An accounting internship is a great way for someone who is new to the industry to get their foot in the door and start putting all the theory they have learned to practical use. There is no better training in a job than actually doing it, and this type of placement can be seen somewhat as a rite of passage that all new bookkeepers need to go through.
However, some accounting internships are obviously going to be better than others. It’s best to try and avoid wasting time with a poor quality placement as it won’t give you very valuable experience in the industry.
The following will take a look at the 3 recognisable traits of good accounting internships.
1. Challenges you
Of course, an accounting internship would be pointless if it failed to challenge you in any meaningful way. By meaningful, we mean that it actually challenges you in that you need to apply what you have learned at school and get practical experience doing what a bookkeeper actually does.
A placement can be challenging but not actually help you out in your career. For example, if you are stuck doing admin tasks and office chores for senior employees rather than actually getting to do anything yourself.
It would be pointless doing an accounting internship if all you did was fetch coffees for other people or did the same task over and over again. This is more like slave labour than it is an actual placement, and is not going to help prepare you for your career proper.
2. Allows you to grow
While your accounting internship should be challenging, it should not be unfair and should not dissuade you from your career choice. It would be terrible if you lost all motivation to work in this industry because you had a bad experience doing a placement in a toxic work environment.
When a company offers a placement spot, it should be doing it because it wants to give back to the next generation of professionals. If the company is in bad shape and can’t give you a good experience, then the whole thing will be a waste of time and a poor introduction to the industry.
Many people have been disillusioned about working in the industry after a poor accounting internship. Don’t let this happen to you!
3. Helps you find an entry-level job
An accounting internship should also help you in securing an entry-level job at some point. It can either do this by helping you to find a position by giving you a reference, or by offering you a position in their company.
Being offered a job at the place you do your accounting internship is great because it allows you to jump straight in and get paid more for what you were already doing. While you will no doubt have more responsibilities placed on you in a full-time role, you will still be used to the work environment and will already be familiar with your co-workers.
Alternatively, getting a good recommendation can be great and really put you above other people in competition with you for entry-level roles. An employer is always going to pick the candidate with some practical experience and a good recommendation over one who does not.
Finding a good accounting internship is not an easy task and you are going to want to do your research and ask a lot of questions in your interviews with companies who are offering placements. Ultimately, the more research you do the better your eventual placement will end up being.