Misheel Ganbat, a junior information systems and operations management major, had quite the educational journey on her way to George Mason University’s School of Business.
Ganbat moved to Arlington, Virginia with her parents from Mongolia for her freshman year of high school. Her parents encouraged her to attend an in-state school for her college career.
“I applied to Virginia schools, but the smartest financial decision I could make for myself and for my parents was going to community college and then transferring to George Mason,” she said.
Ganbat spent a year and a half at Northern Virginia Community College, and transferred to Mason because she wanted to be more involved on-campus. I could see that Mason had a lot to offer in that sense, and I really wanted to get involved with that so I transferred with the credits I had,” she said.
She decided to major in ISOM because “it was the perfect blend between technical skills and business management of an organization. I think it gives me the chance to stay updated with the latest technology and innovations, but you also have the business background.”
Ganbat also quickly pledged to the business fraternity, Delta Sigma Pi, and got involved with other groups on-campus, like Students Helping Honduras. Ganbat was also interested in professional development that would prepare her for a career after graduation.
“I would say Mason’s biggest allure for me was the on-campus involvement and also the fact that it’s very close to Washington, D.C., and Tysons, both of which are huge areas for a lot of opportunities in my field,” she said.
With the help of HireMason and School of Business Career Services, she was selected for an internship with BDO. Ganbat was selected for an IT audit department internship for the 2017-18 academic year.
The IT audit department reviews the IT environment of a company, ensuring the program used for accounting isn’t manipulated.
“They send me out to client sites, which I think is super cool. In the beginning of the week the engagement senior or manager will let me know where I have to go. I review the client’s file and look at what their IT environment is, what we checked previously, and if there were any problems or fixes from the last year,” she said.
Ganbat said that even though the IT audit department is small, “It makes a huge difference in the big picture of the audit and financial statements. As the IT people, we support the larger audit team.”
She is currently looking for opportunities in the advisory sector this summer, and plans to graduate in May 2019. Ganbat hopes to have a full-time job offer by the end of this summer.
She’s grateful for the internship for giving her real world experience, “something you probably can’t learn from just a classroom or textbook.” The internship also exposed her to how accounting firms operate, what services they offer clients, and what career route she may take in the future.
“I think internships are the best way to see if a career is something you’d like to do for a long time. I now know that if I continue with IT audit, my career goal would be to become a manager or IT consultant, or I could maybe stay in the accounting side of it,” Ganbat said.