During the second week of spring semester, Loyola University Chicago’s Accounting Department collaborated with Quinlan’s Business Career Services to host an internship fair for accounting students seeking winter positions the following year. Taking place in Schreiber Center’s Wintrust Hall, the event began with Department Chair Brian Stanko detailing the benefits of holding an internship during the spring semester as opposed to during the summer. He also explained that Loyola has begun to accommodate students taking the semester off from academics. Students can enroll in ACCT 305, which allows the internship to count for 6 credit hours towards general electives. Professor Thomas Zeller also spoke about a condensed, online course that may be taken during the internship. This course counts for 3 accounting credit hours and is focused on educating students about software and programs used by firms. Students who obtain a winter internship also have the opportunity to get 9 credit hours instead of fully taking the semester off.
A panel of Loyola students who have recently held winter internships followed Professor Stanko and Professor Zeller. They spoke of their expectations, experiences, and plans for the future regarding completing their undergraduate degrees and professional aspirations.
When the student panel had answered all the questions posed by Chelsea Donahue from Career Services, I went with the other students to meet recruiters in order to network and learn more about the available positions for next year. Representatives from Deloitte, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Plante Moran, ORBA, Ernst & Young, Baker Tilly, BKD, Grant Thorton, and Wipfli told us about their companies, provided business cards and information sheets, received resumes, and learned more about the students hoping to join their companies. Having gone through resume and business card workshops hosted by my business fraternity, Alpha Kappa Psi, I felt confident in how I presented on paper. However, networking is a soft skill, and is more difficult to perfect than emailing someone your polished resume. Even so, my experience attending professional events hosted by AKPsi helped calm my nerves and made me feel prepared for this opportunity. Luckily, the recruiters and employees of the firms were friendly and informative, making networking easier than I anticipated.
The Winter Internship Fair was an impactful event that allows students personal time with those who can vouch for them within companies. It also provided more details about how Loyola works to accommodate these advantageous opportunities. As students we are fortunate to have functions and organizations to not only help us improve our professional presentation, but to also begin creating connections to companies which we hope to join.
Written by Lauren Hansen