Internships fundamental in gaining accounting experience

Internships fundamental in gaining accounting experience

Before enrolling at The University of Tulsa, Austin Hunt knew he wanted to major in business, and accounting proved a natural fit for the Bartlesville, Oklahoma native. “I’m analytical and like numbers,” he says,” but I didn’t realize how good TU’s accounting program actually was. It has a very high job placement rate and great professors.”

Hunt’s parents urged him to start the internship process early in his college career. As a result, he formed relationships with several companies during his freshman year at the Collins College of Business career fair. His first internship was with ConocoPhillips, a Fortune 500 company with a corporate office in his hometown. “It was a good transition to be able to work near home and get experience with an oil and gas company, something that’s really true to the Tulsa community and to TU.”

Hunt also attended leadership conferences with a couple of firms, including Grant Thornton, where he secured an audit internship for the summer of 2017. In addition, he was able to intern in the audit department at Deloitte in the spring of 2017. “It’s been a great opportunity for me to build connections and relationships with people in the firm, especially since I had the work lined up for over two years.”

Group project work in his Intermediate Accounting I class gave Hunt practical experience that he applied during his internship at ConocoPhillips. “The project was fun,” he says. “We worked with a sporting goods company and looked at purchase orders and transactions and filled out financial statements. It prepared me for my summer internship because I understood how the process works from accounting records to statements.” His senior level accounting course offered the opportunity to pair technology with accounting principles to build a database in Microsoft Access. “We had to understand business processes and relationships behind the scenes, and implement data we were given.”

Hunt, who has had a chance to gain leadership and interpersonal skills as a University Ambassador, says he enjoys being able to represent the university and interact with potential students. “That was a big moment for me when I came to TU,” he recalls. He’s served as president of his fraternity as well as development director for Beta Alpha Psi, the professional organization for accounting and computer information systems students. “I got to help plan recruiting events and help with executive decisions, and I love being able to interact with professionals.”