My name is Kara Ann Tsuruda and I will be a fourth-year student in the Fall of 2021 at Chapman University. I am double majoring in Accounting and Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and minoring in Psychology. This Summer, I received an amazing opportunity to serve as an Assurance Intern with PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), a global professional service and ‘Big 4’ accounting firm. After graduating in the Spring of 2021, I look forward to continuing with PwC’s Assurance practice in a full-time position.

What excited you about this internship and company?

The Chapman sponsored recruitment process facilitated connecting with professionals from top tier local, national, and international firms in my field of study. All the professionals I met with were very impressive and supportive. I was especially inspired by the career guidance received from the contingents of PwC and found myself drawn to their down-to-earth demeanor. After attending several gatherings, including a tour of their offices and other professional and social events, it became clear that PwC provided the right fit. I am honored to have the opportunity to become a part of an organization with such rich history and world-renowned reputation.

How did you strategize landing this internship/job?

My strategy involved a self-reflection of strengths and weaknesses. This allowed me to focus on converting weaknesses into strengths. For example, not wanting my innate shyness to be an impediment, I worked on enhancing interviewing skills and networked as much as possible. As another example, joining the Chapman Accounting Society and serving as Treasurer for the Nikkei Student Union provided opportunities to fortify leadership and collaboration qualities. Holistically, a significant byproduct of this strategy was enrichment of my self-confidence, which made me better prepared for the recruitment process.

What career advice for those looking for an internship or job in this market can you share?

I would advise students who are seeking a career opportunity to start with a plan. It does not need to be elaborate. A simple mission statement and list of to-dos to get you going. Ask a counselor or someone experienced in the recruitment process to critique it. After formulating your plan this next step is crucial for success and I cannot emphasize it enough. Your plan will be meaningful only if you keep it in focus and take action. Recognize that the plan is not etched in stone so work diligently to accomplish your objectives but be flexible with expectations and resilient with results.

Secondly, do not be afraid to put yourself out there. Networking can be intimidating at times, especially with experienced professionals, but know that they do care about your career aspirations and want to help you succeed. Do not hesitate to reach out and ask questions.

Lastly, it may sound a bit cheesy, but be yourself. Interviewing is probably the most stressful part of the recruitment process, but your presentation will come across much more sincere and confident by being yourself. After all, the goal is to find a natural fit that will mutually benefit you and your employer.