Even though he earned his diploma in May, Justin Smith spent his summer hitting the books.
By the time Smith, an accounting major with a minor in French, started his senior year at the Busch School of Business he already had a job offer from PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). He starts work at the Big Four accounting firm in October. He spent his summer preparing for the four sections of the CPA exam, dedicating one full month of study to each section. Smith came to Catholic University intending to major in international business. “I chose that major because of my interest in French,” he says. “But after I took two accounting courses, my professors told me I had an aptitude for accounting, and that I could still work internationally. I switched and the accounting program ended up being the right fit for me.”
During the fall semester of his junior year, Smith studied abroad in France. “In addition to my language classes, I took a business-to-business marketing course. I was the only American with all native French speakers. The class touched on everything — I was even doing quantitative analysis in French.”
While Smith was in France, he did three lengthy Skype interviews with PwC for a coveted 10-week summer internship, which he eventually landed, leading to his job offer. “I was among the first of my friends to have a job offer. I started my senior year reading a lot of resumes and offering a lot of support,” says Smith. Active on campus for four years with the student chapter of Knights of Columbus, Smith tried something new his senior year. “I became an RA for the first time. It was a great experience, and a lot of fun to be a senior and still meeting so many new people.”
Naming another highlight of his college experience, Smith recalls being a first-year student when a landmark group of gifts to the School of Business was announced — the school was renamed the Busch School of Business, and work began on renovation of Maloney Hall, giving the school a new home this year. “In our classes we were learning about start-ups and the different stages of business growth, and in our own school we were witnessing that same kind of growth,” he says. “The Busch School is a community. It’s a place full of support.”