Sophomore Accounting Externship Programs
Many CPA firms organize externship or leadership programs that occur during the summer following the sophomore year. These programs typically last 1-3 days and usually take place at the firm’s local office (though some programs will also send select students to a national conference where they can interact with deserving accounting majors from other universities). During these programs, you will learn about career opportunities in accounting, engage in leadership and teamwork events, and interact with industry professionals. Firms share information about their culture and get to know participants through various activities. These externships are often used to identify students that a firm would like to invite as interns during the summer following the junior year.
To apply for an externship, the CPA firms will typically interview sophomores sometime in February, March, or April in an on-campus interview. Some firms may require a second interview. Students who do not live near Santa Clara during the summer could attend externships near their homes in other parts of the country.
Junior Accounting Internship Programs
Many CPA firms offer summer internships to accounting majors. These summer internships are full-time (40-hour per week) internships that generally last for 6-8 weeks during the summer. Interns are paid the same hourly wage as newly hired full-time CPAs and usually work on the same projects as first-year associates. At the end of the summer internship, most interns are offered a full-time job upon graduation (with the proviso that the offer can be withdrawn if the student’s grades fall below the firm’s minimum standards). Over 70% of SCU accounting majors find their full-time jobs through this internship process.
Students can get internships two ways:
- By participating in sophomore externships
- Through the fall interview process.
Students who participate in summer externship programs (see above) may receive offers to return as interns the following year. Students who do not receive offers in connection with the externship program (or decide to seek other opportunities) interview for junior accounting internships in October of their junior year. To prepare for the interviews, the SCU Accounting Association hosts many events, including resume critiques, mock interviews, and Meet-The-Firms Night.