It is often the burning issue at hand for young students and community members who are approaching accounting internships – even if the application is successful, how will the experience be worth their while? Unless a full-time role is offered, what is the whole point of the exercise? Those who have been through this process before will pass on key advice for men and women who want to ensure that these weeks are well spent irrespective of the outcome.
Sending Multiple Applications
A great way to get the most out of accounting internships for fresh grads and young participants is to ensure that they have opportunities from various departments. This will increase the likelihood of receiving a placement and give individuals the chance to broaden their horizons. Some students will feel let down if they don’t receive acclamation from high-end accounting firms, but often the best opportunities are found at the local level where the real experience is enjoyed.
Presenting Your Best Self
Working through these programs does require a degree of appreciation for the professional image that should be demonstrated in these environments. Looking the part is just an initial first step, but for those who only have one or two weeks in the role, it is important to master this domain to make a valuable first impression. From the style of the suit to the neatness of the shoes, it is a small component that helps to get participants off on the right foot.
Developing a Professional Network
The type of currency that young participants should really value with accounting internships is the professional connections and networks that they establish during their time. This is where mentors are identified as they walk individuals through their pathway and pass on key advice to make strides forward. Even if a full-time role is not tabled at the time, they will be well placed to identify other opportunities through industry peers.
Volunteering for Various Tasks
If there is one area that impresses upon employers with accounting internships, it is those recipients who showcase a level of initiative that is unprompted. Particularly for those firms who don’t enjoy a high level of resources, they will need all hands on deck for assessing reports, for examining documentation, for dealing with clients and to ensure that referencing, bookkeeping and audit programs are on track.
Building an Accounting Niche
An effective strategy that emerging professionals can use with accounting internships is to use the time to assess what field of accounting they are suited to. There will be some individuals who feel like bookkeeping is their ideal niche while others will venture out into analysis and analytics to audit and tax representatives, working in forensics or in public finance. The best approach is to engage all levels and then see where the skillset aligns with the tasks.
To make these gains for young participants, it is always beneficial to ask as many questions as possible. Men and women make their biggest mistakes when they simply make assumptions about how the firm operates and what they should expect from the experience. There will be professionals on hand who are able to verify or pushback against these assumptions, helping to add context to the theory that has been learned in a classroom environment.
Understanding the Value of Internships
Applicants make their time worthwhile with accounting internships when they recognise that this short window is simply a way to achieve experience, to build connections and to define the path forward. There have been many instances where young participants will sign up for accounting internships, take part with the program and discover that their skillset is better placed in IT, in sales and marketing or another domain altogether. That affirmation is beneficial, helping those members who are seeking a productive career in the private or public sector.