School is fun. While the work may be difficult at times, the other side of the scale containing the opportunity for increased knowledge, lifelong friendships, and a foundation for the future far outweighs the stress of finals. In some ways I wish it could go on forever, but as with many things in life once the end is near the anticipation of what lies ahead tends to consume us. So it has been with “real world” work – a job, a more adult life, and financial independence (for better or worse). It is an itch that I was growing increasingly anxious to scratch, and while I have done some summer internships before, this spring I finally got the chance to do one instead of school.

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Within accounting this is actually a pretty common path. The program is set up so that seniors can do an internship with a firm the second semester of their senior year in addition to two condensed accounting classes that only last for a month. Since you can get 6 hours of credit for the internship, it is actually possible to remain a full-time student throughout this process. Most accounting majors take advantage of it, and while being away from school for part of senior year can be frustrating, the experience is a great taste of what the future holds. The frequent full time job offers that come out of it aren’t too shabby either!

In my internship I was put right onto a team in a firm’s forensic advisory office and learned a ton about business that I simply wouldn’t have been able to get from a classroom environment. However, without the foundation that came from my courses I don’t believe I would have been ready to absorb nearly as much. The internship really made me appreciate the classes and my time in school; it is a synergistic relationship that I believe has done a fantastic job of preparing me for life after college.

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I have signed a job offer and will be working for the same firm after completing my education, but first I have one more year of classes. I am returning to SMU next fall, this time as a graduate student, to complete the Master’s in Accounting Program. I am excited to get started there as well, and while I can’t say that the allure full-time employment won’t remain in the back of my mind, I do know that I am going to make the most of my time in the MSA program. It has a lot to offer, and I know it will prepare me well. Also, like I said before… school is fun. Why not stop to enjoy it for a while?

By Ryan Herrscher