With the recent news that the accounting industry will see a salary boost next year, it’s no wonder that college students have their on the field as a potential career. For current undergraduates who want to land an accounting job, my advice is always to try to snag an internship in the accounting department of a company. There’s truly no better way to suss out whether a career is the right fit for you, and vice versa, than to roll up your sleeves and dive right in. The earlier that you can gain experience, the better.
What’s more, exposure is just as important as experience. Therefore, students should also consider internships in a public accounting firm, preferably one of the Big Four (Deloitte, Ernst & Young, PricewaterhouseCoopers, or KPMG). These firms’ names will stand out on your resume and provide cache to recruiters and potential employers in the future. The accounting and finance worlds are just as impressed by industry exposure as any other hiring entity would be. When it comes to the Big Four firms, many people think of them as the accounting equivalent to the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Most importantly, though, students should enjoy college as much as possible. Yes, your academic career is meant to prepare you for your professional success. Yes, it’s a time to buckle down and look to the future. Yes, you should take steps toward your dream goal. However, college is an experience like none other. And it’s important to take it all in, or as much of it as you can. Form meaningful relationships across various disciplines and social circles. You’ll be surprised what great opportunities some of those connections will manifest in the years to come. Although it is noble to try to get ahead, remember, students are only in college once. So while they’re hustling and working to pave the way for themselves, there’s another activity to remember as well: Fun. Have lots of it.
So my recommendation for the accountants of the future who are currently hitting the books? Go for an internship. And don’t forget to have fun. If you don’t do the latter, you may regret it later on in life.