For those of you who believe that colleges and universities prepare you for the working world, you’re not entirely correct. Though important, college courses serve as a means to achieve a baseline of a certain body of knowledge. . In our case, this is accounting. Classes teach us about debits and credits, assets and expenses, and the accounting equation (among a myriad of other useful ideas). Real-world experience, however, provides the best preparation for working full time.
The best way to gain this experience, while in college, is through internships. Most internships allow students to get a glimpse of what life is like outside of the classroom. It is important to take full advantage of these opportunities throughout your high school/college career, to gain a better understanding of what you are in for, once you are outside of school. This understanding will greatly help the transition from higher education into the working world.
Speaking from personal experience, my internships have allowed me to develop new sets of skills outside of my knowledge of accounting. They gave me the chance to see how people in a company interact with one another, how to present myself as a businessperson, and learn the type of language used in a business setting. Although we learn about these topics from professors and other people we know, it is not until we experience a work environment that we see how it all comes together to help you to do well in your career.
The internship experience at Schneider Downs is an excellent way to gain experience as a future auditor/accountant. Interns are given first-year staff work to do, which provides the best possible insight into what it would be like to work at Schneider Downs full time. The experience ramps up quickly. After a short week in the office of training, interns are assigned to the field, and get started on real value-added assignments as soon as they arrive at their client location. The field experience helps interns to develop quickly and learn a great deal in an eight-week period. This learning can only help to form a more complete, more marketable you, so that you are more prepared to face any challenges the future brings.
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