My Major, Major Switch


By Alexa Xenakis

When I first entered the corner of Real and World, Point Park University, I did not have a clue on what I wanted to do. I just knew of one thing: I wanted a job where I could communicate and interact with new people on a daily basis. I also did not want to sit at a desk and stare at a wall all day. People then asked me why I chose accounting. The typical remark was, “That sounds so boring.” Well at first, I started to worry. I switched my major from Sports, Arts and Entertainment Management to Accounting in my junior year, and I hadn’t started a job/internship in the accounting field yet, so I did not quite know what to expect. Maybe people were right and did I not make the right choice of switching my major? During my senior year, starting my internship here at Schneider Downs in the internal audit department made me feel extremely confident and excited about my decision in becoming a future accountant.

I’m sure you have heard this stereotype before, “Interns strictly do junk work.” Throughout my personal experience, Schneider Downs did just the opposite. I did not have to fetch anyone coffee, shred paper all day or such “junk work.”  This company gave me, as an intern, an opportunity to communicate with clients and even travel to different companies and show me exactly what to expect in a future career as an internal auditor. I traveled to different industries and well-known universities. On my first week, I personally conducted tests for a brand-new client.  I had the opportunity to network with Shareholders, Managers, Financial Operation Analysts and the Director of Business Operations from Schneider Downs and multiple clients.

On top of receiving a beneficial hands-on learning experience, the work environment at Schneider Downs was very enjoyable. From the highest level shareholders, all the way down to the staff and interns, everyone I met throughout the company was extremely outgoing and helpful. As an intern/new hire, you may think that some questions are “stupid questions.” From my personal experience, here at Schneider Downs, there are no such questions. Trust me, I had my fair share of what I imagined were “stupid questions,” but regardless of any level of management I asked, they did not hesitate to assist me.

I have always had high expectations of myself. Whenever you start a new job or internship, you want to be the best, you want to know everything. Well, news flash, unless you’re some kind of freak of nature, you won’t know everything. I learned throughout my experience that it’s okay to ask questions. As a matter of fact, it’s a positive thing. It lets your bosses/upper-level management know that you are interested in learning. Here at Schneider Downs, I never once felt like I asked a “stupid question.” Everyone was extremely friendly and welcoming. Not only did I meet a few amazing people, I gained knowledge and experience that I can use to excel in my accounting career and prove that I made the right decision in switching my major. My experience overall at Schneider Downs was well worth it, and I am so thankful that I was given the opportunity to not only stay for one internship term but a second one as well!

Visit the Our Thoughts On blog to read more about Schneider Downs internships.

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