Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Economics and Finance


For many accounting graduates, public accounting is an excellent place to start a career. However, recruitment at accounting firms is highly competitive. The majority of personnel are hired through internships, and competition for these positions is fierce. The process usually spans over multiple years and involves participating in leadership seminars, attending social events, and much more in addition to interviewing. Successful placement requires not only exceptional academic achievements but also strong relationships with personnel at the firm. One primary differentiator among the numerous public accounting firms is their people and culture. Other factors include local clients and specializations. Thus, candidates and recruiters spend a great deal of time and effort finding “good fit.” This paper describes and offers advice regarding many of the typical steps and activities in the recruiting process, such as Meet the Firms, social events, and summer leadership programs, which are crucial to obtaining a public accounting internship. The paper also provides resume, cover letter, and interview advice for successful recruiting. The appendix describes the differences between audit and tax work and also contrasts big and small firms.



Faculty Mentor

Dr. Larry Walther