Accounting Summer Leadership Programs
By: Lindsey Dial
As a sophomore, I was panicking looking for a summer internship. I am an accounting major with a minor in business analytics. I booked an appointment with a Career Advisor at the Graham Office of Career Management through Handshake to figure out what I needed to be doing. That is when I learned about Summer Leadership Programs. Summer Leadership Programs were posted all over Handshake, but I never knew what they actually meant. After learning about how big of a role the Accounting Summer Leadership Programs play in recruiting for the accounting field, I knew that I must apply! The application process was a long one. I started applying in early February. My first interview with a firm would typically be a phone interview with a recruiter, then a Zoom or Skype with an associate-level employee in the field I was interested in, and the final interview would be with a Partner and Manager of the firm. I am beyond grateful to have attended three amazing virtual Summer Leadership Programs. While attending these conferences it really let me understand what every company brought to the table. As an attendee, I did virtual activities with other attendees, talked to other interns, and learned more about each company. This experience led me to accept an internship with my favorite firm, MCM CPA’s and Advisors.
What is a Summer Leadership Program?
Summer Leadership Programs are two to three-day, invitation-only conferences, hosted by accounting firms at their headquarters. These conferences are typically aimed at sophomore accounting majors. Typically, the program will consist of career development, firm education, networking, and team-building events. This conference will allow you to learn more about the firm and the accounting profession.
Who hosts Summer Leadership Programs?
All of the Big 4 and national firms, plus some regional and local firms host Summer Leadership Programs. Summer Leadership Programs are an all-expenses paid conference for a select group of recruits. If an overnight is involved, the firms will pay for a hotel room as well as meals. They will also cover your travel costs, whether it’s an airline ticket or gas reimbursement.
What is the benefit of attending a Summer Leadership Program?
Summer Leadership Programs offer a unique glimpse into the firm’s culture. More importantly you will also meet other students who are current students also that are from different universities who have also been recruited! If a student makes a positive impression at the Summer Leadership Program, they are more likely to receive an internship offer from that firm. Also keep in mind when a firm chooses to issue an invite and internship offer at the same time, attending the Summer Leadership Program will give the student an opportunity to picture themselves at the firm.
What does the application process look like?
The Graham Office of Career Management post Summer Leadership Opportunities on Handshake. After applying, the recruiter will then read through all the applications and select the students for interview. Summer Leadership Programs are very similar to internship interviews. The Graham Office allows you to meet with Career Advisors to practice mock interviews. Remember – practice makes perfect!
If I get invited to attend multiple Summer Leadership Programs, may I attend them all?
Yes! You are not obligated to any firm based on attending a Summer Leadership Program. While you are attending the conference, it will help you make the ultimate decision of what firm is the best fit for you!
May I add Summer Leadership Programs to my resume?
Yes! Absolutely! Students should be proud to display any Summer Leadership Programs they attended! I would include it under the Activities section of my resume. Remember anything you put on your resume; you should be prepared to answer questions about it.