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Accounting Intern Finishes First in the Nation

Pitt Business student Anna Swarts with Grant Thornton CEO Mike McGuire in the company suite at Wrigley Field in ChicagoDuring her accounting internship with Grant Thornton’s Pittsburgh office this past summer, University of Pittsburgh College of Business Administration student Anna Swarts was a trusted member of the audit team. She worked directly with clients to perform essential accounting functions and collaborated with senior colleagues on important projects.

“It was a really, really good learning experience, and I had great mentors,” Swarts says.

The internship also had a memorable “other duties as assigned” component — in this case mandatory participation in the Key Client Project Competition, a companywide event for all interns across the country. Teams were assigned a key client from their office — PNC Financial Services for the Pittsburgh team — and were then tasked with developing a strategy for further building that relationship.

Swarts and her teammates, fellow interns from Penn State University and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, won the entire competition, finishing first among more than 100 intern teams. Her team had audit partner Luke Ratke as their coach.

“We had two months to come up with ideas on how to build on the client relationship. We looked at issues facing the financials services industry, such as upcoming regulations and changes in the technology landscape,” Swarts says.

The winning team was invited to Chicago, the location of the Grant Thornton corporate headquarters, where they toured the office and attended a Chicago Cubs baseball game in the company suite with CEO Mike McGuire. At the game, they had the good fortune of meeting Ryne Sandberg, former Cubs second baseman and Hall of Famer, who happened to stop by the suite. Sandberg posed for pictures and let everyone hold his World Series championship ring, which has 108 diamonds.

“It was really cool getting to meet a Hall of Famer and getting to hold the ring. And he was really nice,” Swarts says.

Swarts, who is expected to graduate in April 2018, is a double-degree student majoring in accounting and anthropology. Her parents both studied anthropology, which set her on this non-traditional path. With the help of Pitt Business academic advisor Mike McDermott, she is on track to graduate in four years and meet the 150-credit requirement of the CPA Exam in accounting.

“Anthropology is much more usable than people think. It gives me a lot of writing skills. Plus, cultural anthropology helps me deal with people who are different,” Swarts says.

Swarts credits her involvement in the financial information student organization Beta Alpha Psi for introducing her to the internship opportunity with Grant Thornton. She learned about the position and about the company in general when a Grant Thornton representative came to speak with the student organization.

“We were certainly lucky to have Anna as an intern on our team this summer,” says Catie Cohn, a university recruiting associate with Grant Thornton.

“Mike McGuire, our CEO, made it a point to mention the interns by name during experienceGT, our live end-of-year broadcast meeting, and emailed them to congratulate them on their win,” Cohn says.

As a result of her internship experience, Swarts has accepted a full-time position as an audit associate at the Grant Thornton Pittsburgh office. She will begin in fall 2018.

Learn More

Accounting Major at Pitt Business

Double Degree Options for Students

Pitt Business Student Organizations

Internships at Pitt Business