Fifteen accounting students at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln participated in the new accounting internship program. The program allows students at the College of Business Administration to take classes and complete a tax or audit internship during the spring semester.
During the fall 2015 semester, the School of Accountancy surveyed alumni about the internship program and what improvements could be made. From that survey, Dr. Aaron Crabtree, director of the School of Accountancy and associate professor of accountancy, worked with faculty to update the program into a split schedule between an eight-week tax or ten-week audit internship partnered with six-week classes.
“The new internship program allows students to fit an internship at a public accounting firm into their spring semester and take an accounting course. Students receive credit for the class and the internship, which keeps them on track to graduate,” Crabtree said. “This also frees them up to have a summer accounting internship at a private company so they can determine whether public or private accounting works best for them.”
Six of the students attended the School of Accountancy spring advisory board meeting to give their positive feedback on the newly reformed revised program.
Four accounting majors spoke to the advisory board about their audit internships. Those students were Amy Demers, a junior from Blair, Nebraska, who interned at BKD, LLP; Morgan Kuhl, a senior from Omaha, Nebraska, who also interned at BKD, LLP; Adam Moline, a senior from Imperial, Nebraska, who interned at Ernst & Young; and Ashley Quiring, a junior from Henderson, Nebraska, who interned at Deloitte.
“I would not have been able to do a public accounting internship without this program. I am on track to graduate and didn’t want to take a semester off to do an internship,” Demers said. “I’m grateful this was an option I could do and gain that extra experience.”
Two more accounting majors joined the meeting to share their experiences in the tax internship at Lutz & Company. They were Reid Hammitt, a junior from Omaha, Nebraska, and Katie Warneke, also a junior from Omaha.
“Jumping right in to the internship was actually the best thing. It worked well to shadow an employee first and familiarize ourselves with the kind of work we’d be doing and then get training on the system,” Warneke said. “There is always someone there that is willing to help and answer questions.”
Students said it was helpful to have the internship during the busy season for accounting, which included tax season and auditing. Hammitt added he felt he received the same quality experience as other interns who worked the usual longer internship.
Students and advisory board members suggested promoting the internship program through the Beta Alpha Psi student organization, having faculty announce it in classes and by having students who previously participated in the program return and share their experiences.
“The students’ feedback was very valuable,” Crabtree said. “By following their suggestions, we fully expect an exceptional increase in students participating in this new internship program.”