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internship program Questions & Answers
- How do I find an accounting internship? When do I interview?
- Who do I contact with questions about receiving credit for an internship?
- Who can take an accounting internship for credit?
- If I take an accounting internship, must I take it for credit?
- Why should I work as an intern?
- How much credit & what type of credit (i.e. graduate or undergraduate)will I receive for my internship experience?
- Can I take more than one internship for credit?
- Do I have to take the internship in a particular semester? Can I receive credit now for an internship I performed in a previous semester?
- Can I still graduate on time if I take a semester off for an internship?
- What type of work experience will qualify for internship credit?
- What requirements must I fulfill to receive internship credit?
- Will I receive a letter grade for my internship credit?
- Will my internship grade count toward my G.P.A. at the time of graduation?
- How will my grade be determined?
- Will I be charged tuition for my internship? Who do I call with questions about my tuition charges?
- Will I still be charged campus fee's with my tuition since I will be off campus during the time of my internship?
- What if I change my mind about receiving credit for my internship?
- How do I register for next semester’s classes while I am off-campus on my internship?
1. How do I find an accounting internship? When do I interview?
To find an internship, please contact Business Career Services. BCS is located at 101 David Kinley Hall. internship interviewing is normally conducted in the fall semester (even for summer internships). BCS can provide further information regarding the interviewing timetable.
More information about the interviewing process can be found at www.business.uiuc.edu/bcs. It is never too early to contact BCS to learn about the interviewing process or to start working on your resume. It is a good idea to attend the fall career fair as well.
Once you have found an accounting internship please take the time to complete the “placement survey” for Business Career Services. This survey is located at www.business.uiuc.edu/bcs/PlacementSurvey0405.htm
2. Who do I contact with questions about receiving credit for an internship?
Julie Shapland is the internship course director and can be contacted at email@example.com. Appointments can be scheduled on an as needed basis.
3. Who can take an accounting internship for credit?
Only declared accounting majors enrolled in the Bachelor/Master in Accountancy or MAS program who have completed the course pre-requisites may take an accounting internship for credit. Please refer to course pre-requisites for additional information.
International students who are working in the United States on a student visa need to meet with an advisor at ISSS (333-1303) before considering ANY form of off-campus employment.
4. If I take an accounting internship, must I take it for credit?
No. Many students take accounting internships but do not receive credit. It is important that you meet with a Department of Accountancy academic advisor to determine whether you need accounting credit hours.
- Graduating with real life work experience can jump-start your transition into the working world. This boost may, in turn, accelerate your career path.
- Why not get paid for learning, live in an interesting city AND possibly receive credit!
- When you interview for jobs upon graduation, you will compete with students with high quality internship experience.
- When you find full time employment you may be hired at a higher level than students who do not have the internship work experience.
- In many cases the internship experience may lead to an offer of full-time employment. This factor by itself is reason enough to seek an internship. If you don’t take an internship, when you interview, many of the “available” positions will already be filled by students who have completed internships.
- Most employers recognize the extra-effort involved in receiving credit for an internship. Many employers view this experience as indicative of a student who has a strong work ethic and is focused on obtaining the most out of his or her internship experience.
- The internship may be a harmless way to determine that you don’t like a particular line of work or better yet that you love it. Either way, you can still receive credit.
- It is obvious that the internship will serve as great preparation for entering the work force. Upon your return to campus it will also help you, the student, to better understand advanced academic concepts.
The current accounting program is organized to allow you to earn up to two hours of graduate internship credit toward your degree.
Zero credit: Students who need to register for a zero credit internship in order to maintain full-time status at the University should click here for further details.
7. Can I take more than one internship for credit?
Yes. Some students will take multiple internships for credit. Some students will take internships at the graduate level. Students need to keep in mind the following:
Taking more than one internship is a great way to “test drive” the different career paths available to you. If you desire, each individual internship can be in an entirely different area of the accounting profession. Some students take more than one internship with the same firm. Other students use their internship as an opportunity to try out diametrically different career paths (i.e. large public firm, corporate accounting department, government entity, regional accounting firm). Remember: even if you do more than one internship with the same firm you can still diversify your work experience by working in different departments of the firm (tax versus audit versus consulting).
8. Do I have to take the internship in a particular semester? Can I receive credit now for an internship I performed in a previous semester?
Accounting internships for credit are usually taken during the summer or spring semesters. Credit for fall internships offered on a case-by-case basis. Internships for no credit can be taken during any semester.
Most accounting internships are available in the spring and summer because this period is the accounting profession’s “busy season.” Because of this most recruiting for interns is done during the FALL semester even if the internship is for the following summer. Register with Business Career Services as soon as you know you are interested in obtaining an internship.
Before accepting ANY internship & committing to being off campus for a semester please meet with an academic advisor to verify that you can still get all the classes you need to graduate
Credit can only be received by students registered for credit during the semester of the actual internship. In other words credit will not be given retroactively.
9. Can I still graduate on time if I take a semester off for an internship?
The accounting program is designed to allow you to take full semester (off-campus) internship(s). Ideally (but not always), required courses will be offered in the summer to allow you to catch up on missed coursework. Remember, you may be receiving credit even while you are off-campus performing the internship. An academic advisor should be able to give you an indication about what courses will be offered over the summer sessions.
You MUST meet with an academic adviser as soon as you decide that you are interested in taking an accounting internship (it’s never too early). The advisor will be able to determine the particular classes you need to take and when you need take them in order to graduate on time. When you meet with the advisor, please keep in mind that certain pre-requisites must be completed before the internship semester in order to take the internship for credit.
Students who are planning to graduate in the term of their internship (i.e. spring interns planning to graduate in May and summer interns planning to graduate in August) need to refer to Question 12 & 13 regarding the impact of the deferred grade on their G.P.A. at the time of graduation.
10. What type of work experience will qualify for internship credit?
Any type of valid accounting experience should qualify for internship credit. Please keep in mind that full-time employment of a permanent nature does NOT qualify as an internship. This prevents students from accepting a permanent job and using the internship credit as a mechanism to finish up a degree while off campus. As mentioned previously the internship does not have to be in public accounting, but could instead be in a corporate accounting department or a governmental entity. The work needs to be consistent with the topic of your paper and the type of credit you will be receiving.
You may email a description of your anticipated internship experience to the internship director, who can give you an indication of whether or not your internship will likely qualify for credit. However, the faculty mentor will make the final determination as to whether or not the internship itself will qualify for credit.
11. What requirements must I fulfill to receive internship credit?
To receive credit, the student must write a substantial paper in one of three topical areas: measurement & disclosure, control systems or taxation (see below). The pre-requisites for undergraduate credit depend on which of the three paper topics you and your faculty mentor decide upon. The topic chosen MUST relate to the type of work you will be performing during your internship.
Graduate papers would be expected to demonstrate a greater depth and scope consistent with your higher level of academic training. Because of this the faculty advisor will likely propose a topic relevant to the students field of study which is unique to his or her internship experience. Paper topics no matter how customized will still fall into one of the three broad topical areas (measurement & disclosure, control systems or taxation).
All paper topics require approval by the department and by the student’s employer.
Each internship experience is unique. The faculty member you are working with may choose to modify the paper topic in order to better fit your internship experience. The paper, however, must still fall into one of the three broad topical areas.
Accounting Measurement and Disclosure
Describe an interesting or controversial accounting and/or reporting attribute in an entity's financial statements. Analyze the effect this attribute has on the financial statements and how plausible alternatives would affect the financial statements. Your analysis should include discussion of the underlying economics and reporting objectives. Prepare an analysis of how the attribute appears in the financial statements of at least five companies in the same industry. Evaluate the differences and similarities between the entities and the effects of the items on their financial statements. Undergraduate Prerequisite: ACCY 303 Accounting Institutions and Regulation.
Accounting Control Systems
Identify an element of an entity's internal control system together with its associated management and accounting information systems. This internal control system element should be part of either the entity's core business processes or its resource management processes (or both). Investigate and document this internal control system element, indicating the entity objectives to which the system contributes and the primary risks to achieving those objectives. Evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of the internal control system in achieving its primary purposes, and suggest system improvements that might increase such effectiveness and efficiency. Undergraduate Prerequisite: ACCY 304 Accounting Control Systems.
Each tax paying or reporting entity (individual, partnership, corporation, etc.) has opportunities to make various tax elections. Identify an interesting election that an entity has made, or an election that was considered by the entity. Discuss the pros and cons of each of the possible alternative tax treatments that the entity considered, and explain why the entity elected the particular treatment. Be sure to consider both tax and non-tax factors. Summarize the authoritative tax rules (Code, Regulations, cases, rulings, etc.) that were relevant to the election and provide proper citations to those authorities. If the election resulted in inconsistency between the tax and financial reporting methods, identify and discuss any resulting financial reporting disclosures. Summarize the authoritative pronouncements that were relevant to the financial reporting disclosures. Undergraduate Prerequisite: ACCY 312 Taxation Rules and Regulations.
This paper is meant to be comprehensive and substantial; after all you would take class for 16 weeks to receive the same amount of credit! The paper should bridge your academic learning at the University with your internship work experience. This paper should draw heavily upon your internship work assignments and not simply rely on the academic concepts you have learned. In other words, it should not be something that you could have prepared independently by conducting library research. Nor should your paper simply detail “what you did last summer.”
There are no strict guidelines on paper length, although it is hard to imagine a quality paper in less than 20 pages. Your faculty mentor, when grading your paper, is going to expect a quality consistent with a Project Discovery approach and a depth consistent with the amount of academic hours being granted (for example, a paper for 1 credit hour would have less of a scope than a paper earning 3 credit hours). Consistent with your other accounting classes a portion of the paper will be graded for writing style.
Your faculty mentor will make the final determination about paper topic & content requirements. You will meet with your faculty mentor before leaving on your internship and will stay in close contact throughout your internship.
Please keep in mind that you will be working on your internship paper while you are employed as an intern. Deadlines for submissions related to your internship begin within the first two weeks of your employment and the paper should be just about complete before you leave your internship. Because your internship lasts only a few months, it is imperative that the communication between you and the faculty mentor remains uninterrupted. By this I mean answering emails, submitting work and receiving responses on a timely basis. If at anytime you feel communication is falling behind please contact Julie Shapland.
12. Will I receive a letter grade for my internship credit?
Yes. You will receive a letter grade for your internship credit. This grade will factor into your GPA the same as any other course you take at the University.
The timing for receipt of the letter grade will be different than your previous coursework. Specifically, for the semester in which you are registered in the internship program (i.e. the semester in which you actually perform the internship), you will receive a “d/f” on your grade report (this is the case even though you may have turned in the paper by semester end). The “d/f” stands for "deferred grade." When the grading of your paper is completed (the semester following the internship), the “d/f” will be changed to reflect the letter grade actually assigned to the paper by the faculty mentor.
Please note that the deferred grade has the following implications for students who are planning to graduate in the term of their internship (i.e. spring interns planning to graduate in May and summer interns planning to graduate in August).
- Even though students will not have received a final grade in ACCY 590 by the degree deadline, the University will still award students their Bachelor's Degree if the internship instructor posts a Deferred Grade by the grade deadline. However, you still need to meet the internship course requirements in a timely fashion. Please note that you must complete all other courses with grades by the normal deadline in order to count toward graduation!
- Ordinarily, all courses taken at the undergraduate level will factor into computation of undergraduate grade point average. However, the Deferred Grade for ACCY 590 will NOT factor into a student’s GPA at the time of graduation. The University bases degree Honors on the undergraduate GPA at the time the College clears the degree. Consequently, ACCY 590 will not count toward earning honors. Further, there will be NO subsequent retroactive changes to Honors (i.e., after the ACCY 590 instructor replaces the Deferred Grade with a final grade).
13. Will my internship grade count toward my G.P.A. at the time of graduation?
It depends. If you are planning to graduate in the term of your internship (i.e. spring interns planning to graduate in May and summer interns planning to graduate in August).
Yes, I'm graduating in the term of my internship. Ordinarily, all courses taken at the undergraduate level will factor into computation of undergraduate grade point average. However, the Deferred Grade for ACCY 590 will NOT factor into a student’s GPA at the time of graduation. The University bases degree Honors on the undergraduate GPA at the time the College clears the degree. Consequently, ACCY 590 will not count toward earning honors. Further, there will be NO subsequent retroactive changes to Honors (i.e., after the ACCY 590 instructor replaces the Deferred Grade with a final grade).
No, I am not graduating in the term of my internship. Once your internship instructor replaces the Deferred Grade with a final grade it will factor in to your G.PA. the same as any other credit hours earned at the University.
14. How will my grade be determined?
The faculty mentor will grade your paper as well as determine your overall course grade. You will meet with your faculty mentor prior to starting your internship and will be in contact with him or her throughout the internship. The faculty mentor will communicate to you the exact due dates and requirements of the internship paper before you start your internship.
15. Will I be charged tuition for my internship? Who do I call with questions about my tuition charges?
Yes. From tuition perspective the internship course is treated the same as any other University course. Tuition for internship registration is based on the student's college and curriculum of enrollment, and the number of hours for which the student is registered. If you have additional questions regarding the tuition rates or assessment of campus fees while off campus please contact the Office of Admission and Records-Registration Services (333-9782).
Summer internships are registered during the 12-week summer session II semester. You will be registered for the internship course (and pay tuition) based on the semester that the internship is performed. Registering for the internship in a later semester is not an option.
The current tuition rates can be obtained by accessing the Office of Admissions and Records web site: www.oar.uiuc.edu and selecting the appropriate link.
Please keep in mind that while you are applying to the graduate program (stage I) you can take up to 8 hours of graduate credit at the undergraduate tuition rate. In order to be eligible for the undergraduate tuition you must NOT have graduated. In some cases students have delayed graduation until August to allow their summer internship to qualify for the undergraduate rates.
Please refer to question 16 for discussion of campus fee assessment during the internship semester.
16. Will I still be charged campus fee's with my tuition since I will be off campus during the time of my internship?
The graduate internship course (Accy 590) are considered an "off campus" program by admissions and records. Because of this, the students taking their internship for academic credit will only be assessed the campus insurance and general fee with all other fees are being waived. Please note that if a certain fee is not being assessed you are NOT eligible to receive the benefits of the services provided by the fee. If, for example, students wish to have access to MTD they must make alternative arrangements, as the transportation fee is not being paid in the semester of the internship.
The general fee does provide students with e-mail but does not provide access to services covered by the service fee such as IMPE and the Illini Union. See Rule 3-505 of the Student Code (online at
http://www.admin.uiuc.edu/policy/code/article_3/a3_3-505.html for details regarding fee assessments.
17. What if I change my mind about receiving credit for my internship?
If you decide to drop the course, you need to do so by the University drop date to avoid paying tuition. Please drop the course via the Banner system as you would any other University course. Please make sure to let the internship director and faculty mentor know that you have dropped the course.
The drop policy for the internship course is no different than for any other course at the University.
Information regarding drop dates can be found by accessing the Office of Admissions and Records web site: www.oar.uiuc.edu current and selecting the appropriate link.
18. How do I register for next semester’s classes while I am off-campus on my internship?
While you are off-campus on your internship you should be able to register online using the Banner registration system and your enterprise ID and password. If you have questions regarding the Banner registration system please call 333-6565 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.