Between growing up in the country less than an hour from “dahn-tahn” Pittsburgh and ultimately attending nearby Westminster College for my undergraduate accounting and business degrees, you could say that I’m a Western Pennsylvanian through and through. My ketchup is Heinz, the “Immaculate Reception” was an important history lesson in elementary school, I am astounded every time I travel beyond the PA/OH border because “everything is so flat!”—the list goes on.
Although I didn’t stray too far for my first 21 years, when it came time to apply for my final internship experience before my senior year, the Steel City had some strong contenders. I was deeply connected here, but was I limiting my potential by staying in one place for so long? For quite a while I was stuck on the belief that bigger was better. There was no way the kick start to my career could come from my own backyard. I was dead set on finding my spot with a large firm in an even larger city.
Fast-forward to just shy of a year later and I can rightfully confirm the truth in the old saying “bloom where you are planted” for not only explaining my personal growth, but also in learning about and becoming a part of the Schneider Downs culture. Schneider Downs started as a small practice dedicated to serving those in its community first and stood out among peers due to unrivaled success, yet throughout its growth it has not lost that purpose. With every individual I encountered throughout my internship, this ideal was conspicuously upheld. It was hard to ignore the strong relationships and genuine consideration that made a positive impact on clients during each engagement that I was a part of. This caring spirit was just as noticeable personally. I could never have imagined the sincere concern and effort that Schneider Downs employees brought forth to ensure that my experience was valuable, educational and enjoyable. Rather than feeling like “just an intern” I was made to feel like I was a part of the team and an important piece of a successful engagement.
Serving as an audit intern this summer has given me much more than excellent career experience. My eight weeks with Schneider Downs has shown me how holding on to your roots—core values, integrity and compassion—catalyzes growth and achievement. Being a member of a company culture where this is highly respected, and even more so demonstrated through example has been extremely influential. I am very grateful for what Schneider Downs has done for my future, the community that we share, and beyond. Foremost, I will never doubt the strong opportunity that exists right at home, especially when it’s made of Steel.
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