How to Get Your Dream Accounting Internship
Looking for a challenging, fruitful internship? In the following post, Lewis Daidone offers strategies for getting a high-quality internship – one that can help you get the job you want. Lewis Daidone is a Certified Public Accountant and a consultant to financial services firms and tech companies..
Here’s the good news: accountants are in high demand. It has been estimated by the Department of Labor that the need for accountants, controllers, and auditors will increase by approximately 140,000 jobs in 10 years. However, in order to secure the accounting position of your dreams, it is important to have the kind of background/experience that gets noticed. An internship at a respected organization will make you an extremely attractive candidate once you enter the job market, but prestigious and valuable internships can be nearly as difficult to secure as salaried accounting jobs. Here are a few tips that can help make you an appealing prospect, and also help you make the most of the opportunity you’re given.
Give yourself a boost while you’re still in school.
If you’ve already made the decision to pursue an accounting degree, you should immediately begin to investigate the different professional associations sponsored by your school. Demonstrating an interest in furthering your practical knowledge of the accounting profession while you’re still in school helps to convince organizations that you’re serious about pursuing an accounting career, and that you’re actively developing your networking skills.
Choose your internship very carefully.
You probably don’t need an internship to learn how to order lunch for a staff of 8 middle managers. Your internship should be an introduction to the career or industry of your choice, and give you solid training and learning opportunities. However, you can afford to be creative with your decision. Don’t automatically discount a start-up. While a large, established firm has name recognition and will look great on a resume, you are more likely to have more responsibilities and challenges at a start-up, and you can develop a diverse array of experiences and skillsets working for an organization that is trying to find its industry footing.
Paid internships are great – but unpaid can be pretty great, too.
This might be an issue if you simply can’t afford a wage-free summer. Nevertheless, certain organizations offer exceptional unpaid internship opportunities to those who can stick it out for two or three months. If there is a great unpaid internship in the pipeline, don’t despair. Some universities offer internship funding programs. You can also apply for grants and fellowships. Also, don’t be afraid to ask the internship program director if it’s possible to work part-time in addition to completing your duties as intern. Since some excellent companies actively hire successful interns, your decision to take the unpaid internship reap you great rewards.
Internships can offer tremendous opportunities in the long term. Just be diligent and proactive about pursuing your career goals, and you’ll be well on your way to securing a rewarding internship.