Not All Internships are Created Equal

I often heard the phrase not all internships are created equal.  The professors at Duquesne University were persistently stressing the importance of gaining real life work experience and that this could diversify my network.  When I talked to a few peers, a lot of their intern experiences involved mundane clerical tasks. So when I embarked on exploring where I could gain valuable industry knowledge and experience I reached out to the career center on campus. Schneider Downs made the whole recruiting process student friendly. I took the opportunity to apply in September and was selected for an on campus interview with  Thomas Harvey.

Following this interview I was invited to the Pittsburgh office for an office tour and additional interviews with Lauren Weddell and Matthew Kraemer. I came away from this visit knowing that this was the place I wanted to secure an internship, as I knew it would serve as a platform for enhancing my professional skills.  I was extended an offer to join the firm as a Summer Audit Intern in mid October. From the moment I accepted the offer, it was apparent that I was a part of the team as there was frequent correspondence from the HR department preparing me for this opportunity.

Even though I have taken numerous accounting and business classes that provided me with the requiste skillsets, my experience in the field has given me much more insight into what a career in accounting is actually like. After a few days of orientation and training I began working directly with clients. Even though this was somewhat daunting at first, I quickly realized how helpful everyone at Schneider Downs is and that all I had to do was ask if I had questions. My engagement teams were instrumental in teaching me valuable skills. I always felt that I was part of the team rather than just a typical intern. This experience has allowed me to gain real work experience in a collaborative environment and to develop practical skills necessary for future success. I felt that I was part of a learning culture that was supported by the various Schneider Downs professionals that I encountered on a daily basis. The internship at Schneider Downs has been instrumental in my professional development. I am truly thankful for those professors that persisted about the importance of internship experience and am grateful to Schneider Downs for making the process so insightful and rewarding.

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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

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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