Southeast Accounting Program Prepares Senior for Remote Consulting Internship

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Southeast Missouri State University senior accounting student Anastacia Razo will finish her summer internship today, about five weeks sooner than she planned.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, what should have been an eight-week consulting internship based in Atlanta was quickly adapted to become a two-and-a-half week remote program based out of her apartment in Cape Girardeau.

Razo’s internship was with Protiviti, a global internal audit, risk, business and technology consulting firm with more than 4,500 employees in over 80 offices, according to its website.

Despite the unexpected new format of the internship, the Hutchinson, Kansas, native said Protiviti has done a great job teaching and collaborating with interns. Razo said she is one of 247 interns working with the company across the country this summer.

“It is truly amazing how seamless the internship has been considering it was transitioned to remote work in just a few short months,” Razo said, noting Protiviti even mailed her a Windows tablet and keyboard to use during the internship.

“There isn’t a ‘typical’ day because we are constantly switching things up to get the most interaction and learning possible during these two and a half weeks,” she said.

In addition to learning to connect virtually, Razo is learning how to deliver client solutions for complex business problems, as well as making recommendations and assisting clients with implementing controls to eliminate risks.

And though the internship is remote, Razo said she’s made connections and become good friends with some of her coworkers.

“The people I have met are very genuine and kind,” she said, “which is by far the best part of it all.”

She found out about the internship opportunity through Redhawk Jobs, the University’s primary online recruiting system designed to connect students with full-time and part-time employment as well as internship opportunities. Razo applied for the 2020 summer internship last January and was extended an offer five months later.

“I was filling out as many applications as possible because you have to get in the door basically two years in advance,” she said.

Along with expanding her skills and gaining a better understanding of the “real business world” and how to function in it, Razo said she hopes the internship might lead to a full-time job offer, noting such offers are often extended at the completion of an internship.

At Southeast, Razo is a member of Beta Alpha Psi, the honorary and professional organization for students of accountancy; a member of the Harrison College of Business and Computing Dean’s Student Advisory Committee; a member of Phi Kappa Phi, a multidisciplinary collegiate honor society; the student vice president for Beta Gamma Sigma, an accredited honor society serving business programs; and a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters program.

Razo says she is passionate about the regular practice of self-reflection and constant pursuit of self-growth. Upon graduation, she hopes to work for a company whose values align with hers.

“I wanted to be an intern for Protiviti because the firm is incredibly interested in investing in its employees,” she said, noting the company’s commitment to diversity and inclusion. “[And] it’s a challenging workplace.”

When she graduates with more than 150 credit hours next spring, Razo will be the first in her family to hold a college degree.

“My great grandparents couldn’t even speak English, and here I am about to graduate, in a different state, and I obtained an internship!” Razo said. “I come from a very humbling background, and I am incredibly honored and proud to be where I am.”

For her success in and out of the classroom, Razo credits Redhawk Jobs and Southeast for giving her networking skills and for providing necessary tools to complete tasks. She also credits accounting professor Dr. Leisa Marshall for challenging her and teaching her the rules of accounting.

Razo plans to sit for the Certified Public Accounting exam after graduation and eventually hopes to become a Certified Information Systems Auditor.

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