Some assiduous digging can yield results. You might get an idea of what to expect from a review on Glassdoor.com, which provides an inside look at jobs and companies, or a blog post. LinkedIn is a great source for background checks, and so is your school’s alumni database. With a little bit of initiative you can turn these resources into veritable Wikipedias of infor- mation about internships. When you target a specific company, use the site’s search function to find some recent interns within your network. When you spot them, send friendly queries about their interning expe- riences. Did they work on important projects? Did they receive on-the-job mentoring? What was the work- place atmosphere like? If the answers are “no,” “no,” and “toxic and suffocating,” move on to other employers. FIND A MENTOR A mentor can be an invaluable support in your intern- ship search. Through your personal network—friends, family, previous jobs—you should find an experienced person already working in accounting and then cul- tivate the relationship. A mentor, wise to the ways of the world and the workplace, can help you realize your goals. She will have ideas about which companies will make good targets for your internship search. She also can serve as an example of how success is achieved in your industry, set a benchmark for the skills you’ll need, and provide insight on how to avoid some of the typi- cal pitfalls. SELF-ASSESSMENT Because internships take many forms, you should ask yourself some hard questions before beginning your search. 1. Your objectives: • What area of accounting do you want to work in? Public or corporate? • What kind of role do you see yourself filling—tax, advisory, or assurance? (If you don’t know the differ- ences between these areas, now’s the time to do your homework.) • Do you want to work part time or full time? • Are you currently pursuing your CPA? If not, do you intend to get one? • Do you need to be paid? Do you have a minimum? • Do you want to work in a specific city? • Do you want to work for an organization of a spe- cific size? 2. Your interests and abilities: • What types of mental challenges do you enjoy? • How well do you communicate in writing and in person? Get an honest opinion from someone with good communications skills. • Do you prefer to research and analyze or discover and create? INSIDER SCOOP “You’re just as responsible for ensuring that the in- ternship is mutually beneficial as the employer is.”
11 CHAPTER 1 THE BIG PICTURE WETFEET INSIDER GUIDE CHAPTER 3 GETTING HIRED CHAPTER 4 NAVIGATING YOUR INTERNSHIP CHAPTER 5 REAL INTERN PROFILES CHAPTER 6 FOR YOUR REFERENCE CHAPTER 2 THE SEARCH 3. Your personality: • Do you prefer to work alone or on a team?
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