How Participants Get The Most Out of Accounting Internships

Accountant's table

If the career course has been set and accounting internships are placement opportunities that are in sight, how do people maximise this time wisely? There are approaches that will work in this context, improving chances of a quality full-time offer down the line. 

Don’t Limit Applications to the Major Agencies 

Getting the most out of accounting internships should not be an exercise in building prestige or a connection to a brand. It is about building skills at ground level, something that should open up young applicants to any number of agencies, firms and enterprises who offer opportunities for emerging talent. Some of the best placements are extended by smaller, local firms who need genuine assistance, ensuring that participants are not simply running errands and grabbing coffee orders. Don’t limit the scope to where an internship will be found in the accounting industry. 

Recognise the Skill Upgrade Opportunities 

Man during his accounting internships

Whether it is a proficiency with software formats to analysing sets of data, refining time management skills or preparing statements and documents, getting the most out of accounting internships is about targeting key skill demands. Operators in this field have to balance a number of duties for any given subject, extending to written and verbal communication skills to recognition of accounting practices and capacity to think critically. If there are tasks that are not improving the intellectual property of the intern, then it will be a wasted exercise. 

Identifying an Accounting Niche 

Interns who are involved in accounting placement opportunities will find that these operators are far from one-dimensional. From professionals who are based around taxation duties to forensic accountants, bookkeepers, auditors, budget analysts, accounts receivable and payable to financial officers, business specialists and beyond, there are particular niche roles that will be of interest to young members. If there is an awareness around the career trajectory, then it is beneficial to send in applications around these demands, otherwise it is worthwhile jumping in the deep end and discovering what area of the industry will apply best moving forward. 

Building Positive Working Relationships 

For many young men and women who get involved with accounting internships, it is not always the individual project or task that is remembered, but the people who they meet along the way. Whether it is experienced mentors who are on hand to guide them through the few weeks to other peers who are just in entry positions, it is beneficial to tap into their knowledge and insights. Mistakes will be made along the way, but receiving their counsel and having them as ongoing points of contact will be helpful for future career prospects. 

Volunteering for Tasks & Demonstrating Initiative 

It might sound like an old-fashioned piece of advice to discuss features like “hard work,” “acumen” and “initiative,” but when it comes to getting the absolute most out of accounting internships in this context, it is important to put the best foot forward. Employers in this environment will be looking for quality skills and expertise with account analytics and reporting, but it is the application and endeavour that always separates the good candidates from the top operators. This should be the foundation for anyone who gets involved with accounting internships because it is a short window to leave an impression. 

Use the Internship to Strengthen Resume Prospects 

Individuals who take part in accounting internships ultimately have little control over whether or not they are offered a full-time role. If they have applied themselves diligently and demonstrated the necessary level of skill, hard work and diligence, then the rest is out of their hands. However, given their time at the organisation, they can use this as an opportunity to highlight their involvement with the firm, the tasks they undertook and how it shaped their career trajectory to impress upon other employers.