my internship and, although I have only been here for about a month and a half, I have learned so much more than I could have imagined as an intern while meeting some really great people along the way.

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The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

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