My internship experience: Thomas Delahunt, accounting intern

Thomas Delahunt of accounting firm JPA Brenson Lawlor. talks about what his internship has done for him in terms of career choices

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Degree subject DCU, BA in Global Business (France))
Job titleAccounting Intern
Employer Brenson Lawlor

As part of my degree programme,
I have to complete a 4-month work
placement in my second year. The
placement is known as ‘INTRA’
(Integrated Training) and a
requirement of this programme is that
I find a job in an area that is relevant to
my course. As I am studying Global
Business, and as I was always
interested in pursuing a career in the
areas of accounting and finance, I
became interested in this internship
with Brenson Lawlor. The placement
was advertised on the DCU INTRA
portal page, which is how I applied for
and ultimately got this internship.
I believe a good internship is
indispensable for your CV. Nowadays it
goes without saying that employers
seek out people who have relevant work
experience for the job to which they’re
applying. In my case, I think that having
completed this internship with Brenson
Lawlor, I have certainly become more
acquainted with working in a
professional environment, as I had
never previously worked in an office.
my daily role involves working on
the job to which I have been assigned
in any particular week. This could
entail preparing accounts for a client or
conducting an audit of a client, for
example. Sometimes an audit senior
would be assigned to the same job as
me, whilst other times I would be
working on the job on my own, in
which case my co-workers would be
happy to lend a hand if I was stuck on
any particular task.

Challenges

This job was a challenge for me right
from the start, as I had no previous
experience of this kind of work and it
was very different to what I had been
used to in college (in terms of the
accounting modules I had). The main
thing I learned from is that, in the
workplace, nothing is going to be
handed to you on a silver platter and
you have to work particularly hard
when working in an area that you have
no previous experience in.

One of the biggest challenges I
have faced so far was going out on
audit for a number of weeks. This
involved going out to the client’s
premises and auditing a number of
entities within the company. This job
was tough at first, having only done
accounts prep until then, but I soon got
the hang of what was required for an
audit job and I was glad to be able to
experience that kind of work.
I think internships are great for
students who may not be 100% sure
what area they wish to pursue a career
in. For example, I always had an
interest in accounting at school and in
college, but I was not sure if a career in
this profession would suit me or if I
would enjoy it. Thus I wanted to do my
internship in an accounting practice.
moreover, as I have said, I believe
internships are important for students
who haven’t worked in a professional
environment before. Prior to starting at
Brenson Lawlor I wasn’t sure what to
expect in relation to what it’s like
working in an office. However, now I
am more acquainted with the ins and
outs of office work, which will give me
more confidence for going into a fulltime
job after college.

After I graduate I hope to slowly
work my way up the hierarchy in
whatever area of business I end up in,
whether it be accounting or indeed
elsewhere. It will obviously take me a
couple of years before I fully find my
feet but I feel that once I’m settled I
will strive to climb the rungs of the
corporate ladder. If I do end up going
down the accounting route, I will have
a number of professional exams to sit
before I’m fully qualified. Having
spoken to my colleagues in Brenson
Lawlor I have some idea of what to
expect in relation to these exams and I
would be prepared for the
commitment that is required in order
to succeed.

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