by Halle Johnson, Student Public Relations Writer
Excellent academics and personal character lead to excellent internships. For Tate Kessler, a junior accounting major from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, that means working at one of the top accounting firms in the nation.
Kessler previously worked as a tax and auditing intern at Rea & Associates, a top 100 public accounting firm based outside of Cleveland, in the summer of 2022. However, when it came time to apply for the upcoming summer, Kessler worried he was overly ambitious.
“I applied for some of the ‘big four’ firms in the U.S.,” said Kessler. “When I applied, I was praying that the Lord would show me where he wanted me to be, a place where I could have impact and minister to others.”
The “big four” accounting firms are not only the top four revenue-generating public accounting firms in the nation but are also known for rigorous internship programs and selective hiring processes. Kessler, though never expecting an interview, let alone an offer, received job offers from the top two: Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).
“I was praying throughout the entire application and decision process,” said Kessler. “I knew that the Lord would open doors to show me where he wanted me to go. I wanted to work somewhere that I could have impact for the gospel in a larger environment. After a lot of prayer, I decided on PwC!”
Kessler is currently working at PricewaterhouseCoopers’ Cleveland office as part of the auditing department, conducting financial examinations of external companies.
“I really enjoyed working on audits last summer,” said Kessler. “Auditing, compared to a lot of accounting, is much more communicative. I loved interacting with clients.”
In his past internship at Rea & Associates, Kessler’s largest auditing project was with an international mission organization.
“When the Cedarville graduates from the mission organization heard I was also from Cedarville, they were excited to work with me and asked when I would be back,” said Kessler.
While auditing the mission organization, Kessler was able to work closely with the client and take on responsibility greater than that of most interns. Not only was the experience one that gave him practical skills, but it also showed him the importance of integrity in the workplace, a principle he will bring with him to PwC.
As a student at Cedarville, Kessler serves as the president of the student accounting organization, the junior class student president and the Alpha Chi vice president, alongside making the Dean’s Honors List in all five of his semesters at Cedarville.
“Leadership roles on campus have taught me a lot about balance — the need to make time for priorities,” said Kessler. “I have learned that leadership is about learning, trusting those around you and sacrificing in order to serve others better. More than anything, I have learned that I am not sufficient in myself, that I have to lean on the Lord for everything that he has put in front of me, because I can honor the Lord by doing everything to the best of my ability.”
For Kessler, these principles serve as the basis for his work ethic going into his summer internship, an opportunity that will not only jump-start his career and provide him with experience, but also one he hopes will serve as an opportunity to share his faith.Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 5,082 undergraduate, graduate and high school dual-enrolled students in more than 175 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, high graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings, and high student engagement rankings. For more information about the University, visit www.cedarville.edu.