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Handshake student stories

From Restaurant Manager to EY Intern

James Madison University student Richard Riehl shares his journey from college dropout to tax intern at a top-tier firm.

“Four years ago I was a college dropout managing a small restaurant, feeling like I wanted more out of my career but not knowing how to get where I wanted. Fast forward to now, Handshake has connected me with firms that have revenues in the billions, as well as other very reputable, smaller firms.”

We all have our own careers, aspirations, and legacies that we want to leave behind. And while life has its inevitable bumps and path divergences, there are always ways to reclaim the career that you want.

Accounting major Richard Riehl was discouraged when he enrolled back into James Madison University after spending a large part of his time managing a small restaurant. He worried about being able to network with the right people to land something in his new field of work.

While searching for the right tools for his job hunt, Richard eventually found Handshake. This direction came from both his school and recruiters from the very firms where he aspired to work.

“Handshake has been very helpful for me and is an excellent resource that every student should take full advantage of."

"Handshake is an invaluable resource that offers students something they will probably never get again," says Richard. "Firms are out there actively looking to recruit them using Handshake specifically."

For others in his shoes, Richard emphasizes the special nature of having Handshake access as a student. "Never again will you have every big firm in your industry — every 'Big Four' accounting firm in my case — all actually wanting to look over your resume," he says, "And all you need to do is click apply.”

Richard will graduate this coming May. After receiving his diploma, he'll continue his journey at EY as a tax intern, ever growing in his bright career.

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