The University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee Dreamweaver Templates. Haslam College of Business at the University of Tennessee

Accounting Internship Opportunities

UT accounting students may gain practical experience and monetary compensation through two well-organized internship programs operated by the department with the support of Career Services. The accounting faculty strongly encourages students to participate in one or both programs. During internships, students work full-time for ten to twelve weeks doing meaningful assignments, and they are compensated at market rates. Both internship programs are competitive and require students to prepare carefully for interviews as well as the internship. All organizations that hire interns expect students to return to school after the internship.

Internships provide students with valuable work experience to help them make wise career decisions. Internships also increase the knowledge that students acquire from their subsequent coursework. Finally, internships aid students in solidifying their interest in an accounting career as well as in deciding the area of accounting (such as audit or tax) in which to specialize. Students may earn course credit from internships.

Most accounting graduates have at least one internship experience during their undergraduate program. As a result, most students entering the UT Master of Accountancy (MAcc) program each August have had an internship, and many have already accepted the permanent position that they will assume after completing the MAcc program. Accounting firms and companies increasingly rely on the accounting internship program as a major source of talent to fill their permanent positions. Getting an internship is usually an important first step to acquiring a permanent career position.

The faculty coordinator of the accounting internship programs is Izabela VanDeest.

Summer Internship Program in Corporate Accounting for Juniors

The first internship program is for juniors and emphasizes corporate accounting. Internship interviews normally occur during February of the student’s junior year, and the internship occurs during the summer between the student’s junior and senior years.

Many corporate internships involve internal auditing, financial analysis, cost accounting, and special projects. Special projects range from participating in generating an analysis for closing a production line to converting manual accounting data to an electronic database. A small number of internship opportunities are available with CPA firms during the summer of the junior year, where students gain experience in audit or tax. Examples of companies that have participated in this program are FedEx, HCA, IBM, Coca-Cola Enterprises, UnumProvident, and Kroger. While most summer program interns have worked in Southeastern cities, several have worked on internal audits in other U. S. cities and abroad.

Spring Internship Program in Public Accounting for Seniors

The second internship program is for seniors and emphasizes public accounting. This is the only internship program in which most public accounting firms that recruit at UT (including each of the Big 4 firms) participate. The process of arranging an internship normally begins very early in the fall semester with “Meet the Firms,” a major on-campus recruiting event hosted by Beta Alpha Psi. Internship interviews occur during the fall semester of the student’s senior year, and the internship typically occurs during the spring of the senior year. Importantly, students who wish to participate in this program should plan their academic coursework very carefully to allow them to be away from campus during the spring of the senior year. This might include graduating with the BS degree in accounting just prior to the internship, or returning to summer school immediately after the internship to complete the BS degree requirements. These students normally desire to matriculate in UT’s MAcc program, which is a full-time program that begins only in August of each year.

Public accounting firms provide internships in either audit or tax to senior students who have completed most of the accounting curriculum. A few internships give students the opportunity to work in both areas. CPA firms use internships to evaluate candidates for permanent positions. Hence, having an internship gives students a chance to demonstrate their ability and to evaluate working for a firm before accepting a permanent position. Many students return to campus each year with offers for permanent employment that begins after completing the MAcc program.

Most spring internships are in Atlanta, Nashville, or Knoxville, but many are in other cities throughout the U. S. In most instances, a student should try to obtain an internship in the city where the student would like to locate for permanent employment. Selecting a city in which to locate is very important and involves a number of professional and personal considerations.

Department of Accounting and Information Management ~ 637 Stokely Management Center ~ 916 Volunteer Blvd ~ Knoxville, TN 37996-0560
Phone: 865-974-2551 ~ Fax: 865-974-4631 ~ E-Mail:


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Knoxville, Tennessee 37996 | 865-974-1000
The flagship campus of the University of Tennessee System