If you’re a student of finance and forecasting, then at some point during your degree you may want to seek out accounting internships from which you can get valuable industry experience. These vocational work placements give you the opportunity to get real on-the-job experience so that when you finally finish your studies a professional environment won’t be entirely alien to you.

In this way, accounting internships are one of the most important pieces of training a young bookkeeper needs to go through. While all the bookwork they have done up until this point is useful, nothing tests their abilities in the role quite like a placement at a professional firm.

However, finding an accounting internship that is truly rewarding can prove difficult as many placements are simply thinly veiled attempts to get low-cost labour from students. Many students find themselves stuck doing boring admin work during their placement rather than being engaged and trained in how to do the job they are studying for.

This has caused a stigma to form around many placements as students are cautious of being exploited and not adequately rewarded for their commitment. Therefore, it’s essential that students are diligent in how they do their research into placements before committing to any of them.

Let’s look at some general tips you can use to find great accounting internships that will expand your skills and prepare you for the workforce.


Ask professors or industry contacts for suggestions and leads

The first point of call when you are seeking accounting internships is the resources that already exist around you at your university. Your professors will likely understand the hiring landscape and how you can land yourself a placement that will be truly beneficial.

Another great resource is that career’s faculty at your school since they will specialise in placing students at companies that provide placements of genuine quality. They will have existing connections with firms that are constantly on the lookout for students that they can recruit from through accounting internship placements.


Look for advertised placements

Another place to look is on the internet where organisations will routinely list openings they have for students to come complete an accounting internship. Start of by looking at any offers by firms you know and think that you’d like to work at.

If they aren’t advertising any placements but you really want to try there, contact the relevant person at the company and ask if they would be willing to take you. You may need to convince them of the benefit to their company if they engage you as a vocational worker.

Sometimes there are business incentives to offering placements to students in the form of tax breaks and other benefits. This is because they are helping to give the next generation important experience in the role.


Go to the interview


When you find a few suitable placements, start scheduling interviews with the prospective host organisations. This is where you can ask all the important questions so that you are as informed as possible prior to signing your name to anything.

If the placement is paid, or partially paid, make sure that you get all the details in writing so that there is no confusion about what is going to happen regarding your pay. The last thing you need is to have a pay dispute with your employer during your first accounting internship.

As you can see, there’s a lot of things you need to be cautious and deliberate about when it comes to looking for accounting internships. Follow the above tips and you should find a suitable placement very quickly.