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Accounting Internship and Vacation Program Guide
For accounting students, securing an internship or a summer vacation program is an extremely important step in their career. Not only do employers look for evidence of practical experience when recruiting graduates (of which an internship or vacation work is a perfect example), these opportunities provide students with an insight into what it is like working in the professional world.
Vacation programs are more structured and challenging than average internships. They are run by large companies, as part of their HR strategy to attract the best young minds to work for them after graduation. Vacation programs are offered to students in their penultimate year, and typically run for 12 weeks, during the summer period between late November and March.
Companies go to great effort and cost to make vacation programs attractive to students. Vacation work will include plenty of hands-on experience and teamwork, contributing to real projects. Interns are given the chance to show leadership and demonstrate responsibility. They are usually partnered with “buddies” (graduates) and are mentored by experienced staff members. Sometimes the vacation program will involve travel. In addition, vacationers are paid well (around $12 230 for 12 weeks work), and will be invited to participate in many social events like drinks nights and parties, where they will have the chance to make connections among staff.
Most hotly contested in the accounting industry are the prestigiousvacation programs with the Big Four financial services firms (PwC, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and KPMG). These programs, which are vital recruitment tools for the Big Four, are the source of the majority of their full time graduate employees. Depending on the quality of each year’s interns, up to 98% of Big Four interns will receive offers of full time employment. Other large accounting firms that offer vacation programs include Pitcher Partners, KordaMentha, HK Group, William Buck and H&R Block, among others.
For more information on the differences between internships and vacation programs, and for tips on how to successfully apply to these programs, check out our general internships and vacation programs guide.
More information about graduate programs in accounting can be found here.