THERE's no substitute for hands-on experience for discovering just what life is like in your chosen field and firms offering internships and placements to students provide an invaluable opportunity.
Hawsons Chartered Accountants regularly offers internships to accountancy students seeking placements for the third year of their four-year courses. The placements are an ideal way for potential trainees to work in a corporate environment, find out about the job and make absolutely sure that it's what they want to do once they graduate.
In many cases, the placements also give the firm a chance to get to know a potential employee and find out about them before potentially making a permanent offer.
Will Amos, Corporate Services Manager at the firm's Moulton Park offices, said: "Each year we try to take on at least two graduate trainees and find it is something of a win-win situation for both parties.
"Interns find out about the job and make absolutely sure that it's what they want to do long term, and at the same time, we find out about them before making them an offer. We feel that a graduate who has completed a placement year is in a far better position than someone who has done all the theory of a three-year course but hasn't got the practical experience, or found out what the job is all about."
The firm tries to ensure that they get experience in all aspects of the business, from tax returns to company audits. Currently working with Hawsons in Northampton is Marc Morgan, who is studying at Nottingham Trent University. Will added: "The work is, of course, tailored to Marc's knowledge and abilities, but as well as that he will get a taste of all aspects of our work. At Hawsons, we feel we have the structure to be flexible and to work closely with and guide our interns, rather than them perhaps feeling 'lost' in a larger organisation."
Contact Hawsons Chartered Accountants on 01604 645600 or visit the website www.hawsons.co.uk