As an accounting student, you can be well-prepared for your entire accounting career by the time you graduate if you capitalize on some of the valuable opportunities available to you. One particular opportunity you should pursue while still in school is an accounting internship. An accounting internship is an extensive introduction to the function and culture of an organization, and it can cover up to ten weeks of your summer. These internships can be full-time, part-time, paid, or unpaid, but no matter their structure, summer accounting internships definitely include benefits, so you should plan ahead and find the best one for you.
Benefits of a Summer Accounting Internship
The benefits of adding an accounting internship to your summer schedule include:
- Work Experience
Exploring the internal maze of an accounting firm as a student can help you pin-point the vocational path you want to follow after graduation. You will be able to participate in various career options in the industry, and exposure to these options can direct you to your ideal job. An internship gets you even closer to that job by optimizing your resumé and your interview responses.
- Job Opportunities
While an internship does not guarantee a job offer, many accounting firms regularly pull new hires from their pools of interns. Pricewaterhouse Coopers reports that over 90% of their interns receive full time offers, and Deloitte intends to welcome about 80% of their interns into permanent positions.
- Industry Connections
A contact list full of professionals from the field and fellow students can be an indispensable resource for accountants fresh out of the classroom. The network you build during your accounting internship will come in handy throughout your career.
- Skill Evaluation
Taking the knowledge and abilities you’ve gained from your accounting classes for a test drive during your internship can confirm your strengths and help you hone in on your weak areas. Clocking time at a firm is optimal for fine-tuning your instincts and developing your confidence.
- Graduation Requirements
Some accounting degree programs require the completion of an internship. Contact your institution’s accounting department to learn if an accounting internship is mandatory for you.
Timeline for Applying to a Summer Accounting Internship
Knowing that an internship can be so profitable for your accounting career, you should begin looking for one about a year in advance. More time gives you more options, and it may not work out if you wait until the first week of summer vacation. Plus, your prudent approach can further distinguish you from the competition. If possible, initiate your search for an accounting internship right after you learn about industry jobs and firms in your accounting classes so you have an idea of what you want to do.
Timeline for the CPA Exam
Just as you should get an accounting summer internship while you are a student, you should also take the CPA Exam as a student. Read about the many reasons why students should take the CPA Exam, and discover how our interactive study planner can give you an agenda for CPA Exam success.