OUR THOUGHTS ON:

The Birthday Interview

Internship

By Natalie Kunkel

When it came time to schedule my second- round interview with Schneider Downs, I had to choose between missing my second Tax exam and my birthday. I decided to be a good student and have my second- round interview on my birthday, so I didn’t have to schedule a makeup exam. At first, I was a little bummed that I was interviewing on my birthday, but little did I know that on my 21st birthday I would be interviewing for the internship that would change my life.

My first- round interview went well, but I didn’t know what to expect from my second- round interview. Would I finally find a place where I connected with the other employees? I didn’t feel a strong connection with the other employers I interviewed with, so I walked into PPG Plaza on October 20th hopeful for a positive connection. I have never felt so comfortable in a workplace environment than I did at this interview and throughout my summer internship. I experienced the same wave of relief driving back to campus that afternoon that I had after an open house at my school, Saint Vincent College, because I knew I found the place I wanted to have my first public accounting internship.

 Schneider Downs defies modern- day conceptions about CPA firms being large and impersonal.  Every employee I encountered has been extremely helpful, patient, and genuine. They truly care about the interns; they want us to have a positive and meaningful experience. Schneider Downs’ interns are not on the outside looking in; you are a valuable part of the team, working toward the same goal of high- quality work for the client. As an Audit intern, I traveled to different client sites in the greater Pittsburgh area and completed the same work as first- year staff. My client work was diverse, and I am grateful I was exposed to a plethora of work in both the for profit and non profit sectors. As an added bonus, I got to see parts of the Pittsburgh area I have never been to before and try new restaurants!

This internship was the platform for enhancing my professional skills. Through obtaining information from clients, I learned how to become a more effective communicator and writer by documenting in the work-papers. My technical skills also increased by using Excel every day and learning the audit software. I also sharpened my problem- solving skills and critical thinking by comparing spreadsheets and developing questions for the client and for the team I was assigned to whenever I needed clarification. 

I had no idea that my 21st birthday would define my career path, but I cannot imagine my summer internship being any different. I am so grateful that I was a part of the Audit team this summer at Schneider Downs. 

Contact us if you have questions regarding Schneider Downs internship opportunities

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You’ve heard our thoughts… We’d like to hear yours

The Schneider Downs Our Thoughts On blog exists to create a dialogue on issues that are important to organizations and individuals. While we enjoy sharing our ideas and insights, we’re especially interested in what you may have to say. If you have a question or a comment about this article – or any article from the Our Thoughts On blog – we hope you’ll share it with us. After all, a dialogue is an exchange of ideas, and we’d like to hear from you. Email us at contactSD@schneiderdowns.com.

Material discussed is meant for informational purposes only, and it is not to be construed as investment, tax, or legal advice. Please note that individual situations can vary. Therefore, this information should be relied upon when coordinated with individual professional advice.

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