If there’s one thing your family and professional connections like to point out is that you need an accounting internship before you can make it in the industry. While it may sound a bit over exaggerated the importance of these programs, they are highly valuable none the less. When there’s thousands of graduates all with degrees and good grades, the factor that sets them apart is if they have had workplace experience already.
Coming straight out of university and into the working world can be very daunting especially with how important these programs are. Luckily we have scoured the internet and spoken with industry experts to bring you a short guide on finding accounting internships.
Start looking early
A common mistake that a lot of new grads make is that they start searching for an accounting internship after they have graduated. Ideally you should be undergoing the program in your final year or semester. This will give you the experience to go straight from studying into a role. Additionally it can take several months for you to get into a program so it is highly important that you start searching as soon as possible.
Sending out a lot of applications before your final semester will set you up for the best chance of finding one and being accepted before you graduate.
Know where to look
When it comes to finding an accounting internship you will find that the following places usually host the positions;
- Not for profit organisations
- Government offices
- Industry firms
- Local firms
- Major firms
In an ideal world, you should be applying at the firm, organisation or industry that you would like to work at or that is closely aligned with what specialty you want to get into. Companies look favourably upon those that have done an accounting internship with them as they know their processes and won’t have to invest any more resources into your training period.
You should also keep in mind that a perfect world would allow you to get paid for your time but it is important to note that may not always be the case. Due to how competitive the programs are you will find that a lot don’t offer any pay which means you should definitely brush up on your professional etiquette.
No matter where you want to work you need to ensure that your professional etiquette is up to scratch to impress your potential employer before you have stepped through the door. Below we are going to discuss some of the skills that you should aim to refine when looking for an accounting internship.
Resume and cover letter writing
Your resume and cover letter is your first impression to the company before you even meet them. With that in mind it is important that you are presenting yourself in the best way possible so be sure to refine your ability to write a resume and cover letter. Easy to read formats that are also aesthetically pleasing will always do better than their counterparts.
Don’t go into an interview for an accounting internship and expect to get it if you are winging it. You should be brushing up on the common questions asked as well as doing a mock interview.
Optimizing your LinkedIn profile and networking with individuals in the industry is an easy and effective way to look professional. Try to meet with people at job and career events and ask them what it takes to work there. These individuals are very helpful and are eager to offer advice about getting into the industry.