Your Accounting Internship is a great opportunity to accomplish some career-building tasks and to learn new skills. Approaching it as a “downtime” from classwork and trivializing the tasks assigned to you are mistakes that might put your career on the slow track. Conversely, using this time wisely and setting goals for yourself can open doors of opportunity for you. If, as the old saw says, “time is money,” then using that time judiciously is a great investment. Here are five ways to maximize your Accounting Internship experience.
Give Your All to the Job.
Interning as an auditor, you will probably do entry-level work such as preparing work papers and mailing investment confirmations to clients. Treat even menial tasks as though they really mattered to the company. Especially when the task is boring, says a US News article, doing the task to the best of your ability shows that you care about the company and that you are dependable. Stay off social media during work hours. Even if you think it doesn’t affect your work, managers and supervisors may view that activity as poor use of company time.
Observe and Copy Office Culture.
Keep your tone of voice at the level other employees do, dress for the position, and be punctual. In many firms arriving several minutes early is being “on time.” Coming to work on time is being late. Show that you are part of “the team,” because teamwork is important in auditing and taxation. Dress is important as well. If you view your Accounting Internship as just another class and arrive in jeans and sandals, you show that you are not professional. Even if your company has a casual Friday, remember that it is still a business and don’t dress as though you are going to the beach.
Find out how others feel you are doing. Ask the boss if you are meeting the goals he has set for you. Ask co-workers how to do specific tasks and ask why tasks are done the way they are. Ask for help if you need it. When you make mistakes ask how to correct them and then follow through. Your willingness to ask for assistance and to learn from a problem shows your intelligence and resourcefulness. More than that, though, it teaches you how to handle the issue if it arises again.
Although you might find this concept intimidating, the website NJCPA.org says it just means building relationships. Be amicable and talk to as many people as possible in the office. You may gain new insight into problems or into work situations. You could also meet people who may help your career in the future. If your Accounting Internship doesn’t lead to a permanent position with that company, people you meet may have connections that will open up opportunities for you at other firms.
Do Additional Work for the Firm
Look for opportunities to help the company. Those assignments may make you stand out among other interns. They might also show your drive and positivism and impress your employer enough that he will offer you a job after the internship ends. In addition, each one of the tasks you undertake will give you experience in handling work that you might not obtain just doing your assigned work. That translates to more experience that you can list on your resume.
Internships are learning opportunities. They also may be chances for you to showcase your potential to possible future employers or gain positive references to list on job applications. Use your time meeting goals you set for yourself and your Accounting Internship will be a valuable career investment.