What is the Best Time of Year for an Accounting Internship?

An accounting internship offers the ideal opportunity for those student seeking future careers in accounting or finance. With an internship, a student can gain the experience needed for future positions. This enhances both a student’s skills as well as his or her professional resume.

Summer Internship Programs

Many companies seek to fill accounting internship positions over the summer. This is a good opportunity for a student who can focus solely on the internship without fall and spring classes getting in the way. The summer months also have a tendency to be a slow time for accounting firms. Having internships in the summer when business is less hectic can give students more one-on-one time with potential future colleagues. They can learn more about the job at hand this way while also networking and building those important professional relationships. Most students and professors agree that summer is the best time for internships due to ease and schedule flexibility. This is also the time of year when the largest number of internships are available. While most of them are unpaid internships, some interns may even find themselves earning small salaries during the summer months.

Spring Internship Programs

Anyone with an interest in accounting should know that spring is the busiest season. Beginning January 1 and ending in mid- to late-April, accounting firms find themselves focused on taxes for individual and corporate clients. Accounting agencies may hire interns at this time to ease some of the load from their regular staff who work up to 80 hours per week according to the Chronicle of Higher Education. While interns cannot help with the heavy loads of tax season, and likely will not get much in the way of personal training, they will learn what it means to be involved in the most stressful time of year. Students may greatly benefit from interning at tax season, as it gives them the truest sense of what being an accountant is all about.

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Fall Internship Programs

The fall busy season for accounting firms runs roughly from August through mid-October. This is due to the fact that many businesses receive six month extensions on their taxes, which makes them due around October 15. Some accounting firms find having interns during this time is helpful with office tasks. Students may find this time to be the least desirable because it coincides with the start of classes and generally culminates during midterms.

Knowing when to apply for an internship is only half of the battle. Getting that internship may seem like a job in and of itself. The wisest choice is to begin applying for internships as soon as they become available. It may even be wise to seek them out before they are advertised. A motivated accounting or finance major may send a resume to accounting firms as soon as he or she knows their schedule. Doing this may also allow the student to request a specific time of year. Wise students should apply to as many accounting internships as possible in order to have the widest choice of possibilities.

See also: 50 Most Affordable Small Midwest Colleges for an Accounting Degree 2016 (Bachelor’s)