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
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,”
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
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.