Accounting internships are fertile ground for learning the practice and establishing a successful career path.
While the theoretical lessons offer an important foundation, it is the hands-on activities with real-world stakes that offers a genuine education for young participants.
To get the most out of the placement, students must prepare for what lies ahead.
Time to discuss how individuals can get in the right mindset for approaching accounting internships.
Embracing Any Accounting Firm Opportunity
While some accounting internships might seem like more lucrative opportunities than others, the truth is that these placements are great ventures at all levels of the market. Those smaller operations might not seem appealing, but they will likely have more need for assistance on the floor and allow young participants to engage in hands-on accounting work. With fewer pathways than the bigger establishments, it will also increase the likelihood of receiving a full-time role when the program has completed. Although the large accounting practices look great on the CV, the chance for real-world experience often happens at a local level.
Dressing for the Job You Want
Yes it’s a cheesy cliché and everyone has heard it before but it is true with programs like accounting internships: dress for success. This is not an exercise purely for cosmetics because accounting firms have to exude a sense of professionalism at every avenue, even with the inclusion of new interns. There are conscious and subconscious elements at play with the professional dress code. For starters, the very activity of wearing a suit Monday to Friday can be quite the transition from university life, requiring a degree of adaptation. Then there is the lifestyle and corporate approach to work, allowing individuals to fit in with the workplace culture.
Alternate Between Duties
Unless there are strict provisions with accounting internships that will only focus on auditing or tax return practices, then participants should be willing to consume as much knowledge as possible. This field of expertise will cover big business to entrepreneurs, small business to public institutions and single-parent households where every cent counts. Why not run the gamut and see what challenges are involved for clients at all levels of the commerce space? If there are no strict boundaries or regulations, it shows great initiative to get involved with projects and act as a sponge for knowledge.
Fire Away With Questions
The only dumb question with accounting internships is the one that is never asked. When young men and women are given these opportunities, they have the chance to lean on 5, 10 or 20+ years of industry experience. This is advice that cannot be gleaned from theoretical lessons, lectures or textbooks. Find out how they apply their expertise, how they communicate with their clients, how they incorporate their role within the firm and any other habits or behaviours that establish their credentials within the business.
Build Connections With Mentors & Leaders
Those interactions with peers and colleagues will be the type of currency that becomes the most valuable once accounting internships have been completed. Leadership will come naturally to some while others will only pass on advice if they are asked. Those professionals who do offer guidance are great contacts to know within the industry. There are no guarantees with these placements regarding the offer of a full-time role, but those connections can very well open new doors in the months and years to follow. Once they see the initiative and skills on display, they will be enticed to see that individual succeed with their career path in accounting.