By John O'Connell IV, Former Keiter Tax and Business Assurance and Advisory Intern
Internship programs can be a tricky thing for businesses to perfect as they require several separate functions of a business to work together. Recruiting, training, marketing and even IT are just a few that are all put to the test during and leading up to the time the interns are at the office. While I don’t know every ingredient that goes into making a great internship, I can certainly say a Keiter internship has more than a few.
When an individual envisions the ‘typical’ internship, what comes to mind often involves a college student either running out to get coffee or drowning in a pile of documents that need copying. Although this might describe the experience for an unlucky few, this perception is most likely influenced more by Hollywood’s portrayals than actual experiences. What should be clear is that when internship programs are done right, and interns are provided with opportunities to do real work, everyone involved benefits.
Internships provide a unique opportunity for college students to gain an understanding about what their future might hold specifically with a firm, or generally in their respective profession. With that in mind, Keiter provides their interns the opportunity to work on projects that many entry-level associates would be doing during their own day-to-day. Things like completing individual and corporate tax returns, or working on contribution testing for a 401(k) audit, or even attending departmental meetings just to listen in can all be expected during an internship. Without real work representing what interns might be doing in a couple of years, the internship paints an inaccurate picture of the career and the company.
Most interns are college students that haven’t exactly applied the accounting concepts they’ve learned in the classroom yet. Reinforcing these principles with real world applications can be really helpful for both employers and interns. Internships at Keiter start off with a full week of training where interns learn just about everything they might encounter during their six weeks – which turns out to be a lot. But don’t worry, just being able to place the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ is the main goal of training week. There’s plenty of time and staff to ask questions about areas that were difficult to understand during training.
There will always be questions from interns, but that’s the beauty of being an intern – you can ask questions! And having an environment in which questions are welcome along with a helpful staff like the one at Keiter, promotes intern development and provides lots of interaction with employees. This chance to work with staff gives interns a better sense of the culture at the company – something that should be important to many students, soon to be young professionals. Often times, the staff might even have a couple of ‘tricks of the trade’ that weren’t covered in training.
Want to learn about how internships at Keiter are far from typical? Click here for more information.
The information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is current as of the date published. Online readers are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the service of a professional accountant, as this article is not a substitute for obtaining accounting, tax, or financial advice from a professional accountant.