Not Your "Normal" Intern Experience


By Chloe Vaught

When your professors and parents tell you that you need to get an internship, believe them. My internship at Schneider Downs has been the most worthwhile and rewarding experience I’ve had thus far in my academic and professional career. In the fall, I will be a senior at Duquesne University, where I’ve taken many classes in finance and information systems, but none of those classes compare to what I’ve learned during my internship at Schneider Downs this summer. As a finance major and information systems minor, I was nervous to begin looking for internships. I, was not sure if I was prepared, if my resume was good enough or how the interviews would go. As soon as stepped into my interview at Schneider Downs, all of my worries subsided. I introduced myself, and from there, the flow of the conversation began. Here I am now, an IT internal audit intern at Schneider Downs.

During my first week at Schneider Downs, I was not sure what to expect along with the other interns in my group. I was shown many presentations on different types of audits and the different programs the company uses. Sitting there through those first few days, I was not sure how I was going to remember everything. Now, it is second nature to me. When I watched a presentation that I was shown in my first few days at Schneider Downs for the second time a month later, I realized that I knew everything that was presented to me-- something I never thought possible. I understood the terminology, and I knew the answers to the questions that were being asked to the new group. In my first week, I would have never thought I would feel so confident watching the presentation the second time. That was one of the many moments throughout my internship where I was proud of myself and beyond thankful for what Schneider Downs taught me this summer.

Schneider Downs not only taught me about auditing, but about the real world and myself. This is not an internship where you copy papers and get coffee for the office; I feel that I am a part of the team at Schneider Downs. There is not one person here who is unwilling to help. I found that’s one of the things I like best here: the people. Everyone believes in you, and in turn, you begin to believe in yourself. I feel so comfortable walking into an office asking a question or for help on an audit, something I never thought would be possible. It is one of the most rewarding feelings working with the team and feeling your time and hard work is paying off. Hearing “good job today” never had more meaning to me.

When I began, I never imagined that I would travel to clients, let alone out of the state. As an intern, within my first few weeks, Schneider Downs allowed me to travel to a client out of state and spend the week there. Gaining that first experience of working out of the office and staying on my own allowed me to now feel comfortable with traveling and believing in myself and my work. After the trip and my experiences within the few months I’ve been here so far, I am confident when I turn in my work to a manager.

Now with the summer coming to an end, I can’t thank Schneider Downs enough for all of my experiences this summer and all of the people I was able to meet along the way.

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