After listening to her friend from Bentley University rave about his internship with PwC (PricewaterhouseCoopers), accounting major Hoodo Mohamed '16 knew she wanted to be part of the multinational professional services firm.
"It looked like so much fun," said Mohamed, who completed the first part of the internship in the summer of 2014. "I imagined it being great, but it was even better than I expected."
Mohamed participated in PwC's Start internship program, which allowed her to learn more about the firm while developing organizational, problem-solving and team-work skills. The Start program is for college freshman, sophomores and juniors from a traditionally underrepresented racial and ethnic minority group within the accounting, auditing or professional consulting services industries.
Start was just part one of Mohamed's journey with PwC. She was offered the opportunity to return in the summer of 2015 to participate in the Start Masters program, which is a continuation of Start. If she keeps up a GPA of 3.4 or higher, Mohamed will be offered to the opportunity to complete a client service internship in the summer of 2016 in one of the company's three service lines: assurance, tax or advisory. After job shadowing, Mohamed is leaning towards tax.
The internship "made me more confident. It made me more comfortable not knowing everything because they're teaching you everything," Mohamed said.
While she gained exposure to partners, networking events and participated in a range of group projects and development exercises, none of this would have been possible if Mohamed didn't take the initiative of getting PwC's attention by seeking out a campus recruiter.
First, Mohamed applied to PwC's Explore program, which is a one-day program that introduces people to the firm. From this program, Mohamed connected with a recruiter and applied for the Start internship on the PwC website. After one phone interview and three in-person interviews, she landed the internship.
"It was so intense. I was so nervous for it," Mohamed said about the interviews. "I went to the Career Fair twice here and had mock interviews. They helped me a lot, I was really prepared once I was in the interview. I wasn't nervous at all."
At the start of her internship, Mohamed, and the other interns, were sent to training in Atlanta for three days. Nearly 400 interns from across the country attended the training. She interacted with lots of different students, trained on programs and learned information through fun activities.
"They told us to be comfortable that we are a minority in the corporate world. They were teaching us how to be comfortable and confident," she said about the training.
During the internship, Mohamed worked on and went to a lot of presentations, prepared tax information, trained on different programs and completed an ongoing project about women empowerment that was due on the last day of her internship.
She even participated in an intern Olympics, a field day, which she believes was to teach the interns "how to work with different kinds of people."
"My favorite part was the other interns who I worked with, because it got me more connections with people from different schools. I feel like I made lifelong friends. I have a bigger network now," she said.
Mohamed's plan is to participate in the company's client service internship, attend graduate school to complete 150 credit hours (required by the company and the state to obtain licensure to be a Certified Public Accountant [CPA]) and hopefully receive a job offer once her credit hours are completed.
"I definitely like it a lot," Mohamed said about PwC. "They just care a lot about the people who work there. PwC focuses on people there. They're really good to their people."
She believes the company puts so much time and effort into its interns because they want to train them to be successful. PwC currently ranks second in the international "Big Four," and Mohamed said the competition between the four is a big reason why she believes PwC tries to attract freshman who will commit to them when they're done with school.
She loved her experience so far, as much as she enjoyed wearing business clothes every day. The fact that PwC is located around the world gives her the opportunity to work in another country, have more experiences and meet lots of different people.
For Mohamed, an internship is crucial, as it gives students an idea of what a company's environment is like and what will work or not work for them. She finds herself constantly spreading the word about her positive internship experience to fellow classmates.
"If you see someone in a position that you want, don't be scared to ask them how they got there - that's exactly what I did with my friend," Mohamed said.