Mon, 04/25/2016

When thousands of students return to the UMass Amherst campus in January for the start of the spring semester, junior Bill Sennott was not among them. Instead, he was busy working as an intern at one of the world’s largest international accounting firms and skiing the Swiss Alps while participating in the Isenberg School of Management’s Semester in the Profession Program (SIPP).

An accounting major and member of Commonwealth Honors College, Sennott spent ten weeks with PwC as an assurance intern in the firm’s Boston office and a week in Switzerland as part of the program.

Through SIPP, participating students spend the majority of the semester working in the field. After ten weeks they return to campus to complete two accelerated courses. This set up enables students to get real world experience while making sure they stay on track for graduation.

Sennott, who says he’s always been “a numbers kind of guy,” saw the type of relationship building and trust necessary to work with clients in accounting and thought, “I could totally see myself doing that.”

According to Sennott, PwC offers a number of supplemental experiences to its interns. He was the only one to be chosen from the Northeast for the international option. Between February and March, Sennott traveled to Zurich, Switzerland, to visit one of PwC’s largest offices, an opportunity he said he was “extremely fortunate and grateful” to have.

Along with seven other American interns and two recruiters from the United States, Sennott worked alongside Swiss PwC teams shadowing team leadership, explored the city and, of course, spent some time on the slopes of the Swiss Alps. During a visit to Lausanne, Sennott got to work with one of PwC’s global priority clients and explore the home of the International Olympic Committee.

“Not only did I learn about the industries that the firm serves in this region, but also the culture and the people of this great country,” said Sennott.

Sennott said his favorite part of his trip was the “amazing people” he got to meet, calling his coworkers “extremely honest and trustworthy." He said, "I really appreciated how they treated us like we were part of the team." He added that he’s “confident that the connections that I [have] made on this trip will last a lifetime.”

In fact, Sennott’s new friendship with a Swiss intern has given him a place to stay for the return trip to Europe that he has planned for after finals.

Following the internship, PwC offered Sennott a full time position. He’ll be rejoining the Boston office as an assurance associate in September of 2017.

Would he be willing to relocate to Switzerland?

Sennott said, “You know what? I probably would and you can quote me on me that.”