March 6, 2013
BLOOMINGTON, Ill. – Of the 51 students chosen for the winter class of interns in KPMG LLP’s Chicago office, Illinois Wesleyan University’s Matt LaLonde was one of only two interns selected for the firm’s Global Internship Program.
KPMG is a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services in 156 countries. LaLonde interned in KPMG’s Paris office.
“This program offers interns an opportunity to go abroad and enhance their global accounting and tax skills,” said Talisa C. Humphrey, associate recruiter, Campus Recruiting, for KPMG LLP in Chicago.
In Paris, LaLonde interned as part of the U.S. Tax desk. His tasks included research on specific tax issues, preparing tax returns and tracking a client’s mergers and acquisitions. His work was reviewed by KPMG senior associates at multiple points to ensure accuracy.
LaLonde spent four weeks interning in Chicago before beginning the Paris portion of his assignment. He said there are many similarities between his duties in the two cities, but noted some important differences as well.
“French business is conducted under the International Financial Reporting Standards, whereas the standard in the U.S. is based on the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles,” LaLonde explained.
He has also been surprised by the working hours. As an intern in France, labor laws allow him to work only 35 hours per week. “In Chicago I received the treatment as every KPMG employee receives in that I could work as many hours as necessary to complete my tasks,” he explained, noting that during the busy season, that could mean a 12-14 hour day.
LaLonde said he was interested in the Global Internship Program as a chance to build an international network of accounting professionals.
“It is critical for accounting and business professionals to understand the implications of doing business in the vast global market that exists today,” said LaLonde. “Having this opportunity will give me the experience and understanding of the global market that clients expect and deserve.”
Now in its seventh year, Illinois Wesleyan’s full-time accounting internship program is a joint venture between accounting faculty and the Hart Career Center. The optional internship during the spring semester of the junior year allows students to work full time for 10 weeks with an accounting firm or business organization, then return to campus for six weeks of intensive study in two accounting courses. This semester approximately 40 percent of Illinois Wesleyan’s junior accounting majors are interning full time.
In addition, individuals in Illinois and most other states must complete 150 semester hours of university coursework to register for the CPA exam. The structure of Illinois Wesleyan’s accounting program allows students who take a regular load of courses each semester to complete the 150 hours in four years, while most traditional four-year colleges only offer 120-hour programs. Those students would face up to a year of additional coursework before registering for the CPA exam.
The full-time internship can lead to employment offers from the internship employer. Of the students participating in the full-time accounting internship in spring 2012, 100 percent of those students have received job offers, according to Laurie Diekhoff, assistant director and internship coordinator of Illinois Wesleyan’s Hart Career Center.
Contact: Kim Hill, (309) 556-3960