My Intern Experience at Schneider Downs

During my internship, I got to experience the great, inclusive culture at Schneider Downs.  Everyone at the firm is willing to help you along the way because they understand that interns might not have a lot of prior knowledge; I’ve learned that most of the current employees were once in the same spot as an intern at Schneider Downs.  There were also a few trainings that were very helpful in getting us interns up and running with how everything is done at Schneider Downs, as well as expectations of the interns.

The term “intern” is becoming revolutionized and is carrying more importance at Schneider Downs.  During the recruiting process, this was one of the major points I remember was being told - that I would be able to perform real, important tasks as an intern.  This came true through each engagement team I was a part of; I was able to perform staff level work and did not just fill my time with typical intern tasks.  Sometimes, I was put to the test and was challenged to take the first initiative on the job, but I always had someone there to help me when needed.  Through this, I was able to develop my problem-solving skills.  One of the keys to success as an intern is that you ask questions while you’re doing the test steps, so you can really understand what you are doing.  I was able to understand the bigger picture by asking questions, which I was then able to transfer those skills across clients. 

One of the important things I was able to develop while interning at the firm was soft skills, which I think are a really important aspect of working in public accounting.  I was given the opportunity to talk to controllers and other key executives of major companies to help solve any issues that may arise.  Initially it may be a little daunting, but after the first couple times, you will become more comfortable.  In addition to developing my soft skills, I was also able to develop my technical skills and was exposed to various auditing techniques. 

The underlying principles that I learned in college were finally coming to light in the real world.  If it wasn’t for the interns doing the testing, another member of the team would have had to do it.  Sometimes, being thrown into a testing and trying to understand it from beginning to end is the best way, at least for me.  It reminds me of my first day working at a restaurant in high school; the line was constant my whole shift, but at the end of the day, I was able to get through it and learned from the experience.  My advice is that the best thing to do is to push through, and make everything a learning experience.  It was really up to myself to make the best of the opportunity and learn as much as I could in the short period of time that I had.

Overall, I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given to join the Schneider Downs team this summer.  The seven weeks went by very quickly, but without a doubt I soaked in as much as I could and developed some everlasting professional relationships.  The first step of my professional career is done, and I feel a lot more prepared to tackle the next step, thanks to 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

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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