Nancy Meech, Founding Partner
The best way to gain accounting experience while still working toward a degree and passing the CPA exam is to participate in an internship program. Many public accounting firms and businesses offer very worthwhile internships where individuals can gain real-world experience in many different areas of accounting like audit, tax, and cost accounting.
College and university career service centers are a good place to start your search, since most firms and businesses place their internship opportunities with these centers. Some internships are also listed in the classifieds in college and university newspapers. Meeting potential employers at career fairs is also a great way to get your resume in the hands of the right people.
Internships vary among employers. Therefore it is extremely important to ask employers many questions about their internship program such as:
? Is it a paid internship?
? Will the work hours be flexible with my school schedule? (time needed for things like studying for exams, meetings for school projects, etc.)
? What are the duties/tasks assigned to an intern?
? What can I expect to learn from my internship?
? Will the internship lead to a possible full-time position?
Participating in several internships also provides a student with the opportunity to compare different employers and evaluate different types of accounting. This helps the student possibly find the right employer and the right type of accounting that best fits the student’s future career path.