6 Reasons to Complete an Internship: Accounting Student Shares Experience

Posted by on April 25, 2013

For many students, an internship isn’t on their checklist of things to do before graduation. Sure, some Minnesota School of Business programs require internships or externships. For those students, it’s a bonus – in-field experience that is built right into the curriculum. But, did you know that internships are an option for every program that we offer? And in many cases, you can also receive credit towards graduation, which is what one of our accounting students is taking advantage of this quarter.

Cory Dufour wasn’t looking for an internship when the opportunity with the City of Blaine fell into his lap. But he decided to apply after receiving the information from an instructor. After his first interview, he was offered the position that very afternoon.

Cory is responsible for many different tasks. One of the major assignments he has is to aid their current audit process by gathering reports and creating charts, graphs, and PowerPoint presentations. “People are beginning to call me the ‘Excel Expert’,” he says. He adds that he’s been working with the City Manager’s assistant on these items to prepare for a presentation to the City Council and other authorities for the city.

In addition, Cory is assigned to do bank reconciliations, ledger entries, and cut checks for the National Tourism Board. He’s also sorted W-9 forms from local businesses, and has worked on summarizing Fund and Account balances from the previous year for audit reports. These, among other tasks, were all completed in the first seven days of his internship. “I’ve had a great deal of experience in a small period of time,” he noted.

“There is no reason anyone should not apply for some form of internship, paid, or unpaid,” Cory asserts. As a student enrolled in 12 credits, working 45-50 hours a week at a restaurant, and about 25 hours a week at the internship, Cory believes time is no excuse. Cory offers 6 reasons why he believes students should complete an internship.

  1. An internship prepares you for your career. This experience will prepare Cory for his future career, specifically, just about anything with government accounting. “I see this as a huge asset to my personal skills arsenal for my future,” notes Cory. He added that he feels the experience will highly benefit him even if he does not stick with government accounting.
  2. Exposure to new skills and processes. “Looking back on just this last week for me, I have been exposed to so many new things that I had not learned previously from my education or work experience,” he recalls. “Yes, I have known how to perform most of my duties thus far; however, getting the chance to do it and see how each process is done is priceless. I’m doing things that few people get to do in the field.”
  3. Employers like to see an internship on your resume. Internships are a way to gain in-field experience while in school. Those who complete an internship generally have a foot up against their competition.
  4. Build connections that will help you in your job search. The contacts and references you can gain from an internship experience are invaluable.
  5. Internships broaden your experience. “Just looking at the things I’ve already done in the short amount of time I’ve been there,” Cory says. “Learning how the fund system of accounting works is one thing many accountants don’t use at all in their entire career.”
  6. Possibility to secure a job through an internship. There is potential of securing some type of job with a company after you’ve proven your skills. Many employers prefer to keep someone they have already trained.

Cory is on track to graduate this fall. “My current plan is to complete my internship and see if I am offered a job working for the City of Blaine,” he notes. If that doesn’t happen, he plans to continue working at the restaurant, where he is currently an Operations and Systems Manager. He’ll continue looking for accounting positions. If he doesn’t find an accounting position within a year of graduation, he plans to enlist in the Air Force, with the plan to move into government accounting upon graduation.

To learn more about degrees at Minnesota School of Business, visit http://www.msbcollege.edu/, or call 1-877-655-7676 to arrange a visit to one of our convenient campuses.

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