Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding An Internship

Finding An Internship

By Michael P. Griffin, CPA, CMA, ChFC, Accounting Instructor and Internship Director, Charlton College of Business, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth

(Author's comment: This was written a few years ago but still offers some good tips and ideas)

In my role as internship director at the Charlton College of Business, I act as a go-between – a link between internship employers and our student interns.  Companies and nonprofit organizations contact me with intern opportunities.  In turn, I investigate these opportunities and if I think they are worthy of academic credit, I promote these internships to our students via emails and postings to my blog.  In addition, I search the internet for internship postings using Indeed.com’s search capabilities and email alerts.  I also keep my eye on Experience.com and its internship postings and when I attend local meetings and dinners I am often approached by business people looking for talented students.

As a result of my “pounding the pavement”, “shaking the bushes”, and surfing the net looking for internships, I am able to generate lists of internship postings for each semester.

Doing Your Own Search

In addition to my hunting for opportunities, I encourage students to do their own searches.  For some reason, I find that our accounting majors are most successful in landing great internships.  It could be because accountants are in such great demand and it could also be that apprenticeships have long been a part of the accounting profession.  In any event, I think it might be instructive to learn where accounting students find their internships.  I have also included in the appendix, a list CPA firms – both large and small – with which our students have interned.

Most of our students have found accounting internships in three places:

  1. In the accounting or auditing departments of profit-seeking companies such as local manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and distribution companies.  These are usually staff accountant or internal audit positions.
  2. In the accounting and finance functions of nonprofits such as hospitals, museums, and community service organizations.  We have also had accounting majors who have completed internships in the IRS sponsored VITA program, a tax preparation assistance program that helps low income tax payers.
  3. In public accounting firms, particularly during high demand times such as during the tax season (spring semester). Our students have also completed summer internships with the big 4 accounting firms

Not all accounting internships are in accounting firms so if you are an accounting major, don’t restrict your search to just public accounting firms.  One company that has hired our accounting majors as interns is Hasbro - a major toy manufacturer located in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.  With brands such as Mr. Potato Head, G.I. Joe, Transformers, My Little Pony, Milton Bradley, Parker Brothers, Monopoly, and Scrabble. For a few years now, we (Charlton College of Business) have had students work in excellent paid internships at Hasbro.  Hasbro offers internships in a variety of areas.  Our students have interned in accounting and auditing but I have also seen internships posted for communications and IT.  You can check on current internship openings by going to: www.hasbro.com/corporate/careers/internship.cfm

Another corporation that likes our interns is Textron. Textron hires accounting and finance interns at their Providence, RI headquarters. These are paid internships and they expose students to the culture, policies, and procedures of a large, diversified, public corporation.  Textron contacts us as openings are anticipated and they keep us in mind for two reasons: our students do good work and we have alumni working in the accounting and finance function.  Alumni are very valuable ambassadors for a college’s internship program. So I believe the lesson here is that large corporations can be a source of good business internships but it also helps to have alumni on the inside and it helps to find someone within a functional area of the business who not only believes in internships but is willing to work to establish a program.

Finance internships can take a variety of forms.  Finance intern positions can be found in banks and other financial services firms and tend to be focused on the marketing of financial services. However, we have also had students complete internships at small portfolio management firms in Boston and Providence and as assistants to financial consultants who are providing advisory services to clients.

For the last few years, we (Charlton College of Business) have had a number of students complete the internship offered by Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (NMFN) - a nationally recognized program.  According to the company, since 1967, more than 25,000 students have participated in the Northwestern Mutual Financial Representative Intern program.

Financial representative interns have an opportunity to test drive the same career as the full-time representatives working for NMFN. Financial representative interns gain necessary skills and knowledge of the financial services industry, define their own target markets and establish client relationships. In addition to that experience, interns can gain a performance-based income based on sales closed.
To be accepted by NMFN into the internship, a college student must be enrolled in a minimum of 12 college credits; strong interpersonal skills; self-motivated; community service; history of personal success. Ideal candidates will demonstrate dedication, discipline, balance and a competitive nature. (Author's comment - be ready to have to perform cold calls and client presentations)

 We have also had a number of student interns working at Putnam Investments in Franklin, Massachusetts. Putnam offers internships in their customer service area (investor services) and accounting.  Although these positions are not strictly finance but are more customer service and clerical in nature, they do introduce students to a corporate environment and build their investment vocabulary. (Author's comment:  The Franklin operation moved to Andover a few years ago and we have had very little involvement since then.)

Marketing and management students sometimes have trouble focusing on internship possibilities.  Unlike accounting, finance, and IT majors who often have a clear focus when they begin to search for an internship, marketing and management majors often need some help identifying appropriate internship opportunities.

One suggestion I have if you are trying to think of an internship possibility but are having trouble coming up with solid leads, think about the products and services that you use every day.   What do you buy? Where do you shop? What services do you utilize?  Are any of the providers of these goods and services located within your region and could they be possibilities for internships?

 Another important tip is to understand that whatever your major, there are many possibilities within the discipline to explore.  There are niches within all areas of business.  Let me explain.  One of the more popular internships in our college is the marketing one.  Marketing is one of our largest majors and we also find that many companies and nonprofits want marketing interns. In most marketing internships, students are helping the organization promote their products and services, generate sales leads, and communicate to the public. In recent years we have seen more opportunities for students who are strong in marketing but also have a background in information services.  Database marketing, social marketing, and search engine optimization are hot internship areas.  Students who can use the internet to identify potential customers and gather strategic marketing information are also more in demand. 

 Then there is the idea that many internships are not focused tightly or categorized distinctly within one business discipline or major.  The lines between accounting and finance are often blurred. The same is true with marketing and IT. Some marketing internships cross over into management as is the case with retail-oriented internships.  For example, students who have interned with Enterprise or Sherwin Williams have noted how they not only utilize marketing skills and knowledge but also learn about how to manage people, coordinate resources, and operate a store.

Sometimes finding an internship involves contacting the local offices or branches of a major corporation. Enterprise Rent-a-Car is a good example. Enterprise runs a national internship program. Our students have worked in the local offices after having contacted the local office about internship openings as opposed to sending a resume to headquarters.

If you think you might want to do an internship in a retail/customer service setting, then Enterprise might be the answer. But I suggest that you call or send your resume to a local office where you might want to work. You can also visit their web site (www.erac.com) and search in their career sections and perhaps find an office near you that wants to take on a new intern.  An internship with Enterprise is a good example of a very practical internship because it involves lots of on the job training and real world orientation.  It may not be for everyone but such an internship is paid internship and involves all the issues of running a local rent-a-car office.  It is also an internship that has criteria that is beyond the resume.  To work for Enterprise as an intern you must have a valid driver's license with no more than 2 moving violations and/or at-fault accidents within the past 3 years and no drug or alcohol related conviction (DWI/DUI) on driving record 3 years.

Many students in the marketing and management areas want an internship that shows them how a store is run. An internship provider that offers a “store-based” internship is Sherwin-Williams. This paint retailer offers a summer paid internship program that is geared toward individuals who want to learn about store management in one of more than 2,200 company-operated specialty paint stores in the US or Canada. The internship allows students to learn basic store operations, management skills, sales techniques, and customer service.  Some interns are asked to complete special business projects while handling in-store responsibilities. Students can work in a store near their college or summer residence.  For more information, go to:

Large Employers and Internships

Larger employers offer more possibilities. For example, students who live close to the Boston area in the summer should consider Staples, the large office supply retailer, as a possible internship provider. Staples offers paid internships in the following areas:

  • Marketing/Advertising
  • Accounting/Finance
  • Information Systems and Technology
  • Supply Chain
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Customer Service
  • Merchandising/Brand Management
  • Sales

For more information on Staples summer internship program, go to: www.staples.com/sbd/cre/resources/jobs/college_intern.html

Students often have no idea what type of company they would like to intern with. Again, I tell students to think about the stores they shop at and the products and services that they purchase as a way of brainstorming towards a viable internship. For example, Shaw's Supermarkets is a chain that is quite prevalent in our area. If you have ever bought groceries in New England, there’s a good chance you have shopped at Shaw’s. The company is headquartered in Bridgewater, Massachusetts, which is not too far from our campus. Shaw’s has stores in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Vermont. 

The company (Shaw’s) hires summer interns in the area of finance, marketing, merchandising and supply chain. I have sent students to Shaw’s to apply for summer internships and they have worked well.  Again, this type of internship is not for everyone but if you haven’t set a clear focus on what you want to do for your first internship, learning how a familiar business is run might be a good first step.

Below is contact information for Shaw’s.

Shaw’s Division Office

750 West Center St.

Bridgewater, MA 02324

Website: www.shaws.com

On the idea of using the products that you use or consume as a way of brainstorming for solid internship possibility, what about hot dogs?  We have had student interns at Kayem Foods, a major hot dog and sausage manufacturer in the Boston area. Student interns perform the roles of brand ambassadors for Kayem’s products and learn not only promotional skills but the principles of event marketing.

Responsibilities include driving The Kayem Holy Grill Event Vehicle to and from events, setting up and taking down event signage and equipment and preparing, grilling and sampling Kayem products. As a Kayem Crewsader you will be one of Kayem’s “brand ambassadors” and will answer consumer questions, execute marketing promotions, give-aways and market research surveys at events.

For this type of internship, the student must enjoy working with the public and be energetic, outgoing, personable, flexible, professional, organized and reliable.

Kayem Foods, Inc.

75 Arlington Street

Chelsea, MA 02150:

Internship ideas are everywhere. Do you see those brown trucks on the highways?  Charlton College of Business students have done a variety of UPS internships at their Norwood, Massachusetts location.  Founded in 1907 as a messenger company in the United States, UPS has grown into a gigantic corporation by clearly focusing on the goal of enabling commerce around the globe. Today UPS is a global company with one of the most recognized and admired brands in the world. We have become the world's largest package delivery company and a leading global provider of specialized transportation and logistics services. Every day, we manage the flow of goods, funds, and information in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide.  More information can be found at: www.ups.com . Our interns (paid) have worked in such areas as procure management, capital budgeting, profitability management, accounting, and customer behavior. As soon as I receive an announcement from UPS, I post the position descriptions to our internship blog and alert business majors by email.

Nonprofits and Government Internships

Nonprofit organizations have a great need for business interns.  Most of these internships are unpaid as finance and cash flow are major issues with nonprofits.  However, nonprofit organizations offer great learning possibilities in all functional business areas including accounting, finance, IT, marketing, human resources, and operations management. A number of nonprofit organizations on the south coast of Massachusetts have utilized student interns including such as the Southcoast Hospital Group (the largest employer in the region), New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, New Bedford Whaling Museum, and the Fall River Chamber of Commerce. A local town planning board (Fairhaven) has hired an intern for each of the last three years to help with a variety of office related tasks. We have also had students work in the auditing departments of cities and in the treasurer’s office of a municipality.

Sports and Entertainment

Many students are interested in sports management careers or careers in the business side of the entertainment industry. Breaking into these fields usually involves taking no pay or low paying internship. Below is some information about internship possibilities in this field that a few of our (CCB) students have experienced.

(Author's note: Be ready for long hours and no pay!)

Kraft Sports Group

The New England Patriots and the New England Revolution are two of the best run sports franchises in the United States.  Each year, the Kraft Sports Group (owners of these teams and Gillette Stadium, host a sports and entertainment career fair at Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts.

The career fair is usually held in April and involves round table discussions with senior executives from the Kraft Sports Group and then a career fair for graduate and undergraduate that is looking to make the first step into the Sports and Entertainment industries. Attendees have the opportunity to meet with representatives from many of the industry’s top professional teams, minor league teams, sports apparel companies, media companies, and public relations or advertising agencies.

Companies participating in this past year's (2009) event were:


  • New England Patriots
  • New England Revolution
  • Boston Celtics
  • WEEI
  • Big Fish Promotions, LLC
  • Boston Lobster's Tennis Team
  • Central Connecticut State University
  • Bay State Banner
  • Lowell All-Americans Baseball
  • Sports Management Worldwide
  • Worcester Tornadoes
  • Connecticut Sun
  • Bay Sox (New Bedford)
  • Cape Cod Baseball League
  • Brockton Rox

Boston Bruins

The Boston Bruins offer unpaid internships at the TD Bank Garden in Boston, Massachusetts.  The particular Bruins internship that I am most familiar with is the Communications Internship, a marketing/communications oriented engagement.  The Interns gain experience working in the Public Relations, Media Relations, and Communications aspects of the Bruins operation.  Good writing skills are the key and we have had marketing majors perform this internship with excellent feedback. The Bruins accept internship applications on a rolling basis but you should specify which internship you are applying for in your cover letter (spring, summer, and fall). The Bruins (and many other NHL teams) post their internship openings on a web site called NHL Hockey Jobs (hockeyjobs.nhl.com).  You must apply for Bruin’s intern positions online.  Most NHL internships tend to be focused in the following areas: community relations, marketing, game day operations, corporate partnerships, sales and service, database marketing, premium club sales, arena marketing, and ticket operations.

Cape Cod Baseball League

The best amateur baseball league is run every year on Cape Cod – with many of the teams located less than an hour from our campus. These teams utilize student interns (unpaid) for a variety of tasks including publicity, baseball operations, and broadcasting.  Prospective interns need to contact individual teams.  For more information about the Cape Cod Baseball League visit: www.capecodbaseball.org

Cooperstown Dream Park

In the summer of 2008, I visited an amazing place (and a big money maker) called Cooperstown Dream Park. It is almost hard to describe this place. Here's some information provided by the park:

"Located in the home of baseball, Cooperstown Dreams Park is a premier 22 field youth baseball tournament facility. The Cooperstown Dreams Park Experience, since 1996, offers more than baseball. This cultural and life enriching experience for team and family members will create memories to last a lifetime. Cooperstown Dreams Park offers our players a chance to succeed, to savor their moment in the spotlight and to feel the excitement of success. We promote a healthy spirit of competition, while at the same time always maintaining traditional values and integrity of the game. Many coaches and parents have described their week at Dreams Park as the highlight of their child's life. It is that spirit that has made Cooperstown Dreams Park the "Crown Jewel of Youth Baseball." We take pride in keeping the tradition of American's game, baseball, in its purest form."

 Cooperstown, New York is a wonderful place and the Dream Park is an interesting internship possibility for a student who wants to work in the sports/hospitality field. The internships at Cooperstown Dream Park are full-time, paid position for the summer and include living accommodations. If you love sports, particularly baseball, look into this. The founder and operator of the park is a very successful entrepreneur. His story is very interesting and this facility is like the Disney World of youth baseball operations. If you are interested, visit their web site:

 Our contact at Cooperstown Dream Park is: Linda Davis in the HR department.

 Linda's email is: lindad@cooperstowndreamspark.com

This internship fits well for students interested in sports management, hospitality management, management of events, and management of sports venues. This internship is not for everyone. It will involve living in Cooperstown, New York on the site for most of the summer. Food and laundry services will be provided and you will live with other interns in the campus dorms (bunk houses).  In the summer of 2009, one of our (CCB) students interned at the park.

National Internships

The Washington Center

The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars is an independent, nonprofit organization serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States and other countries by providing selected students challenging opportunities to work and learn in Washington, D.C. for academic credit. The largest program of its kind, The Washington Center has 70 full-time staff and over 40,000 alumni. The Washington Center places interns in hundreds of organizations in government, business and the non-profit sector.  A few years ago, I spent several days at the Washington Center and visited an intern that was working for the White House and another who was interning at a Merrill Lynch branch office in downtown Washington.  TWC runs a very impressive program and I wholeheartedly endorse it. For more information on TWC go to www.twc.edu

In recent years, college students have become increasingly interested in international internships. Many colleges and universities have international programs office or a coordinator of study-abroad programs that oversee international internships. I have provided information on three programs that help set up international internships for college students.

The Washington Center’s Intern Abroad programs provide an opportunity to combine study abroad with a valuable internship experience.  Each program integrates academic and work experience in a comparative and international context.

In the summer of 2009, TWC offered four ten-week programs in cities including London, England; Oxford, England; Quebec City, Canada and Sydney, Australia.  Visit www.twc.edu/internabroad or contact your campus TWC liaison.
Accounting Internships

All the large accounting firms have many internship opportunities. The CPA firms have long been strong believers in internship programs as a feeder system.

Deloitte & Touche

Deloitte & Touche offers internship opportunities to qualified students in offices around the country, which provide participants work experiences with clients ranging from Fortune 500 multinationals to small businesses. Internships are offered in the spring (January - March) and summer (June - August) and are open to college students who have strong academic credentials. Participants get on-the-job training as well as technical and business-oriented education in the classroom. Interns are hired in all functions of the firm: Assurance, Financial Advisory Services (FAS), Enterprise Risk Services (ERS), Human Capital, Solutions, or Tax Services.


For more information about internship opportunities with Deloitte & Touche, contact your campus career center or visit the firm's website at www.deloitte.com/careers.


Deloitte & Touche

National Campus Recruiting

Ten Westport Road

P.O. Box 820

Wilton, CT 06897-0820

Tel: (203) 761-3000


Ernst & Young

Ernst & Young (EY) hires over 1,500 interns each year.  These are paid internships in offices nationwide and overseas. If you are interested in an EY internship, contact your Career Resource center at your college or university early in the fall semester to learn about when EY will be on campus for interviews.  You can also visit the EY website for more details at: www.ey.com/US/en/Careers/Students/Programs/Internships



KPMG  has been recognized by FORTUNE as one of the Best Companies to Work For and by BusinessWeek as a Best Place to Launch a Career.  This firm offers excellent internships.  If you go to www.kpmgcampus.com/job/interning.shtml you can get more information about their internship program and watch several videos on this global program.  To inquire about applying for an internship, contact a regional KPMG recruiter.  You can go to: www.kpmgcampus.com/whereweare/index.shtml to find the name and contact information for a campus recruiter near you.  Here’s some for the New


KPMG Providence, RI office

50 Kennedy Plaza

6th Floor

Providence, RI 02903


KPMG Boston, MA office

99 High Street

23rd Floor

Boston, MA 02110


KPMG Hartford, CT Office

One Financial Plaza

755 Main Street, 11th Floor

Hartford, CT 06103-2608



KPMG Stamford, CT Office

Stamford Square

3001 Summer Street

3rd Floor

Stamford, CT 06905



KPMG Burlington, VT Office

356 Mountain View Drive, Suite 400

Colchester, VT 05446


P.O. Box 564

Burlington, VT 05402



PwC has a very good internship program that is run in the summer.  Several of my accounting students have completed the internship and have been very satisfied with the experience.  Students interested in applying candidates can complete an online career profile located at: www.pwc.com/ocp.


The following description was taken from the PwC web site regarding its internship program:


The first 1-2 weeks of your internship will be dedicated to comprehensive training. You will attend a local market orientation course designed to help you become familiar with the people, clients and procedures of the Firm as well as provide you with an understanding of the Firm’s culture, behaviors and values. You will also participate in technical and line of service training that is geared to bridge the gap between your academic education and your initial assignments and responsibilities as an intern. Through case studies, practice exercises, communications modules and technology-enabled study, you will learn to identify and solve common problems in business transactions.

At the end of this training program, you will be equipped to join a client engagement team as a contributing member. And, you will have begun building a network that will help you for the rest of your career.


In your final week as a PwC intern, students experience an innovative training program held at Walt Disney World. During the week at Disney, students build on the classroom and on-the-job training that they received during their internship.


1301 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10019
Tel: (646) 394-1000
Website: www.pwc.com/uscareers


Regional and Smaller Accounting Firms

We (Charlton College of Business) are fortunate to have several area CPA firms that have hired our accounting majors, usually during tax season (Spring semester) as paid interns. The size of these firms range from as many as 50 staff accountants to one person shops (sole practitioners.)


If you are not from our region and would like to pursue a local CPA internship, I advise you to talk to your accounting professors for leads and contacts.  Also, investigate which local firms recruit seniors for permanent positions, as they may also be willing hire a junior or even a sophomore for help during tax season.  Most smaller CPA firms will not hire summer interns as the summer tends to be a slower time for their firms and therefore they don’t need the extra help nor do they have enough meaningful work to keep an intern busy.


Also keep in mind that alumni who have gone on to be successful in the accounting field are an excellent source of internships.  Both in the public accounting field and in management accounting, we have alumni who are very open to taking on an intern.  We have had CPA partners, corporate controllers, and accounting managers who have approached us with paid internship opportunities.  In addition, many business schools have advisory boards that are populated with accounting and finance professionals that can have ties to CPA firms or know someone who could utilized an accounting intern. I know several students who have sent unsolicited cover letters and resumes to CPA firms and have been fortunate to land excellent internships.


Kahn, Litwin, Renza and Company Ltd.

KLR is a proven leader in the accounting profession. The firm is comprised of over 150 team members serving a diverse client base from three offices, Providence, RI, Newport, RI and Natick, MA. KLR serves public and privately held clients throughout the United States. KLR offer a wide array of corporate and individual financial advisory services that will help you gain real business experience as you grow within the accounting profession.


Position Overview:

An intern generally works for a period of up to four months and participates in various accounting and auditing engagements and tax assignments under the supervision and guidance of firm personnel. The intern develops a basic understanding of public accounting and the firm.



Kahn, Litwin, Renza and Company Ltd.

Mr. Steve Loffredo, Human Resource Manager

951 North Main Street

Providence, RI 02904


 401.831.4018 (Fax)


Burke and Lamb CPA

300 Union St

New Bedford, MA 02740

(508) 984-4800


Fernandes and Charest CPA

1140 State Rd
Westport, MA 02790
(508) 636-6556


Hague and Sahady CPA

126 President Avenue

Fall River, MA 02720.

(508) 675-7889


James F. Driscoll CPA

638 Adamsville Rd

Westport, MA