Obtaining an Internship:

A first-hand account from Tyler Gattis (current student)

Getting an internship can be rather difficult, trust me I know. Separating yourself amongst your academic competition may be strenuous at times, however the priceless knowledge and hands-on experience gained is beyond valuable. Many students fear the determination and diligent work ethic that is required to receive these opportunities, as I once did. However, if you’re persistent and set some goals along the way it’s not as bad as you think. Below are a few tips that helped me become a successful student, and in return I was able to receive an extremely beneficial opportunity as a summer intern with a national organization!

How You Can Prepare for Securing an Internship:

Be Academically Aware- Be conscious of what courses you are taking. Know what is required of your major regarding course selections and specific grade expectations; maximize each course as an opportunity to learn and do well. Try to gain a sense of your strengths and weaknesses, which will produce individual growth and confirmation of your chosen field of study. Always be eager to learn.   

Get involved- Become involved on campus. Participate in academic groups related to your area of study. Participate in community service oriented activities. Make it a point to be in good standing with the University/College so you can receive information about internship opportunities. Learn how to network. Build relationships with professors and students that you admire, key connections can be life changing and these individuals will help you to succeed. Perform research; be knowledgeable about what/where you may want to gain experience.

Be Flexible- Don’t be afraid to apply. Do not let the description of the internship or application process deter you from gaining such a unique experience. Be prepared to fulfill all requirements the internship may include. Internships exist all over the country, be willing to travel; in the long run this could make you more marketable because it shows flexibility.  Apply to multiple places; avoid limiting your opportunities due to the lack of potential employers. You are qualified and have prepared yourself to take on the role. Be eager to gain experience even if it is not in your preferred area. The more knowledgeable you are in areas outside your major concentration the more marketable you become when you graduate and are in search of that full time job.

Benefits of an Internship:

Gaining Experience- Experience is priceless! Learning different components of a profession in the classroom is important, but the hands-on experience gained through an internship is essential. The advantages of developing good work ethics, meeting project deadlines and the accountability required of an intern are all qualities that are illustrated during a successful internship. Learning and building relationships with successful individuals around you, gaining insight on how the company operates and each individual team coincides to produce success are great assets of gaining experience through an internship. Self-assessing your strengths and weaknesses are critical to help improve personal performance over these crucial years. “Think of your internship as a test drive.”

Finding Your Career Path- An internship may motivate you in many different directions. Who knows, you might realize that this is the exact career/area of study for you. Or you might find out that a course correction is needed. Don’t limit yourself or your learning. After all, an internship is a HUGE learning experience. Being able to assess what you’ve done over the summer and linking that to the same tasks you’ll be doing throughout a lifetime is pretty important as well. Not to mention, an internship is likely to open doors to new areas of interest; possibly help discover a new career path more applicable to you. 

Getting a Competitive Advantage- In the long run, the experience an internship provides is definitely worth it. The importance of internships is highly discussed on campuses nationally, along with recognition within well-established corporations. As students, we gain advantages with interviewing skills, how to carry ourselves in a professional environment, direct networking opportunities, proven hands-on experience and much more. And if the internship offers pay incentives, that doesn’t hurt either. But whether there is compensation associated with an internship or not, the exposure you can have to the working world is an outstanding advantage that can quite possibly help you early on in your career by giving you a great “snapshot” of your future profession.  

KNOW THIS

If you get your foot in the door as an intern, you could have a better shot at becoming a future employee. See why. 

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Real-Life Accounting Student

Joshua Peters
Senior | North Carolina State University
Accounting
You don't really need math to be very good at accounting. I personally like math, but I'm starting to realize accounting is more than just providing numbers to decision makers.

Accounting is not about numbers.  As you will learn when you get into college, if you're planning on pursuing an accounting career, you'll see that most accountants are engaging in decision making, not necessarily looking at numbers the entire time. 

It is actually a very interesting profession. It provides people with the opportunity to do a lot of things that most people don't even realize that accountants actually do, like if you wait 'til the end of the movie and you actually watch the credits, you actually see there are major production accountants that are actually heavily involved in the productions in the entertainment industry. Accountants are everywhere.  

I’ll admit, I didn’t take any accounting courses in high school.  My first experience with accounting was when I actually enrolled in college and I got a chance to meet the professors, sign up for classes and actually started the studying process of learning accounting.

In addition to school, I’m also currently doing an internship. And through my classes and my internship I’m learning that accounting definitely provides a great deal of avenues for you to enter the job market at any point in your academic years and even after you graduate you'll have the opportunity to engage employers, and employers will also be looking for you as well.

For me, going into the accounting profession isn’t about the money.  It's more about something I want to do.  So to me, the amount of money I’ll be making is irrelevant (but it’ll be nice). 

Favorites

Favorite Sport:

Soccer and tennis

My Favorite Movies Are:

The Kingdom of Heaven by Ridley Scott, Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand, and the Lord of the Rings trilogy by J. R. R. Tolkien.

Favorite Actor/Actress:

Jim Carry, Jonny Depp, and Jennifer Aniston

Favorite Class/Teacher in High School:

My favorite subject in high school was philosophy.

More About Me:

If I Won a Million Dollars I Would…:

First calculate what the after-tax amount on the million dollars would be. Then, plan to allocate the remaining amount to charities, savings, and investments.

My Dream Vacation Would Be…:

In Brazil on the beach of Rio de Janeiro.

Best Advice I Ever Received:

“Be the change you want to see in the world.” (Mahatma Gandhi)

Famous Person I Would Love to Meet (Living or Dead) and Why:

I would have love the opportunity to meet Francois-Marie Arouet, also known as Voltaire. The reason for my admiration and interest in Voltaire is due to his understanding of so many prevalent topics such as writing, art, philosophy, politics, and economics. He was also one of the key figures in helping to lead the reformation of European mentality during the Age of Enlightenment in the late 1600s and early 1700s. To me, Voltaire is a testament to how one person can make a difference in their society, and by extension the world.