Sep 09, 2020 Lauren Rattenbury, senior Accounting major, has recently completed a virtual internship with Grant Thornton and has since happily accepted a full-time position with the prestigious accounting firm. Unfortunately, similarly to other student’s experiences in the wake of the Coronavirus pandemic, Lauren’s initial summer plans with Grant Thornton were derailed. “I was disappointed that my extended experience in the office doing hands-on fieldwork was no longer possible, but the Grant Thornton team did a wonderful job creating an immersive virtual experience for me and my fellow interns to learn and grow from,” she explained. Lauren’s favorite aspect of her virtual internship was something called “National Sessions” where she and her fellow interns were able to hear from integral nationwide leaders of Grant Thornton like the CEO and VP, which she would not have been able to do in a non-virtual internship. “It was incredibly inspirational to hear from those leaders in my field. It made me really excited about what Grant Thornton has to offer!” Lauren’s UAH education contributed to her success in her involvement with Grant Thornton: “My EH 300 and CM 313 classes, which are Strategies for Business Writing and Oral Communication, really helped me solidify my written and oral communication skills that I have utilized so often as my pursuit of my career as progressed. It allowed me to navigate the process of getting my internship and the internship itself with the utmost confidence,” she elaborated. Lauren’s advice for younger students is to build their network: “I was connected to my internship thanks to my dad’s network, and it allowed me to expand my own. Establishing relationships with your professors or local professionals in your desired field are crucial steps for creating your future. One well-written email or message could completely change your life! The best jobs often don’t find you.” After graduation in December, Lauren plans to pursue her Master of Accounting with the College of Business, and eventually obtain her CPA license as she begins her professional career with Grant Thornton.