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Jonathan Muth

Major: Applied Spanish, Accounting and Finance
Hometown: Ellicott City, MD
Chapel Executive Intern

How did you learn about this opportunity?

Throughout my Penn State experience, I have been exposed to countless networking opportunities to meet with recruiters and other professionals to learn first-hand about the diverse experiences in the business world. These events ranged from etiquette dinners to Excel workshops, but each one provided valuable insight into exploring my interests after Penn State. I first learned about KPMG from a mentor at Penn State, which led to office visits and interviews to participate in their leadership program.

Tell us a little bit about your experience.

The internship experience consisted of 8 weeks of training and client service, primarily in New York City. However, when I decided to step up to ask for more work, I was selected to serve a Fortune 30 client in Florida and received a hands-on experience dealing with one of the major issues in the accounting world today. I was able to experience what it would be like to work at KPMG in Advisory, especially regarding the expectations clients have for KPMG's service. Although this was my first experience in the accounting field, I believe my Penn State education prepared me to learn and adapt to the issues at hand at KPMG. For example, I spent most of my internship working in a small team, applying my strengths to best serve our goal of providing a service to the client. The most important attribute to our team's success was communication, such as knowing when to ask questions and how to present your findings. I practiced both of these in each Spanish class I took in the College of Liberal Arts.

I now have the opportunity to return to Penn State and apply what I have learned in the professional environment to the academic environment. 

How did this experience impact you academically?

I now have the opportunity to return to Penn State and apply what I have learned in the professional environment to the academic environment. The similarities include working in groups, working within a project that has a final product, presenting the final product, and receiving feedback on my performance. The ability to continue to experience these aspects during the internship will prepare me for my final year at Penn State. However, the differences also proved important to the experience because they demonstrated other ways I can make the most of my last year. For example, the professional environment required me to be on the job consistently for a long period, while academic environment might flow more depending on upcoming exams. If I spread out the studying required for an exam consistently over a longer period, similar to the professional environment, I might perform better on the exam and limit the stress induced.

What are your career goals and plans?  How did this experience impact them?

I believe my long-term career goals lie with KPMG, so the internship was the start of my career with the firm. A major part of the experience was learning about the different opportunities KPMG has to over, such as global rotations and career advancements. The global opportunities would be especially important to achieving my career plans because I hope to combine my interest in Accounting and Spanish one day by working in the KPMG Madrid office. However, my path to KPMG must begin by proving myself to the firm through hard work and learning quickly so I can prepare myself for the opportunity to provide excellent service to clients in a foreign language. The problems European firms face can be unique to problems I helped clients solve during my internship, but the ability to adapt to unique environments will allow me to solve those problems.

Would you recommend this experience to other Liberal Arts students?

I would recommend the experience, even if students do not have an accounting background, because KPMG at its core is a service-oriented firm. Service requires diverse backgrounds and unique skill sets. Although it may be an accounting firm, each project requires insight that accountants cannot provide. I also recommend the internship experience in general before students graduate because it will help students explore what they want to do for a career after Penn State in an out-of-classroom environment.

For more information on internships for Liberal Arts students, visit our website.

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