“I wanted to come out of IUP well prepared. That was my biggest drive,” says Raven Sams, who graduated from Eberly College of Business in August and will start a job at one of the top accounting firms in Pittsburgh in 2015.
And prepared she was: Raven graduated with a
bachelor's degree in international business. And in
finance. And in
Raven completed in just five years a triple major that led to two summer internships and a full-time job offer.
An international business major to start, Raven found she also had an interest in her finance classes. She considered doing a concentration but, on the advice of a recent IUP international business grad, decided to double major in finance.
Then, like a domino effect, she learned from Professor Kim Anderson that accounting is a good complement to finance.
“Dr. Anderson really helped me decide what career path I wanted to follow,” Raven says. “She took me under her wing and has helped me ever since.”
“I could tell almost immediately that Raven had the strong interpersonal skills needed for success in public accounting,” says Anderson. “After she aced the first exam, I knew she possessed the needed academic abilities and convinced her to add accounting as a third major.”
"It's common for accounting majors to be double majors,” Anderson says. “But a triple major is pretty rare."
Raven liked the idea that the three business majors complement each other. You couldn't call it easy street, though.
“Some weeks were like, ‘I can handle this!’" she says. "Other weeks were overwhelming. I was on the phone with my mom saying, ‘I can’t do this!’"
But, after going through the entire process, Raven says, "I’m happy with my decision, and I'd never take it back.”
Discipline, time management, and organization were the keys to success, she says. She "did a lot of color-coding" and it was a matter of keeping everything separate when topics crossed in more than one class.
Her academic hard work and success earned Raven two summer internships at
Deloitte in Pittsburgh, working first as a discovery intern and then as an audit service line intern.
Because of Raven's broad knowledge of finance, accounting, and international business, Deloitte didn’t want to let her go. They offered her a full-time position as an audit assistant starting in 2015. In the meantime, she is preparing to take her CPA exam.
When you're going into the business world, it seems there's no such thing as being overqualified.
—Caitlin Birch, intern, IUP Communications and Marketing