If your dream is to land the dream entry-level position fresh out of college, you may be asking yourself “Will an internship help you get a job with a big four accounting firm?” It is hard to land even a lower level position at a Big Four accounting firm when you have professional experience, but when you have solely a degree the chances become even more slim for even the most promising graduates with all of the potential in the world.

Before you start applying for the most competitive internships and scheduling interviews, you need to find out how completing this type of opportunity will help your future career. Internships can be beneficial in a number of ways, but relying solely on this experience to land you a position can be a big mistake. Read on, and learn about the recruitment process at Big Four firms and how much weight is placed on interning and other professional experience.

What is the Recruiting Process Like at Big Four Accounting Firms?

The recruiting process for Big Four firms does not start when you graduate, it actually starts as early as freshmen or sophomore year. These firms have recruiters that are very active on-campus as schools with 300 of the most respected premier institutions with high-quality accounting degree programs, according to eFinancial Careers. They meet with accounting majors, develop relationships with students who have demonstrated academic excellence, and host networking events where you can build relationships.

It is best to stay involved on-campus as a accounting major and to get seen so that these Big Four firms see you as the golden candidate once you are out of school. When you finally apply for a position, if you are selected it is common to attend a social gathering before you actually sit with HR recruiters. You will then sit for your interview where you will be asked behavioral questions and questions about your core competencies. If you can show off language skills, accounting skills and something you have learned from past experiences, you will be considered for a position.

Completing an Intern is Crucial For Graduates Who Want to Work in a Big Four Firm

Now that you know the process, it is time to learn how an internship will help you. An internship is an experience where you can get professional experience by working hands-on in a real world setting. You may be paid a stipend or work for free. While all internships help you get experience, not all accounting opportunities are the right opportunities. If you want to work for a Big Four firm, the key is to land a Big Four internship.

Aside from the fact that you can get hands-on experience, statistics also show that over 50% of all new hires at these firms were interns. One of the firms, KPMG, hires about 90% of their entry-level professionals out of their intern pool. Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates that 92% of their interns are offered full-time positions.

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When you prove yourself as a intern, it is very likely that you will be offered a full-time paid position. Landing an internship, on the other hand, can be very difficult. You must build relationships, perform in school, stay involved, and commit to the application process.