What is the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Pittsburgh? Many would think of things like the hardnosed sports teams, Heinz ketchup, the yellow bridges, and maybe even a Primanti Brothers sandwich. Until recently, any one of those would be the first thing that I would have thought of; however, now that my internship is underway, I would add Schneider Downs to that list. Schneider Downs embodies everything that makes the city of Pittsburgh so great. Its values, its people, its blue-collar work ethic really portray what is so special about this city.
Growing up in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, I always knew that I wanted to work in the city when the time came to begin my career. When I received my acceptance letter from Schneider Downs in the fall of 2014, I was ecstatic to say the least. To have the opportunity to work for one of the leading firms in the area was a dream come true. From that point on, I was determined to do everything that I could to prepare myself for the internship and learn as much as I could throughout the internship process. Leading up to the start of internship near the end of June, I was nervous as to what to expect. I was unsure of what was going to be asked of me and how I was going to go about completing it with no experience. I had a solid foundation in the classroom, but I had no prior experience outside of it. Once I got to the firm, I quickly began to realize that I was not on my own. Schneider Downs, like the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins, is a great team. When you are a part of the firm, you are an important part of the team. Everyone whom I’ve worked with has been more than willing to take me under his or her wing and help me throughout the process. Slowly but surely, day after day, I began to pick up on how to properly perform an audit. As many of my professors mentioned, you will learn so much more from the real world than you would from the classroom. After a few weeks into my internship, I can say this is exactly the case. I consider the classroom as a place where you learn the underlying concepts that make up the world of accounting; it is not until you actually get out into the field that you begin to understand and really grasp the material. Every single day that I come to work, I keep the same approach - portray a positive attitude and have the willingness to learn whatever you can that day. I constantly strive to better myself and learn something new that I didn’t know from the day before. Like many have said, you will be surprised at how much you learn in this short amount of time.
As my internship nears the end for the summer, I will continue to carry everything that I’ve learned throughout the process with me to IUP, where I will finish my senior year of college. Words cannot express my gratitude for everyone at Schneider Downs and the opportunity that I’ve been presented with. I could not ask for a better experience and for the talented people whom I learned so much from. From this experience, I now realize why Schneider Downs has become one of the first things that I think of when I think of Pittsburgh.