Internship Program Thrives
Dr. Joseph M. Larkin
Associate Professor of Accounting
The spring of 2012 concluded the sixteenth year of the Department of Accounting’s very successful internship program. The program affords students the opportunity to obtain practical, career-related experience while still in school. The program has been welcomed enthusiastically by employers and students alike. The Admissions Department noted, “We find that many of the parents and prospective students come in and ask about the accounting internship program. It (the internship program) certainly helps sell the accounting program and the Haub School of Business.”
To be considered for the program, students must fulfill certain academic standards (e.g. a minimum grade-point average and certain coursework). A current resume is filed with the Career Development Center early in the fall semester of a student’s junior year, additionally a personal application must be filed through the career developement center. Students choose which firms they wish to send their resumes. All resumes are then forwarded to the firms who then select students they wish to interview. The process is competitive and very similar to the selection process for full-time employees. Selected students then interview with the firms. Ultimately, offers are made by each firm. Students then decide upon which offer to accept. Both public accounting firms and corporate employers participate in the program. However, at this time, the majority of students intern with public accounting firms. In the future, the department hopes to expand it to include governmental and not-for-profit opportunities.
Whatever housing accommodations students had prior to the internship will remain the same. For example, if they lived in campus housing, they will continue to do so. Students spend the spring semester with their sponsoring firms. All receive staff training; either local or regional. Some of the interns are flown to out-of-town training schools. In any event, they hit the ground running, gaining invaluable experience through their field assignments.
“I think it was definitely worthwhile,” said one recent intern of her internship. “When you take all the pros and weigh them against the cons, you see the benefits.”
Students receive three academic credits for this paid internship experience. In addition to working approximately 600 hours with their firms, students are required to maintain a journal documenting their work experiences. A major research paper is also required for the course. Students are also evaluated by their sponsoring firms. These evaluations are similar to those given to full-time staff professionals.
In order to make continued progress towards graduation, students complete a two-part summer program. The first part consists of an accelerated four-week session. Two three-credit upper division accounting courses are offered. This is immediately followed by the traditional seven week summer session. This summer session concludes by the first week of July. Thus, the students still have almost two full months of “vacation.”
The program continues to grow as indicated by the addition of several additional public accounting firms as well as industry employers. Based on the impressive track record thus far, the department is optimistic that the internship program will continue to be a flagship for the department and the Haub School of Business.
For further information concerning the accounting internship program, contact, Joe Larkin, internship coordinator, at (610) 660-1658 or email at email@example.com.