United States

Finding her way: a military wife's journey into accounting

DeAnn shares her experience as an RSM intern


At RSM, all of the professionals have unique backgrounds and experiences that got them to where they are now, and my story is no exception. I am a proud Marines daughter, Army spouse, Navy mother and soon-to-be RSM audit professional. It has been a winding journey, but I am ecstatic about my future and ready to start my career.

I began school as a single mom with a dream to build a career in accounting and be a role model to my two young daughters. Soon after, I met my husband and my family quickly grew with the addition of two stepchildren, and a few years later, a new baby. With five children and a husband in the military, it was challenging to keep up with my studies, but I still had determination. My husband was deployed six times, and I moved our family from Colorado to Hawaii to Oklahoma and finally to Tacoma, where I currently live. With each move, I learned to adjust and found ways to continue my education.

At age 40, as I neared graduation at the University of Washington-Tacoma, I decided to apply for an internship. As the UW president of the Accounting Association, I was able to network with firms in my area, but I felt out of place as a non-traditional intern candidate. However, I met a welcoming partner at RSM who encouraged me to apply for an audit internship. She told me about the firm’s global presence, national opportunities and inclusive culture, and my decision to apply became clear.

My winter internship experience

My internship experience enabled me to put my studies into action, challenged me to be courageous and grow as a professional, and allowed me to envision my career at RSM. Throughout the program, I interacted with both partners and clients and was able to learn while contributing to real projects.

While working in the Tacoma RSM office, partners would often come in and work side-by-side with me. It was always a collaborative environment. I, the intern, even got the chance to personally interact with clients. Although, I was timid at first, the opportunity brought me out of my comfort zone and allowed me to work on being courageous as a first-choice advisor.

My favorite part of my internship was the people I worked with. Although these professionals were hard at work during a traditionally busy time, they always took time to help me. Instead of just telling me the “what,” they would take time to tell me “why,” so they could truly help me understand and learn. I’m so grateful for all of them, and I’m looking forward to being their colleague when I start as a full-time associate in the fall.

My future at RSM

It’s been a long road, but I feel prepared and ready to take charge of my future and build a successful career. It was clear to me during my internship that RSM truly cares for their people, and the people care for each other. Additionally, as a military spouse and parent, I know I will be supported. After my winding journey through many states and schools, I’ve finally found a place to stay.