Accounting is one of the best-paid careers you can get. It should not be confused with bookkeeping, which it includes but is much broader in scope. The accountant creates a system for entering data into the books, based on generally accepted accounting principles (G.A.A.P.); the bookkeeper simply follows those instructions. There are four major fields of accounting, each of which concentrates on a specific aspect of business activity: financial, budget, management and tax accounting. Auditors review the work of other types of accountants. The rest of this article is about how to get a good accounting internship.
Do Your Research
The very first decision that you want to make regarding your internship is whether you want it to be paid or unpaid. You must also be aware that most institutions will not allow students whose grades are below a certain average to pursue an internship in accounting. In most cases you will also need to have the proper credits. If possible, join the accounting fraternity ΒΑΨ; the people there will usually be aware of current internships.
Build Up A Resumé
This is the document that you will be asked to present to anyone who needs to know about your history and qualifications in the field. You can get a sample from your alumni association, library or career center, on which you can model your own. Your resumé should include the following information:
– The names of any courses in accounting that you have taken in high school or college, and when
– What degrees you have received
– Your accounting work experience – where you worked, when you worked there and what your position was
– Any relevant volunteer experience you have had, if any
You should also network your employers, both current and former, to enlist their aid. Another good thing to do is to print a business card for yourself that you can hand out along with your resumé.
The Next Steps
The next thing you want to do is to go to the internship office at your college. Your accounting teachers and advisor may also be able to tell you what businesses meet your needs and are looking for interns. On the Internet, go to a job database and do a search using keywords like “accounting internship” or “accounting interns.”
The Interview Process
Now it is time to prepare yourself for the interview process. You cannot afford to blow it here, so make it a point to dress your bests. Most businesses are quite formal, but none more so than accounting firms. Remember that you get only one chance to make a good first impression. Similarly, you do not want to be late; this is one thing that interviewers cannot and will not tolerate!
An interview requires a great deal of preparation. Answer all of the interviewer’s questions directly and honestly. Try to anticipate any questions that you will be asked so that you will be able to answer them promptly, without having to think long and hard. An interviewer who is constantly punctuating whatever he or she says with “Um… Uh… Let me see now…” does not strike anyone as a professional individual who is serious about procuring a job. Look the interviewer directly in the eye, both when he speaks and when you speak. Also enunciate each word clearly and distinctly; if you mumble, you will again sound totally unprofessional.
After The Interview
Once the interview is finished, thank the interviewer for his time and follow up with a letter or email.
Getting The Internship
Once you receive an offer for an internship, be sure to get all the details in writing. Finally, make sure that it meets the requirements of your college.