Accounting Internships are often recommended as a way to gain practical work experience while you complete your education. An internship is your chance to work alongside accounting professionals and learn on the job, often while receiving a paycheck.
Many universities encourage them as a core component of their accounting curriculum because of the experience they provide.
Experience is important, but they have the potential to be so much more. We will show you ways to maximize your internship experience and gain benefits beyond those immediately apparent.
An accounting internship is a temporary position where a student works as an entry level employee of the host organization. Some internship positions are coordinated through your university and earn academic credit while some are simply opportunities for the employer to get lower cost entry level or project assistance in return for work experience.
Accounting internships should involve a variety of accounting related tasks to give you a wide exposure to as much of accounting as possible. In the best internship situations, your supervisor will assume a mentoring role and give you valuable professional and career advice while you work together.
You can maximize this experience by maintaining a humble and teachable attitude.
Be willing to try new things, help out where and when you can, and learn as much as you can from the experience. Ask for and accept constructive criticism of your performance, and work on areas where you are lacking. Guard against treating your internship as a casual, temporary position.
Instead, treat it like a unique opportunity and express gratitude to your host employer.
An accounting internship is your chance to see the day to day role of an accounting specialty. Using your internship to solidify your specialty choice maximizes the value of the experience. Are you considering:
Today’s business environment is increasingly global. All but the smallest organizations are entering the global market and competing internationally for customers and resources. Globalization impacts every department of a company, including accounting.
Would you like to really stand out among your peers? Consider going abroad for an international internship.
International internships are available through organizations like GoAbroad and World Endeavors, and a variety of charitable organizations. Your university’s career placement office will often assist you in your search. International internships have many benefits beyond the normal internship experience.
An international internship is a unique addition to your resume. It tells prospective employers about your character as well as your background. It takes an adventurous spirit to travel abroad for an internship.
Your prospective employer will see you as a candidate that is willing to take risks and go above and beyond expectations in order to excel.
Accounting internships are so much more than work experience. As an intern you have exposure to professionals who can jump start your career. Connections you make during your internship can develop into relationships that benefit you for years.
Most organizations that make accounting internships available enjoy acting as mentors to the students they hire. It’s a way for organizations to give back to the professional community. These organizations look for ways to introduce interns to every aspect of their organization. If you show an interest, you will learn about the interdependence of key departments and functional areas, and meet leaders in those areas.
After you've developed a rapport with your supervisor, ask their advice. How did they achieve success? What would they recommend to you?
Often accounting internships lead to an entry level position after your graduation. Keep the human resources department and your supervisor informed about your progress in the university and your job status. Express your desire to work for the company in the future.
Even if they don’t offer you a position, maintaining the positive relationships created from accounting internships will provide you with references and introductions when you begin your job hunt.