Sophomore accounting major Brian Denton recently received an internship offer from Deloitte after participating in the three-day Mary T. Washington Wylie Internship Preparation Program. The training is an expenses-paid experience for 25 minority students.
“Attending the Internship Preparation Program not only provided me with advice for success throughout college but also gave me the opportunity to speak with many different accountants from the ‘big four’ public accounting firms,” Denton said. “Hearing the experience of actual accountants has opened my eyes and highlighted the endless possibility that being a public accountant has to offer.”
This program offers many other benefits beside the possibility of a paid internship. The participating students also receive exposure to the profession, resume critiques, interview tips, and a presentation over proper business etiquette. The participants also are given a $500 scholarship for educational expenses. This opportunity allows students to gain an early advantage in their career and aids the students by showing them the reality of the accounting world.
“All students should work towards obtaining an internship before graduation,” said accounting department chair Dr. Simon Petravick. “They can begin to prepare for this in their freshman year by becoming involved in student organizations on campus and working into some leadership positions within those organizations. Recruiters are just as interested in what happens outside the classroom as they are inside the classroom. Pay attention to grades and get involved.”
This program was established in honor of Mary T. Washington Wylie, a driving force behind the inclusion of minorities in CPA positions, by the Illinois CPA Society and the CPA Endowment Fund of Illinois. Her legacy lives on today in the lives of participants like Denton and the greater availability of jobs for minorities in this area.