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Accounting Internships: Why to Have One

accounting internship work setting

Do you have much free time?

If you are an accounting student, the answer is probably no. But how are you spending the free time that you do have?

Directing your free time toward the advancement of your career is always beneficial, and accounting internships offer invaluable opportunities to do so. To qualify to sit for the CMA exam, you must have a bachelor’s degree in any area and either two years’ full-time or four years’ part-time experience in management accounting or financial management. An accounting internship can help you fulfill both of these requirements.

Many university accounting programs provide students with the option to substitute an appropriate internship for a certain number of credit hours. Some even require completion of an internship to graduate. Either way, you can use an accounting internship to get ahead in both your career and coursework, so plan to land one as soon as possible. The benefits of accounting internships are numerous, and the process of finding one can be quite simple.

The Benefits of Accounting Internships

Skill Development

Employers seek team players and good communicators. The sooner you put yourself into a professional setting, the sooner you can begin to develop the life-work skills that will serve you throughout your career.

Real-world Experience

An accounting internship provides an opportunity to learn the ins and outs of business and accounting-specific software in a real-world setting. On-the-job experience is, quite literally, the stuff of which good resumes are made.

Networking Opportunities

Internships are also a valuable resource for networking and a great way to get your foot in the door of large organizations. Many Fortune 500 companies have established internship tracks for current students and recent graduates that eventually convert to full-time positions or result in eligibility for more senior roles.

But do not be afraid to stray from the beaten path. The career choices for new accountants are not as cut and dried as you might think. Even if the company you decide to intern for is not a long-term fit for you, the people you meet there can open doors.

What’s Next?

Accounting students have a lot on their plates, but with good time management, you could get a leg up on your peers. Consider taking the CMA exam while you are still in school. It sounds like a lot of extra work, but there are many success stories.

Just as an internship can count toward course credit and the CMA requirements, your accounting coursework can do double-duty as well. Many classes teach the concepts and skills needed to become a CMA, and with the help of a CMA Review Course to fill in the gaps, you can breeze through the exam while the knowledge is still fresh. Test your knowledge now with these free CMA exam questions!

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