By Ruby Cimmarusti

You have two options. Take the easy route with a calculated moderate payoff. Or, take an uncertain path with a projected higher reward. Which do you choose?

Sometimes, you have to stray from the typical path to forge your own journey – and it’s not always easy. 

Abby Hinson is a trailblazer from Pittsburgh attending The Ohio State University — and she was hungry for a challenge. How did Abby learn how to embrace change in her life? And how did she find herself in Cincinnati as an AMEND analyst?


She learned how to be uncomfortable.

All through high school, Abby expected to attend Penn State University just like her cousin and older sister. Then, out of nowhere, her father received a job transfer to Houston, Texas. She was uprooted her senior year and had to adapt to an entirely new city and school, months before she’d be leaving again for college. 

Still wanting to make easy decisions that made sense, Abby started looking into Texas universities as she started her senior year of high school. “I grew up thinking, ‘Oh, I’ll go to Penn State. That’s what my family did, that’s what my friends did.’  So I wasn’t really thinking for myself. Then, my dad got that job transfer to Texas and I started thinking about schools there, doing what made sense for my family, but again, not thinking for myself.” 

As she considered her options for school, she took some time to reflect on the crazy year she just had. “That last year of high school, that has definitely been where I’ve seen the most change in myself. I started to think for myself and realize what I was passionate about. Ever since then, I’ve had a mindset of ‘I want to be uncomfortable.’ I want to be comfortable with being uncomfortable, because that’s where I will see the most growth in myself.”

The Ohio State University – Fisher College of Business

So, she uprooted herself again. This time, it was her decision.

She stopped thinking about what everyone else was doing or what made sense. “I ended up realizing, Ohio State is where I see myself. That was the first time I was making my own decision. And I was definitely stepping out of my comfort zone. I didn’t know anyone, so I started joining all kinds of clubs,  getting involved in things I’m passionate about and meeting people that have similar interests.”

The first two organizations that Abby joined were the business fraternity Alpha Kappa Psi and BUCC (Buckeye Undergraduate Consulting Club), both of which had strong ties to AMEND. Former members of her Alpha Kappa Psi chapter happened to include Alex Hickey and Eric Vinson, two of our project leaders at AMEND.

Immediately, Abby began hearing about AMEND from different people. “I just kept thinking, ‘Something has to be drawing all of these rock stars to this company, these are super smart people who could have any job they want.” Once Abby initially reached out to AMEND, our team was happy to schedule calls and meet for coffee with her so they could tell her more about the possibility of an internship with us. 

As she considered her options for the summer, Abby continued to reflect on her past growth. “I thought, ‘If I want to really push myself and be uncomfortable, that’s where I have to be. AMEND.’”

So, early May of this year, Abby uprooted herself yet again and moved to a city even further from home than Columbus: Cincinnati. 

Analysts Abby Hinson & Ruby Cimmarusti attending the CINC Intern Riverboat Event

“It was scary coming here. I didn’t really know anyone, I didn’t know the area. It took so long just to find the nearest Target.” Despite feeling out of place in the city, Abby threw herself completely into AMEND’s culture. She attended social events with other interns and reached out to full-time employees to get coffee or lunch. “What I probably gained the most from this experience was learning about the team’s experiences, mistakes, and lessons learned from years in the workforce. Everyone here is so welcoming and willing to help you grow as an individual.”

She also gained a desire to expand her knowledge into areas she never knew she’d be interested in until now. “Consulting gives you exposure to every possible area of business. I worked on projects in job costing, supply chain, mergers and acquisitions, and data analytics. I worked with every size company, from a huge metal manufacturer down to a local nonprofit.”

From her work in one project, Abby discovered that she really enjoys working with data, and plans on taking more classes in that area up at OSU. “I didn’t just help with what I already knew how to do. I was pushed to learn new things and to do what makes me uncomfortable.”

Reflecting back on her experience at this summer, Abby described it very simply: it was a challenge. But it was a good one. The AMEND team is full of people always searching for a new problem to solve and a new challenge to overcome, and Abby is no exception. 

Do you think you’re up for the challenge? Connect with us! No matter how far you are from Cincinnati, our team is happy to do the same for you that we did for Abby and all of our past and present analysts: get coffee and tell you more about what it’s like to be a part of the AMEND family.

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