One Beacom School of Business student, Sophia Lima, recently accepted an internship with one of the largest accounting firms in the world: Deloitte.
Lima, a sophomore accounting major and president of Coyote Capital Management (CCM), said she’s excited about the opportunity.
“Coming to college, I thought that you get an internship when you’re a junior or senior,” Lima said. “Since these companies are so large and have so much capital, they really want top talent and they’re able to invest in students that are younger.”
Lima also holds numerous leadership positions on campus as president of CCM, the former president of Financial Management Association (FMA), a member of Beta Alpha Psi and the business manager of SGA.
‘Nothing to lose’
According to Deloitte’s website, students who apply for the Discovery internship that Lima accepted have to be a sophomore in a four-year institution, have interest in professional services, have strong academic credentials and demonstrate leadership qualities.
Lima said working for a client service internship is the ultimate goal for students where they could work like a regular employee would. This Deloitte internship is the next step up for her, she said.
“(Deloitte) recognizes that you don’t have the technical capabilities to fill out really complex tax forms or work through those transactions for a client, but you do know something and you’re still going to learn from it,” Lima said.
Audit & Assurance, Risk and Financial Advisory, or Tax is what is offered through Deloitte for interns. Lima chose to work with advisory and tax.
“I’ll be directly working with engagement teams. So really hands-on work but then also doing more like the administrative duties,” Lima said. “Just really getting to know the company, how they operate, the company culture and seeing if it’s the right fit for me. I think it will be.”
Lima said she came to college with a mentality of having “nothing to lose.” She found out about the internship by researching for accounting firms and looked on Deloitte’s website and that’s how the Discovery internship came to her attention.
“I contacted accounting faculty on campus and expressed these are my goals and this is what I like to do,” Lima said. “I was expecting them to laugh me away as a young kid with big ideas, but they didn’t.”
Lima said Tom Davies, a professor in the Beacom School of Business and the chair of accounting & finance, was the person who connected her to alumni who work at Deloitte.
To build Lima’s resume for the Deloitte internship, she worked as a finance intern for First PREMIER Bank in 2015 in Sioux Falls and as a Start intern for PwC in 2017 in Chicago.
After receiving an offer for the internship, Lima said being passionate about what you do is “important for employers.”
“I think what stood me apart from other applicants was since USD is a smaller school, I’ve had a lot of leadership experience on my resume,” Lima said. “I’d already done an internship at a public accounting firm, which kind of showed that I was committed and I think it was also just I was passionate about what I was talking about.”
Ryan Scholten, a sophomore finance major and the and public relations and recruitment officer for CCM, said he worked with Lima to organize recruitment for CCM.
“What (recruitment) basically consists of is organizing and coordinating with professors for classroom visits,” Scholten said. “We have a prepared presentation. We talk about the advantages that we see CCM brings to the students to add onto their curriculum hands-on experience where they can learn the ins and outs of investment and real money.”
Scholten said Lima has an opportunity that very few people in the field will ever get.
“I think it’s a really cool opportunity. It’s something that she’ll look back on,” Scholten said. “It’s always a dream for people in that world in finance or accounting to end up in Wall Street or New York City.”
Yewmun Yip, associate professor at the Beacom School of Business and faculty advisor for CCM, said Lima always is “getting things done” in her leadership roles.
“She’s organizing the schedule for each group to make their presentation because for them to recommend, buy or sell whatever they have, every week we have someone presenting and telling us what’s going on,” Yipp said. “We’re managing real money so we have to look at the market.”
Yip said he has some advice for Lima for her internship this summer.
“Learn a lot from Deloitte and get experience and then progress from there,” Yip said. “Also make sure that you make good contacts there and they have good networking so that employers think in the business networking together with many for a permanent job.”
Scholten said Lima has been a “very hands-on leader.”
“I know she’s worked with me pretty extensively in everything I’ve done so far. I know she was pretty integral in us planning classroom visits,” Scholten said. “In my time working with Sophia it’s always been she has always gone out of her way to make sure the organization as a whole succeeds and that every person that has a role there has every means available to succeed.”