Questions and Answers about the Winter Internship Program
Q) What is a Winter Internship?
-Winter Internship is a 10 week paid internship at a public accounting firm during the spring semester of your junior year. For January, February, and the first week or two of March you work alongside regular CPA staff members during the heart of the firms' busy season. Firms where students have interned include: PricewaterhouseCoopers, KPMG, Ernst & Young, Deloitte and Touche, Clifton Gunderson, Grant Thorton, RSM McGladrey and several others. Also, a Winter Internship can lead to a full-time job offer at the end of the program.
Q) Do you have to take classes after the Winter Internship is over?
-Yes, once the internship is over, students return to campus for the second half of the semester. During this time you will take two accounting classes and an intensive pace (three hours a day, five days a week).
Q) When do you start interviewing for the Winter Internship?
-Interviewing usually occurs during Spring Semester of your sophomore year. However, some firms come the beginning of Fall Semester, junior year. Interviews with these companies are usually scheduled very close together. It can get very overwhelming, but it's important to stay calm and BE YOURSELF!
Q) What kind of questions do firms ask?
-Interviewing with accounting firms is primarily Behavior Based. Behavior-based interviewing is developed on the idea that past performance predicts future action. In these questions, recruiters are looking for complete answers with the situations, task, action, and result that you took given. A common example of a behavior based question is: Give me an example of a time when you served in a leadership role and some member of the team was not handling their responsibilities. How did you address this situation?
Q) Where do I go to help prepare myself for interviews?
-The Hart Career Center on campus has a great staff that can aid you in not only building an eye-catching resume but also give you tips on how to act, prepare and develop great skills for the interview itself. The Career Center has also made an excellent system on the web called E-recruiting. This is where you upload your resume and apply for interviews. This is also where you can sign up for mock interviews, which are practice interview with no repercussions. Mock interviews are a great way to practice your interviewing skills. For more information on how the Career Center can help you, visit their office on the lower level of the Minor Myers Jr. Welcome Center or go to their website at www.iwu.edu/ccenter/.
Q) How do I know which firm is best for me?
-The only way to really tell if a firm is right for you is to research the company and go to as many functions that involve the company as you can. For example, some firms hold optional informational sessions on campus to give students an idea of what their company does and how they work. These functions are a way to network with the representatives from that firm and to learn what that firm has to offer you. Another good source is to talk with students and alumni who have interned or worked with the firm after graduation.