Mariah Trainor ’18 is a Junior Accounting major here at Assumption. During the summer of 2016, Mariah worked in Boston as a START intern for Pricewaterhouse Coopers, one of the Big Four public accounting firms. Below, she provides insight into her interview process and into her internship.
As a sophomore declared accounting major, I was looking for internship opportunities that were accounting based. I heard a lot about the perks of both small and big accounting firms and was looking for opportunities in both. I was interested in PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), one of the Big Four public accounting firms, because of its location in Boston. I was also able to talk with a few people who worked there to learn more about it. A couple of months into my internship search, I received an interview opportunity for the START internship at PwC.
I attended a mock interview in the CDIC before attending my interview and also met with my marketing professor, Professor Egidio Diodati, who has previous experience in a big company in order to prepare. I felt like having some sample answers ready came in handy throughout my actual interview because it is easier to answer a question about yourself when you have already thought about some things you want the interviewer to know about you. I did a lot of preparation for the interview by preparing possible answers to questions relating to my accomplishments and what types of things I do outside of classes.
Upon arrival I received a tour of their office and had the opportunity to ask any questions I had about the internship or the firm. Then I received my itinerary outlining the rest of the afternoon. I went to three separate interviews, each 30 minutes long, with members of various rank at the firm from Senior Associate to Partner. The questions that were asked were both personal and career-related. However, they really just wanted to learn about me. Some of the questions I was asked included:
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- What do you do to impact the world globally?
- Can you elaborate on this section of your resume?
- What do you do to include others in the community in things you do?
The interviewers didn’t want me to read off my accomplishments; they wanted to know what I had overcome and how I did so. They wanted me to explain what made me different from all the other students coming in to interview. I shared a bit of insight to myself, such as how I got to where I am today, and about my future aspirations which led me to be hired with PwC!
Based on my interview experience, here are some tips I’d offer other students interviewing for a job or internship:
- Arrive early
- Bring a copy of your resume
- Bring a professional folder with pen/paper to take notes
- It’s ok to take notes when you see fit
- Dress the part – Business Professional
- Don’t be shy – ask your questions – this is your opportunity to learn more
- Differentiate yourself
- Answer the question fully and stay on topic
- Show that you are more than just a student – what else can you do? What else do you enjoy doing?
- Think of the interview as a flowing conversation
- Remember – you can and should ask them questions too!
During my internship I was one of three interns chosen from a pool of more than 100 applicants to travel to Houston, TX, and meet Niloufar Molavi, the Vice Chair, U.S. Energy and Mining Leader, and Marketing Partner for PwC in Greater Houston. Here, I gained valuable experience that put me in the shoes of what a partner at the firm does on a daily basis. I met other members of the firm and had exposure to client interactions and helpful accounting information. This was rewarding because a typical intern does not have this opportunity to travel to another office and shadow someone with such a high level position in the firm.
This summer internship helped me develop the skills necessary to succeed in the business world and has narrowed down my career path. This internship has opened my eyes to all opportunities that come with working for a big firm, and I hope to continue my career with PwC and work there upon graduation.