How to Impress Employers When Attending Accounting Internships

Young woman undertaking accounting internships

Every applicant will have their own interpretation about impressing the boss during accounting internships. Some believe it’s just being friendly and following the pack while others will do their best to stand out by whatever means possible. These approaches are often wide of the mark. We will outline how men and women can make a splash with these placement opportunities.

Having Defined Career Objectives

Men and women who take part in accounting internships don’t need to have 100% assurance about who they want to be in 10-20 years’ time, but it is helpful for employers to see a drive and focus on their career trajectory. Accountants will find themselves in any number of roles, from bookkeepers to managers, clerks, controllers, payroll, tax auditors, financial analysts, accounts payable representatives and beyond. If there is a passion for a particular field, this is worth investing in.

Dress For Success

Sometimes impressing upon employers through accounting internships can be as simple as looking the part. Owners and managers rarely have the time to engage with interns in a one-on-one task for commercial operations, so their impression of people in these moments can be peripheral. By having a smart suit or piece of formal attire on, this will help individuals to fit into the corporate culture without standing apart as an intern.

Demonstrating Punctuality

It is something of an old fashioned notion at times, but making a positive step forward through accounting internships begins with just showing up on time and being ready for work. There will be participants who sign up for these programs in the expectation that the placement will look good on their resume without actually investing in the process. Arrive before the official start to illustrate the importance of the time and effort that others will demonstrate in these environments.

Volunteering For Additional Duties

Demonstrating initiative is not commonplace with accounting internships, especially those that have the intern already busy with a number of duties. However, if there is scope to extend this work and carry the burden for other professionals, that will only be a positive step forward to take. Volunteer for projects, assist other workers who appear under pressure and help to fill in the gaps where possible. Undertake those tasks and suddenly the business will change their perception from dispensable to irreplaceable.

Being Brave Enough to Fail

What holds back participants with accounting internships is what holds many of us back from what we want to do – the fear of failure. Being willing to learn is about learning from mistakes, something that requires initiative and bravery to take part in a project or to put forward an idea. It might not work out and it could be even slightly embarrassing, but how else do accountants know what they should do? Risk averse interns don’t really offer companies any value anyway, so don’t be concerned about falling short if you’re not willing to make the leap. 

Not Making Any Assumptions About The Business

One of the regular mistakes that interns can make with accounting firms is entering the building and making assumptions about people, their role and the wider expectations of the enterprise. Employers consider this a big turn off, particularly those men and women who have a sense of entitlement. The only way to make strides in this field is to make it on merit, beating out other interns due to work ethic and insight.

The big takeaway that people should consider with accounting internships is to network as much as they can. There are zero guarantees in terms of full-time position offered at the conclusion of the program, so building relationships with people will allow those doors to be opened in future. To make those relationships attainable, adhere to these principles first.

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Annette Burgess

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