Studying business at university, but haven’t had real-world experience yet? Or looking to polish up your resume with an accounting internship to improve your graduate employability? Without proper experience it is hard for students to realize their full potential. Moreover the transition from full-time study to full-time work is a difficult journey. Previous experience is now critical as the job market grows increasingly competitive, employers are now more likely to progress student and graduate applicants if they had an internship, rather than those with no experience, this is especially so in accounting internships. Thus, it is important to get started early and seek opportunities to not only enrich your experience, but also become ready for the future of work.
When choosing how to differentiate between all the platforms that allow you to find and secure accounting internships, look out for the factors below, which will help you ensure you find the best place for you.
Your attitude and motivation
To start your hunt for work experience you need to look within. Firstly, identify what your interests are and how they can align with a role in the workforce. It is good to get an idea, as accounting internships can span a wide range of service lines such as day-to-day work, auditing and assurance. If you are able to work in a field you are passionate about, it will show in higher work performance and innovation, which is attractive to employers. Moreover, organisations are more likely to take in enthusiastic and hard-working interns who are genuinely motivated to apply their knowledge and skills to the real world business environment.
Preparation is key
The earlier you begin searching for opportunities, the better your chances are and the more you will get to practice resume-writing and interview skills. Be aware that certain industries and accounting internships have early deadlines and begin recruitment early the year before. Keep your eyes peeled and constantly check career pages.
Speak with your family, friends, head of faculty and career advisors in order to help develop your network and get in-depth insights in the area you are interested in. Attend career fairs held by your university or go to external networking events to reach professionals outside your immediate network to gain valuable information on career options you could pursue with accounting internships. Be sure to follow up with any recruiters you meet, either in person or over the phone to enhance your chances.
After gaining insights into the industry, research firms you are interested in, especially looking into their vision, mission and values. It is important to differentiate between each firm and why you are interested in a particular one. The insights you gain here will help you standout later as an applicant.
Professional development program
Now that you are sure of your motivations and career direction, you can start looking into finding appropriate platforms to submit your accounting internship applications through other than the major seasonal recruitment period. Look for a development program that will enhance your employability through reflective learning of industry concepts, practical application of knowledge and enable you to acquire skills from the experience.
There are structured, nationally recognised and registered training services in the market you can sign up for. In these cases, they are approved to deliver course and accreditation part of the Australian Qualifications (AQF) VET Qualifications.
Ideally the service you use will offer vocational placements designed in conjunction with leading industry experts and have trainers who possess workplace knowledge and skills, and regularly undertake professional development to keep up to date with industry best practices. From a good experience you will be able to draw upon learning as you move toward accounting internship applications, interviews and your first industry position. In addition, you will be able to build a network of useful contacts of mentors, managers and colleagues you will work with. Moreover this will help you improve your career prospects.
Extensive network of host companies
A suitable platform to find accounting internships should have an extensive network of organisations to promote, manage and evaluate quality assured placements for interns. Choose a service that has forged strong partnerships and referral arrangements in the accounting field. This will ensure you will find a work placement and host company relevant to your ideal career path.
Work placement period
The accounting internship should be designed to help students and graduates gain practical workplace experience within an Australian business environment. The placement period should be at least 6-12 weeks and if you perform well, may even result in you being offered a part-time role with the host firm.
Now after deciding on which career path you want to pursue and which platform you will use to find and secure real world experience, you are ready to apply! We wish you all the best in your job hunt for an accounting internship and that you move forward in your professional life.