The Summer That Knocked My Sox Off


By Tess Drotar

I have to say, my internship was nothing like I expected it to be. Being a junior accounting and finance major at Duquesne this past semester, I spent a good amount of time practicing my debits and credits, balancing income statements, working through statements of cash flows, making amortization schedules and journalizing the endless number of scenarios that can occur over the life of a bond. The list goes on. Call me weird, but I loved the elegancy and symmetry within problems like these and accounting in general. But, I knew there had to be more to this within this area of study; I just wasn’t exactly sure what this entire vast world within business entailed.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve found something better than just practicing problems hunched over a desk-- I’ve experienced meaningful, real-world issues that no college course could ever provide me with. During my time here at Schneider Downs, I know I’ve barely just scratched the surface of what all internal auditing consists of. I’ve been exposed to different industries such as higher education, nonprofits, public utilities, banks and even a public company-- each time experiencing something different, whether it be interacting with clients during walkthroughs, testing controls within the payroll cycle, or recalculating budgets. No two engagements I was placed on were alike. At moments the learning curve was steep, but I was never alone along the way and couldn’t have done it without the guidance and mentoring from the internal auditing group here.

By a landslide, my favorite part this summer was the people I had the chance to interact with. Whether it was clients with out-of-this-world personalities, an unfamiliar face from the firm striking up a conversation with me in the elevator, Gary teaching me a lesson about why I should always lock my computer when I leave my workspace, or Jani always stopping by to say hello and goodbye to start and end the day, I always felt welcomed here. I truly believe the office comradery here is something special, and I feel so fortunate to be able to experience firsthand what it’s like to work for a firm with an undeniably rich culture.

Although my internship was nothing like I expected it to be, it surpassed my expectations of what I thought I would get out of it and met some pretty awesome people along the way. I’m forever grateful for the people I’ve had the chance to learn from, the personal growth I’ve experienced, and also, managing to not delete an entire binder (thankfully). It’s a wonderful feeling being able to look back at all my time here and have an overwhelming sense of confidence about the direction I’ve chosen to pursue in my professional career. 

Contact us if you have questions regarding the Schneider Downs internship opportunities.

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