Master of accounting student hones professional skills on spring internship

Penn State Smeal College of Business One-Year Master of Accounting student Julie Litz is gaining real-world client experience this semester as an audit intern with Cherry Bekaert LLP, one of the largest accounting and consulting firms in the country.

This is Litz’s second internship with the firm. Litz initially heard about Cherry Bekaert through Career and Corporate Connections’ SmealConnect, an online recruiting system that allows Smeal students to search for co-op and internship positions, and was hired for a summer 2013 internship.

“Once I received notice about getting a slot for the on-campus interview, I immediately researched the company to see what they were all about,” said Litz. “I then learned that a friend of mine, a Smeal graduate, was now working for the company and had such good things to say about the people and culture.”

“Furthering my education at Penn State was my ultimate goal and being part of the MAcc Program is helping me to become prepared for a career in accounting.”

-- Julie Litz, One-Year Master of Accounting Program, Smeal College of Business

Litz leveraged her summer experience into a second internship to fulfill the requirements of her One-Year MAcc Program and is currently working on risk assessment engagement.

“I created a survey to be distributed to select members of our client company, scheduled interviews and took notes of important information, and corresponded with several members of the client company,” Litz said. “Additionally, I worked on creating analysis tables and spreadsheets that summarized the information we gathered.”

Litz says that, though the classes have prepared her to perform accounting functions and understand her profession, her internships have taken her several steps further in learning how to be a successful employee.

“While interning, I learned how to interact and correspond with my client,” she said. “Every client is different and expects a different level of involvement with each engagement, and it is up to you to determine the best way to include them in the process.”

She continued, “After meeting with the client for the first time and realizing they wanted to be very involved in the process, I took it upon myself to send the client weekly updates on how the engagement was progressing.”

Litz earned her undergraduate degree in accounting from Smeal in May 2013. She chose to return to Smeal for the One-Year MAcc Program to prepare herself to sit for the Certified Public Accountant exams.

“I felt that staying at Penn State would eliminate many stressors and allow me to dive right into my studies,” said Litz. “Furthering my education at Penn State was my ultimate goal and being part of the MAcc Program is helping me to become prepared for a career in accounting.”

Litz has already accepted a full-time position with Cherry Bekaert, to begin in January 2015.

About the Penn State Smeal College of Business One Year Master of Accounting Program
The Smeal College of Business One-Year MAcc Program provides high-potential college graduates with the additional coursework required to be eligible for certified public accountant certification. The three-semester program spans fall, spring, and summer and culminates with the granting of a master of accounting degree in August. Learn more at

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Last Updated March 28, 2014