The Switch from Accounting to Technology


By Garner Kraemer

Even as a student at Serra Catholic High School, I knew that I wanted to go to college to earn a degree in business. After only a few weeks in my first accounting course at Serra Catholic, I knew that I wanted to major in accounting. Choosing Robert Morris University was a no-brainer because of its well-known accounting program, five-year integrated master’s program and closeness to home. As a new student at RMU, I made sure to attend every event that related to accounting. I wanted to learn as much as I could about the profession and how to obtain a job after graduating. The professors and presenters at the events stressed how important internships are in order to obtain a full-time job. I started my first internship in the middle of my junior year in the internal audit department of a small public corporation. It was at this same time that I began to look into the master’s degree that I wanted to earn. At first, I wanted to obtain an MBA to earn the 150 credit hours necessary to become a CPA. Although, after discussions with professors and the realization of how important technology in business is today, I decided to apply for the integrated program to earn an M.S. in Cyber Security and Information Assurance.

This master’s degree opened up a new world of opportunities to consider when searching for future internships and full-time jobs. Not only did I have a background in accounting, but I would soon gain the knowledge of the information technology side of business. As I began searching for internships again in my senior year, I found myself looking for opportunities other than financial auditing, such as IT audit and risk assurance. The IT audit internship at Schneider Downs instantly stuck out to me, so I applied and hoped for the best. Not only did I apply for the opening, but I also participated in a mock interview with Schneider Downs a couple of weeks before my scheduled on-campus interview. I was extremely nervous going into the mock interview, but I knew that attending it would help me perfect my interview skills for the real thing.

After the mock interview, on-campus interview, and multiple office interviews, I finally received the offer letter that I had been waiting for from Schneider Downs. I met so many nice and personable people from Schneider Downs during my interview process that I knew right away that I was going to accept the offer. I already concluded that Schneider Downs would be a great place to gain the necessary experience to further my career and prepare for a full-time job, and my opinion was reassured shortly after I accepted the offer. Dan Desko, whom I interviewed with, offered to take me to lunch in order to keep in touch before I started my internship six months later. At lunch, Dan gave me a book that he wanted me to read before my internship. The book, titled A New Auditor’s Guide to Planning, Performing, and Presenting IT Audits, provided me with all the necessary information to prepare myself for the work that I would be involved with at Schneider Downs. This considerate gesture showed me that Schneider Downs does not treat its interns the way some larger companies might. I learned that Schneider Downs wants every intern to learn and prepare themselves for a future career as much as possible during their short time with the company.

As an intern, I have had the opportunity to be a part of a team and complete work that staff-level employees do on a regular basis. I have even been given the opportunity to be a member of the ISACA Security Awareness Day Committee to help prepare for the upcoming conference in December. I have learned so much and met so many amazing people throughout my internship at Schneider Downs, and it is not even half-way over yet. I am grateful for the internship opportunity that I have had and I look forward to the remainder of my time at Schneider Downs!

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

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