Not Your Average Internship


By Thomas McCarthy

Prior to the start of my Schneider Downs internship, I had several misconceptions of what being intern would entail. I was always under the assumption interns got coffee, made copies, and were stuck staring at a screen in a cubicle. I was under this preconceived notion until I started at Schneider Downs.

After several days of training, I was assigned to my first offsite client. The first day there, I was assigned all of the tasks I was going to be responsible for, as well as setting up meetings with the clients.  At first, this was extremely daunting, as I was unaware of what Internal Auditing was, aside from the textbook definition. However, I found it to be the best way to learn; learn by doing. I had the opportunity to fully test internal controls on my own, and see the whole process from start to finish. It was refreshing to finally be able to do real accounting work, instead of reading about it in a textbook. I felt part of the team, and I was happy to actually be a contributing member of the audit. As the weeks, go by I continue to learn new things every day. This is due in part to the excellent training I have been provided. Whenever I was confused on something, someone was always happy to help; in fact it was encouraged. My senior manager always said “It is better to ask a question than to be spinning your wheels all day wasting time on an issue that could have been resolved earlier”. I think what also separates Schneider Downs from other firms is that they want you to actually understand what you are doing. Whenever I asked a question, they did not tell me what to do in that scenario. I was told why things were done a certain way and what to do if I encounter that same situation at a different client.

Schneider Downs has such a great firm culture. From the day you start, everyone here is so welcoming from staff all the way up to the shareholders. Everyone, regardless of their position, is extremely approachable, whether is a quick chat or a question on something you are working on. I have learned so much in these past few months and made some great friends. As my internship begins to dwindle down to the last few remaining weeks, I will take back with me a great experience and new friends. This internship has surpassed even my highest expectations, and I could not be more grateful for the last 10 weeks. 

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