Student / May 16, 2024

Finding a Fit With Accounting

Carina Ruyter, Class of ’25, MS ’26

Carina Ruyter
Carina Ruyter discovered her ideal career in accounting through an online quiz, which perfectly combined her love for math and puzzles. Now at the Smith School, she's thriving in her studies and looking forward to a future in auditing.

Carina Ruyter, Class of ’25, MS ’26, didn’t know what career path she wanted to take. She came from a family of healthcare professionals and teachers, but that didn’t feel like the right fit. When she took an online quiz that suggested accounting, it seemed right for Ruyter, who has always loved math and puzzles, like Sudoku and crosswords.

“I knew I wanted to do something with math and numbers, I just didn’t know what,” says Ruyter, who decided to double major in accounting and finance.

She looked at several East Coast schools, applying to five or six. But the Annapolis, Md. native was immediately impressed with the Smith School, even though she had never visited the University of Maryland’s College Park campus.

“Business really felt like the right fit, and I’m so glad I chose the Smith School. All of my Smith professors have been really good and I’ve enjoyed all of my business classes, especially the accounting ones.”

The school was easy to navigate and her advisor helped her figure out what she needed to do for her majors. She felt connected to the community and dialed into things going on at Smith, thanks to the clubs she was involved with and the weekly emails to undergrads. That’s how she found out about the Smith School scholarship she landed.

“This year, I didn’t have to take any loans, which was very helpful,” says Ruyter.

To finish out her undergraduate experience, Ruyter decided to enter Smith’s Plus 1 program to earn her MS degree in accounting, which has her already taking graduate-level courses. Ruyter says her ideal job is an auditing role in accounting.

The team-oriented nature of auditing, working with numbers and checking for mistakes, sounds like a lot of fun, she says.

“That’s just how my brain works. I’m into repetitive puzzle-solving. And I’m someone who definitely likes to work with other people.”

This summer, she is trying it out with an internship with Ernst & Young in Tysons, Va. She got a jump on this year’s internship by lining up two roles during her sophomore year. In fall 2022, she networked with employers at the Office of Career Services (OCS) undergraduate career fair. She landed a summer 2023 internship with Baltimore accounting firm Cohen & Co., then secured the Ernst & Young position for this summer.

Ruyter also works as a teaching assistant for Robert Sheehan, who teaches at Smith’s Shady Grove campus.

For new students, Ruyter recommends joining clubs to get involved and meet people in your major. And don’t wait to get involved with the OCS to start your internship search.

“It’s never too early to go to a job fair and apply,” Ruyter says. “If anything, it makes it look like you want it more.”

Now that she knows what she wants from a career, Ruyter is excited to get there.

“It’s just fun for me to work with numbers,” she says. “I like when they go toward something, which is why I like accounting and finance, because every number has an explanation and you’re able to understand things through them.”

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About the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business

The Robert H. Smith School of Business is an internationally recognized leader in management education and research. One of 12 colleges and schools at the University of Maryland, College Park, the Smith School offers undergraduate, full-time and flex MBA, executive MBA, online MBA, business master’s, PhD and executive education programs, as well as outreach services to the corporate community. The school offers its degree, custom and certification programs in learning locations in North America and Asia.

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