Katie Sunderman ’10 knew she wanted to major in business even before arriving at the University of Richmond. 

“In high school, I was very interested in my marketing classes, so I knew that I wanted to study business in college. I never really considered anything else once I got to the University of Richmond,” she said.

Sunderman, whose initial interest in business stemmed from marketing, found her niche in the Robins School of Business through the accounting department.  The job marketability of an accounting major was chief among Sunderman’s reasons for declaring.

“After talking to fellow business school peers in the class above me, I discovered that the accounting industry has some of the best job prospects after graduation,” she said.  “I enjoyed my accounting classes, so I declared my major. A year later, I began interviewing for jobs.”

As soon as she declared herself as an accounting major, Sunderman wasted no time interviewing for an internship in the field. 

“I secured my internship with KPMG in Richmond in the fall of my junior year in 2008.  I interned that summer, got a job offer, and have not interviewed since that fall. I knew that I had a job after graduation before I even started my senior year, which was a huge weight off of my shoulders. To me, that is a great reason to major in accounting,” she said.

Sunderman’s decision to accept a position as an audit associate with KPMG in Richmond largely rested upon the company’s culture. 

“All ‘big-four’ accounting firms are basically the same as far as the work is concerned. All firms follow the same accounting standards to reach the same ultimate goal.”

It was, in fact, the people who worked at KPMG and who she met through her internship that helped differentiate the firm and seal her decision.

“The big thing that differs between each of the Big-Four firms is the people. It seemed that I meshed well with the people at the KPMG Richmond office while I was going through my interview process.”

“Everyone I met was so personable and friendly, so that was the deciding factor.”

Since starting full-time with KPMG last fall, Sunderman has adjusted and come to love the fast-paced and somewhat unpredictable work schedule. 

“In a given week, I could be at two to three different client sites, working on several different types of engagements. I am rarely in the same place, and I feel like I have a travelling office. I always have a big bag with my laptop, office supplies, binders and scanner,” she explained.

The job she performs once on-site varies as well. 

“I do anything from meeting with the controller to discuss the controls the company has in place over the revenue cycle, to reading the Board of Directors’ minutes, to calculating and analyzing the reasonableness of depreciation expense for the year.”

Sunderman’s role has also allowed her to meet and connect with other University of Richmond graduates in the community.

“Being in the Richmond area, I am always running into fellow spiders, so having the common ground has allowed me to get to know clients and co-workers,” she said.

She also has been able to come back and visit campus on recruiting trips for KPMG. 

“It has been great to help KPMG Richmond with its recruiting efforts on the University of Richmond campus. I love coming to the Career Development Center to help interview and to represent KPMG and the University of Richmond.”