Completing an internship during one of your later years of study is a simple way to gain some practical experience in your field, and if you are an accounting major, you’ll want to do at least one accounting internship as part of your studies. Many people think that interns spend their time making coffee and answering phone calls, but you’ll have the chance to meet with clients and see what life is like for accountants working in your chosen field. Here we’ll consider the type of internships available, where to find those experiences and how to apply for a position.
Types of Internships for Accounting Students
There are as many different types of internships for accountants as there are accounting fields. One of the more common fields is tax preparation. Tax accountants help individuals and corporations file taxes every year, show them where they can make deductions and ensure they file on time. Another popular accounting field is forensics, which is a quickly growing field. Forensic accountants examine financial records and documents to look for signs of potential crimes. You may also look for internships that deal with government, management or social accounting.
Where to Find Internships
As an accounting student, you might not know where to find internships. The first place to look is in the career development office or department of your college. This department provides assistance to students creating resumes, searching for jobs and looking for internships. You can also check with the head of the accounting department and with the professors working in your program. If all else fails, you’ll find websites that specialize in internships. Those websites are a great choice for students who study and work in two different cities or states and those who want to work in another city after graduation.
Is an Internship Mandatory?
Most schools do not require that students do an internship, but some schools do have a seminar requirement. A seminar requires that students complete a long and in-depth project that shows everything they learned during their studies. Some colleges offer students the chance to do an internship in lieu of that seminar. Though not mandatory, an accounting internship can have a big impact on your future. You never know when the friendships and connections you make might help you find a job when you finish your studies. An internship also gives you experience that you can show on your resume.
How to Apply
When you apply for an internship in accounting, you’ll follow the same steps that you would when applying for a job. Most positions require that you submit both a resume and a cover letter, and some internships also require that students submit one or more letters of recommendation. Forbes recommends that applicants check their resumes multiple times, double check the due date for applications and show their flexibility on their resumes. Even the smallest spelling or grammar mistake on your application might show that you lack the attention to detail that the internship requires.
Accountants work with clients in dozens of different ways. Whether you want to work in forensics, personal accounting or accounting for corporations, an internship gives you the practical and hands on experience that employers demand. Find the right accounting internship for you in your college’s career development office, through your department or online.