Head Start in the Big City

Editor’s Note: The following first appeared in the University of Iowa’s Hawk Talk Daily, an e-newsletter that offers a daily look at the Iowa Hawkeyes, delivered free each morning to thousands of fans of the Hawkeyes worldwide. To receive daily news from the Iowa Hawkeyes, sign up HERE.


IOWA CITY, Iowa — University of Iowa junior Ally Disterhoft has learned many things in her collegiate career, academically at the Henry B. Tippie College of Business and athletically on the women’s basketball team. She has learned the importance of teamwork, having passion for what you do, possessing a strong work ethic, exuding confidence, and leading others in the right direction.

Thanks to strong connections developed through opportunities at Iowa and the skills she has learned along the way, Disterhoft will take her talents to a big four accounting firm in Chicago this summer. After attending its Elevate leadership program and going through an interview process, she was offered an internship at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC).

“A lot of the skills you learn in athletics translate to the work place,” Disterhoft said. “People value a competitor and someone who is confident. They want people who can come in, be confident, and not shy away from things, people who are going to dive in and go for the challenge.

“Everything that makes our team successful in basketball can help you in the interview setting, in an internship, and professionally. Working hard, being competitive, being passionate about what you’re doing all translate well.”

Disterhoft, a two-time academic All-American and the 2016 Academic All-American of the Year, will live and work in Chicago with a few of her UI classmates, who also scored opportunities at major companies. Her internship centers on assurance work with PwC’s pharmaceutical groups. After a week of training, Disterhoft will provide upper-level accounting work, work with upper-level management, put together presentations, and travel to local client sites to observe day-to-day operations.

The internship runs from June 6 through July 9, an abbreviated period due to her commitments to Iowa basketball. Though it runs for just over a month, the experience will give Disterhoft a head start when graduation rolls around.

“It’s great that our coaches are encouraging and supportive of me interning with PwC,” Disterhoft said. “To be able to develop this professional experience early and make those connections before I graduate is huge for when I enter the workforce. To be able to work directly with clients and businesses at 21-years-old is awesome. I’m looking forward to all the experiences that come with being in a big city.”

Disterhoft, who is admittedly trying to pinpoint her desired career path, knows this experience will assist in her decision. The business major is doing what she can to broaden her horizons in accounting and investment banking.

This internship is the first step.

“I’ve never been away from Iowa City and this is the first time I’ll be able to do something in a different setting,” Disterhoft said. “I’m looking forward to working and also to experiencing a city I may live in some day because I’m interested in working in accounting and at PwC’s firm after graduation.

“I would love to live in Chicago or New York City, so it will be fun to explore and check out that scene. It will be a great experience.”