At this time six months ago, I was a sleep-deprived and stressed sophomore struggling to search for summer opportunities. In between classes, I browsed job listings on the Yale career website for hours on end. Not really sure what I wanted to do but also interested in keeping my options open, I was running on four hours of sleep every night to write cover letter after cover letter and drop my resume off at every job opening that sounded interesting to me. Thankfully, before I could physically and mentally wear myself down any further, I received an offer from Schneider Downs Corporate Finance.
On the first weekend of June, my family made the grueling seven-hour drive from Connecticut to Pittsburgh. My parents were very nice to drive me and let me cram the car with suitcases and bags (I’m working on being a more economical packer). After my family helped me move in and took me grocery shopping, they left the next morning on my first day of work. Walking from my apartment to One PPG Place, I started to feel nervous about my first day on a job I’d had no prior experience with.
My apprehension soon disappeared as I settled into my internship. There was no typical day, and most mornings I did not know what I was going to face when I walked into my cubicle. At SDCF, I appreciate the opportunity to be involved in a variety of projects and assignments that helped me learn about different areas of finance. Being given a task where you have no idea what to do and have to figure it out as you go was at once a challenge and a great learning opportunity. From my internship, I was able to learn various finance concepts and skills as well as some really cool Excel tricks.
Aside from the awesome learning experience, what I enjoy the most about SDCF is the people. My office is a team of six employees, not including the two summer interns, so the culture is tight-knit and collaborative. Everyone is incredibly friendly and helpful, always willing to walk me through an assignment or offer advice. I was initially nervous about the culture of finance from what I’d read, but SDCF is different because it is a small boutique firm. In the end, I’m very fortunate to gain hands-on experience in investment banking without the competitive environment of a large investment bank.
Another great perk from the internship is living in Pittsburgh. This is my first experience living away from home for an extended period of time besides college, which has turned out be extremely pleasant and exciting. I love walking and exploring, and Pittsburgh is an ideal city for that. Downtown is a charming place – a fast-paced business hub situated in a vibrant community, rich with culture and arts. Here, tall industrial buildings stand between green spaces and serene rivers. Within minutes of the busy urban zone lies a vast, open stretch of idyll with converging rivers, scenic hillsides, and countless bridges. Walking to the Point, my favorite place of Downtown, is my go-to way to rewind after work. The Strip, Mount Washington, Grant Street, and Station Square are other places that I have visited and found enchanting.
As my internship comes to an end, I’m amazed at how quickly nine weeks went by and how much I was able to learn about finance and business in general. I feel more confident about my future after talking to different people I was able to connect with in Pittsburgh. I have greatly enjoyed my first serious professional internship as well as the experience of adulting – living in an apartment and learning to cook (I got pretty darn good). Although there’s no guarantee that I won’t be another haggard, sleep-deprived student next year, I can confidently say that after Schneider Downs, I have a clearer focus of where I am going.
Contact us if you have questions regarding the Schneider Downs internship opportunities.