Nine Accounting Students Spend Their Spring Interning at Area Firms
May 04, 2016
ALLIANCE, Ohio – Many would be intimidated by an experience that involves 13-hour workdays, one-hour commutes (each way) and numerous hours completing audits and tax work, but this semester that is the exact experience that nine University of Mount Union students embraced.
This spring, nine accounting majors, including five seniors, two juniors and two sophomores, took advantage of that opportunity. These students were enrolled in Accounting 499, an eight-credit hour internship working at accounting firms all over Northeast Ohio. Students traveled as far as Dover, Ohio to work with Novogradac and Company to Youngstown, Ohio with the Auditor of State. Others commuted to the 415 Group and Hall Kistler in Canton, Ohio and one stayed in Alliance to work with Hill, Barth and King.
“I really appreciate the CPA firms who have partnered with Mount Union,” said Ruth Pogacnik, associate professor of accounting. “The experience our students have been getting at these firms will go a long way towards jump starting their professional careers.”
Last week, these students gathered together to talk to other business majors about their experiences interning. They covered topics such as acquiring the internship, training on the job, daily responsibilities and their overall learning experience.
Michael Kelly, a senior accounting major of Louisville, Ohio, was able to work out a part-time internship with Hall Kistler to accommodate his extracurricular activities. He stressed the importance of not being overwhelmed during the first few weeks to younger students, “It’s definitely different than taking notes in the classroom, and it’s easy to feel like you don’t know anything. But if you just take it one day at a time, you’ll learn how your office functions and fall into rhythm with it.”
“Internships are extremely important for accounting majors,” said Pogacnik. “An internship opportunity enables students to learn about things they can’t learn in a classroom setting. For example, they learn how to function in an office environment, how to adjust to a corporate culture and how to deal with deadlines and job-related stress.”
Senior accounting majors Ed Ruhnke, of Bayville, New Jersey, and Will Hubert, of Brecksville, Ohio, shared the same hour-long commute to Novogradac and Company in Dover, Ohio. Ruhnke’s advice to the aspiring accounting students in the room was, “You’re definitely going to have to start drinking coffee if you don’t already. Tax season is crazy.” Hubert followed up with, “Embrace waking up early! I’ve been done with my internship for over two weeks and still can’t sleep past 7 a.m.”
As for future plans, several seniors are waiting for their exit interviews to determine their futures with their respective companies while a few are planning on attending graduate school at Case Western Reserve University and Ohio Northern and then sitting for the CPA (Certified Public Accountant) exam.