Bennett Thrasher’s talent acquisition team hosted close to 70 students for office visits to be considered for our 2020 internship program. We value the time students took to speak with our team and experience firsthand BT’s unique culture.
The number one question students ask us on campus is, “What does it take to be successful in an internship?” Here are our 10 tips for a successful internship:
- Ask questions– An internship is all about learning, so ask as many questions as you can! Knowing the “why” behind what you are doing will only help you in your career long-term. Questions also eliminate confusion and create an opportunity of communication throughout your time as an intern. At BT, we value Direct Open Honest Communication (DOHC) that creates learning opportunities and encourages questions and open conversation.
- Network– Get to know the people around you. Use this time to gain insight from experienced professionals in the career you are pursuing. You should also use your fellow interns as a network as they may have learned things you haven’t yet.
- Ask for feedback– Constructive feedback goes a long way in personal and professional development. We highly encourage students to be open to these conversations throughout their internships. At Bennett Thrasher, we provide interns with feedback forms and clearly defined goals and expectations that they can take with them from engagement to engagement.
- Manage time and set goals– We encourage interns to go above and beyond and not take this opportunity for granted. Have a sense of urgency when it comes to the layout of your internship. If you only have eight weeks with a company, then exhaust all resources by learning all you can in a short amount of time. We also recommend setting two or three goals for what you want to accomplish during your internship and have someone hold you accountable.
- Be professional– As soon as you start your first day at a company, think of yourself as a full-time professional. You are doing the same work as associates in the firm so understand that the work you are doing is important, and your interactions with other employees and clients should be professional. At BT, we provide interns with buddies to help with overall acclimation to the firm and navigating professional situations – be sure to use them as a resource!
- Set yourself up for success– Being prepared and proactively communicating are essential in any role, so do not forget to bring a notepad to every meeting, respond to all emails (even if it’s just to say you received them), and stay engaged in the company’s culture. This will help ensure you keep everything organized and both your peers and clients will appreciate it.
- Share your experience- You are now an ambassador for your company. Make sure to share your experience with peers in person or via social media. Our BT interns are a representation of the firm and can show BT’s personality to those who may be interested in the firm, and we encourage that! Share with others why you accepted, what your experience was like and an authentic opinion of the company you work at – this will only help your peers.
- Teamwork- Teamwork and collaboration are essential in public accounting. In fact, it is why many professionals enjoy and stay in the field. At BT, we have a very collaborative culture and seek the opinions and ideas of all associates, regardless of level. As an intern, be proactive in meetings, listen carefully, volunteer to help others and make sure everyone is on the same page while working on a project.
- Remember why you are here– An internship with BT is a great opportunity to get real-world experience with public accounting, client interaction and professional development. Absorb information, gain experience and make mistakes so you learn from them. At BT, we’re not here to hire perfect interns, rather we are looking for people who work hard, have integrity and learn from their mistakes.
- Have fun– Not all students get the opportunity to do an internship, so take advantage of all the company has to offer. Show your enthusiasm and have a positive impact on others. At BT, we have firm outings and family celebrations as well as sports teams, BT Foundation events and all associate meetings that interns are encouraged to attend. After all, you are evaluating the company as if you were a full-time associate so take advantage of the opportunities to have fun!