To the casual observer, Abigail Smith ‘17 may look like someone for whom life has been easy. But like the proverbial graceful swan on a still pond, there’s a lot of hard work going on below the surface.
Growing up as the Child of Divorced parents, Smith divided her time between living with her mother in Virginia and her father in New York. A diligent and motivated honor student and athlete, she excelled in high school. Her living situation instilled a wanderlust, and se competed on teams that crisscrossed the country for softball, basketball and track meets.
Smith was also beginning to show leadership tendencies and an avid interest in business. “In high school, I participated in a three-week Spanish immersion program in Madrid and La Herradura, Spain,” she said. And with a “surplus of school spirit” she co-founded a student club called the Lightning Legion.
When Smith learned about Mercy’s Summer Leadership Academy in Business, a program designed for students headed for careers in accounting, finance, marketing and entrepreneurship, something clicked. Deciding to major in public accounting and with a minor in finance, Smith explained, “I knew I could trust [Mercy] with my professional as well as my personal development.” By junior year she had completed internships at PepsiCo, Ernst & Young and Morgan Stanley.
Smith needs no further proof that the support and opportunities she found at Mercy have helped her turn a passion into a career. Last spring she interned at Ernst & Young, and followed it up with a summer internship in corporate accounting at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, Virginia. “I enjoy accounting and auditing because it helps you to understand a firm’s priorities and paints a clear financial picture,” Smith said. “As an auditor I can play an important role in upholding the firm’s ethics, which are crucial to an efficient and healthy business environment.”
What’s next for this intrepid traveler? Smith has accepted Ernst & Young’s offer of a full-time position in its Times Square office, and she is ecstatic. “I’ve always dreamed of living and working in New York City, “ she said. “People are scared to be uncomfortable in new situations, but that’s where you learn things. That’s what drives my desire to explore the world around me. I want to learn everything.”