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You can get accountancy work experience by completing unpaid accounting internships, volunteering your skills for various community organizations, or completing a trainee program with a sponsoring accounting firm. Many accountancy college degree programs offer internship options that can provide valuable job experience. Unpaid volunteer accounting tasks can both strengthen your abilities and provide a good record of work experience to add to your existing resume. Employers often give preference to new hires with volunteer accountancy work experience because they believe it indicates enthusiasm for this career field and a willingness to keep building accounting skills even when not required on the job.
Internships are some of the most common paths to gaining needed accountancy work experience. You are usually eligible to apply for them once you have completed a certain number of courses. Some internships require degree completion, although others are open to students in their final years of study. The typical internship also grants college credit in addition to on-the-job training. Acceptance for an accountancy internship often depends on criteria such as grade point average, an essay of intent, or recommendations from professors.
Opportunities for volunteer accountancy work experience can often be found in various non-profit and community groups. If you belong to a church, synagogue, or other type of religious organization, these can be good places to start volunteering your skills. You can also find volunteer opportunities through websites designed to match you with local charities or non-profits based on your skill set once you have signed up and entered this information in your site profile. Volunteering can also be an effective way to build a network of contacts that could possibly lead to paid employment opportunities in the future.
Some accounting firms offer trainee programs designed to give recent graduates the accountancy work experience they often need to qualify for entry-level accounting jobs. These programs usually involve a trainee working under the supervision of an experienced accountant who also provides mentoring and on-the-job help when needed. Working in one of these trainee positions frequently involves assisting with client accounts and performing basic accounting tasks such as updating financial records. Some of these trainee programs are open to applicants who have completed an accounting degree, and others may be available to dedicated trainees without previous formal coursework. This option for accountancy work experience often provides good references and resume builders for entry-level accountants who complete one of these program successfully.