If you’re at the point where you’re getting ready to tackle that big scary CPA exam, you’re probably starting to weigh your future career options.
This is a good thing! After the CPA exam you’re going to want to start looking into what your prospects are, whether you want to jump straight into the workforce or further your education or whatever you might think appropriate. If you’re considering the next step of your CPA career path, have you considered an internship?
I know, I know, the term “internship” tends to conjure up images of fetching coffee for TV producers or straightening up a filing cabinet, but a CPA internship can actually prove really helpful for your career! It’s a chance to get more hands-on experience in your chosen field and really get a leg up on the industry before you’ve even really begun working in it. Still not convinced? Here’s a few upsides of taking an internship, and what it can do for you in the long-term:
Better Knowledge of Your Daily Work
The biggest (and maybe most obvious) example of how an internship can help is that it gives you a better ground-floor idea of what you’ll be expected to do every day as an accountant. Not only will your duties as an accountant (generally) mirror that of what you would be doing in an entry-level CPA position, you’ll get a good grip on what your associates, bosses, and co-workers will all be doing. This can help prevent that sort of blindsided, overwhelmed feeling that can often result from starting a brand-new career and your future employers will love knowing you had that sort of exposure to the business! Speaking of…
Looks Good on a Résumé
It’s kind of an old cliche, but your high school guidance counselor was right: having an internship looks great on a resume and will go a long way towards helping you secure a permanent position later. It shows you can devote yourself to an idea and see it through, and it provides valuable on-the-job experience that’s always good to have no matter how far your education took you – and this might be just the thing to edge you out over the other candidates.
Helps You Determine Your Career Goals
Spending time in an office during an internship gives you better insight to planning your own career goals. Do you want to branch out beyond just being a CPA? What would it take to rise the ranks of your office? What other sort of preparation should you do to make sure you’re as ready as possible? The sort of insight offered by an internship can prove invaluable to plotting your course through the world of accounting once your career is really up and running.
Establish Relationships for the Future
Obviously we can’t promise anything, but a lot of places that offer an internship also give you the chance to start working there after your internship is over – and even if not, the relationships you cultivate during your internship can come in very handy later on when it comes time to find a job and start working your way into the CPA world. Even a simple letter of recommendation from someone you worked with during your internship can do wonders for your future, and your career.
So the next time the scary issue of your future comes up, why not consider an internship? It can do a lot for your career, and as soon as you pass your CPA exam it’s a great way to hit the ground running!