Part of the Family: My Internship Experience at Schneider Downs

When I started as a Risk Advisory Services Intern at Schneider Downs, I didn't know what to expect. As a finance major on my way into an accounting position, I didn’t anticipate what type of work would be assigned to me. 

While stories about interns buying coffee or printing documents while ostensibly working are common, during the interview process at Schneider Downs, I never had the sense that this internship would be like that. I could not have been more right. This experience was absolutely unique—it wasn’t simply a repetition of my college courses. From the start, Schneider Downs provided me with multiple training sessions and countless opportunities with notable clients to gain professional knowledge and experience. That was a huge part of my success during my summer at Schneider Downs: they trust their interns and treat us as part of their family.

I began my journey with Schneider downs at the start of summer 2022. At the time, I was battling uncertainty and stress over not understanding how the real corporate world worked. Transitioning from basic college accounting classes to the real world is a big step. Even though I had never heard of Schneider Downs before, the RAS department’s description quickly captured my interest, since it didn’t require an accounting major. This was a huge draw for me at the time because I was honestly uncertain of my plans after school. Immediately, I knew this was the place for me because it gave me a chance to see if this was the field I wanted to pursue. 

I was drawn to this position because I felt I could achieve success here. Though I initially lacked accounting knowledge, I’m a quick study and a team player, so I knew I could quickly gain the knowledge I lacked. That being said, I could not have been more nervous the first week, having never seen an audit before and not understanding what risk advisory even was. Going in with almost no knowledge, I was pleasantly surprised by the kindness and courtesy of everyone I dealt with. Even though it seemed to me that I was bothering my colleagues with countless questions, each team member was more than happy to stop any work to help get me in the right direction. Within just a few weeks, I was thriving within the company and performing high-quality work, while conducting professional conversations with coworkers and clients. 

Schneider Downs values every one of its employees because it is a family-oriented company. It is, by far, the best working atmosphere I have encountered, and the best internship experience I could have hoped for. One aspect of my internship experience has stood out above all others. Employees at Schneider Downs take great satisfaction in the fact that they are more than simply coworkers. They are a team and a family. There were countless times when managers or even team members came over to my desk just to check in with me. We could simply have a conversation, or they would provide insight on anything I was struggling with. It was a perfect culture for an intern to learn in.

During my time with the company, I did not have an accessible home close to the office. Using Microsoft Teams, Schneider Downs found a way for me to work hybrid and still feel like I was in the office interacting with everyone. The hybrid platform was so successful that I was able to continue the internship throughout my following school semester. The team and I created a schedule that perfectly balanced work and school. At first, I was hesitant because I was unsure of how I would get my schoolwork done and still manage to turn in quality work to Schneider Downs. However, I decided to give it a try anyway, and I am so glad I did. They understood my situation completely, and we worked together to balance the time I needed to study, do homework, etc. with the time I could dedicate to my work with Schneider Downs. 

This internship has taught me that this is what I want to do for a long time, whether it be with Schneider Downs or another company. I look forward to the end of this semester so I can begin my professional career with Schneider Downs. 

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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 [email protected].

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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